Search This Blog


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Brighton Toy And Model Museum PlayDays Are Back For Good!

After an unwelcome hiatus thanks to circumstances beyond our control, Brighton Toy and Model Museum’s PlayDays are back, and they're a roaring success! 

 Thanks to our manager being unwell recently, we hadn’t the time or wherewithal to organise our popular PlayDays. But with the taking on of Nadege, a former volunteer and now our full time Events and Volunteers Manager we now have the driving force needed to make these events successful. Take for example our last PlayDay, held on 16th of August which attracted dozens of visitors. Themed around science fiction and space exploration, there were all kinds of activities for children of all ages to get involved in, including playsets, stories, facepainting, as well as arts & crafts.

Playdays are aimed at children of all ages, so young children are catered for just as much as bigger kids and tweens. Children need to bring along an adult to look after them but the adult gets their admission free making each play event quite a bargain.

Our next PlayDay will be held on 13th of September. It will be entitled “Once Upon A Dream” and the theme will be fairy-tale and myth, so if there are any Grimm, Disney or Hans Anderson characters that are a particular favourite in your house, why not dress up and come along? We promise any Satyrs or Ogres will be on their best behaviour (at least until closing time)!

Our volunteers and helpers will be adding to the theme by dressing up in costumes evocative of a life lived ‘happily ever after’ and we encourage all our visitors to get involved too. Of course it’s not mandatory, we just really love fancy dress and think everyone else probably just needs an excuse to enjoy it as well!

Now that Nadege has taken over the PlayDays’ organisation, we’re happy to make it official that they will now be held regularly on the second Sunday of every month, with a different theme each time. There’s no need to book in advance, just come along and join in. Tickets are £5 for children, their first adult goes free (however, extra adults will need to pay the regular museum entry fee) and as the event is held in the museum itself, you can look at all the exhibits as well as taking part in the special activities laid on.

We love our PlayDays and are naturally quite excited about the next one, so we hope to see you then!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Very Tasty Exhibition Has Come To The Museum

What do Alice in Wonderland, trains, the circus, old birds and buckets all have in common?
They're all biscuit tins in a new exhibition at Brighton Toy and Model Museum.

On Thursday we officially welcomed the Sarah Leather Biscuit Tin Collection to Brighton Toy and Model Museum. Among the guests were many of our friends and patrons, our mayor, staff and volunteers who all work so hard to make the things the museum put on work so well.

The biscuit tins, collected by Sarah Leather, are a superb insight into a bygone era of marketing and industrial production. Tins were manufactured by the same companies that were producing tin plate toys so the natural conclusion was to make containers that could be used as toys. Several advances in production techniques, including offset litho printing directly onto the metal meant that hard wearing, durable, colourful pieces could be designed whereas previously tins would be decorated with printed paper designs. Leather’s collection features several examples of the earliest of these tins, including Alice Through The Looking Glass tins which were (and then weren’t) endorsed by Lewis Carroll himself.

The evening itself was enjoyed by all present. Not only did we have a chance to meet the collector’s family, friends but our mayor, Lynda Hyde and her grandson Max, were also present. Chris took great joy in not only showing off his collection of O gauge models but giving them a run along with his inimitable impressions of the sounds of the trains.

Industrial Design Equals Fun Toys And Delicious Treats

The tins in the exhibit represent some of the most interesting and unusual containers ever created. Take for example the behemoth Chocolate Manner Wein train, a model steam engine with trucks which totals over two feet in length, or the McVitie and Price bird, a design that looks very much like a design for a tulip inspired vase, but with a bird’s head used as a lid. The technical difficulties inherent in producing such a complicated form can only be wondered at, and the fact that all this design and technical know-how was thrown into producing a means of transporting confectionary without it getting damaged or spoiled shows how much importance was placed on producing something durable, interesting and fun for the consumer.

We hope all those who attended had as good a time as we did hosting the event and look forward to welcoming everybody here again when we have more events and exhibitions in the museum. It shouldn’t be too long until we are able to bring more news of fun events as our 25th anniversary is just around the corner and we’ve already started to plan special extravaganzas that we hope will really bring the museum to life. But more on that closer to the time.

 Again, we’d like to thank our generous lender’s family for letting us put the exhibition together, it’s drawn a lot of attention already and we hope it attracts many more people to the joint delights of biscuits and tin toys!
If you want to read a little more about the exhibit, check out the write-up we received on our local BBC news site.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

We're Bringing Playdays Back!

Now that Nad├Ęge is on the case as our Events Manager, we're able to get back into the swing of having regular Play Days again. So, on Sunday 16th of August we will be having our first Playday of 2015, and, in honour of NASA taking those awesome pictures of Pluto this event will be themed on Space Exploration and Science Fiction. Expect papercrafts, art, stories, play and most importantly FUN! All based around rockets and aliens, astronauts and space stations.
Thanks Nadege, we couldn't even planet without you!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Six months to go 'til 2016

New visitors to the museum often ask us how long we've been here, and are taken aback when we tell them that we've been here for over twenty years. In fact, the museum opened its doors back in 1991, and next year, 2016, will be our twenty-fifth anniversary!

The time has seen a number of changes – exhibitions and precious people have come and gone, and we've continually worked to cram more and more into the space, improve the lighting and facilities, bring in more collections, fill in the gaps in existing collections, and to basically do everything we can to make an already magical place better and better.

Today, July 1st, is exactly six months from the start of our Special Year, and we'll be using this time to think of even more ways to improve the museum and to create more online content about the origins of the museum and the people who built it.

We'll be holding events throughout 2016, including a week of celebrations on the 10th-14th May 2016. This year you'll be seeing some major changes on the website and some very special things happening in the museum before January 1st.

If you haven't visited for a while, we think you'll like the major lighting improvements and new displays that we've installed over the last few years. And if you still haven't visited us yet – what are you waiting for?

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Future For Brighton Toy and Model Museum is With the Cards

Brighton Toy and Model Museum has finally welcomed the Twenty First Century through its doors and has introduced card payments behind the till meaning we won’t send you away if you don’t have enough cash on you anymore!

There are many things going on at Brighton Toy and Model Museum at the moment. New layouts for the OO railway sets, new display cabinets for our Corgi car collections, and a new display of biscuit tins, which were highly decorated and often doubled, when empty, as toys in their own right.
As part of these modernisations, we’ve also gone and got ourselves a card machine so we can let visitors in without the inconvenience of having to go to the nearest cash point. We’re hoping that this advance will mean not having to send people back out into the rain when they stopped in to keep dry, instead converting them in to happy visitors, as well as welcoming people who’ve made the journey specifically to come and see us, only to have the inconvenience of needing to go and get cash from the train station before they can enjoy their visit to us.

We’ve never been happy about the trouble it’s caused our visitors in the past when they can’t pay by card and now that we are able to take payment in whatever form you choose we hope to be able to guarantee an untroubled visit for everyone who wants to enjoy our collections.
For more information about opening times, admission fees or group bookings please call us on 01273 749494 or email

Our admission prices have recently been revised.
Adults:                                           £6.50
Seniors: (60+)                                 £5.50
Children (4-15 years) and Students:   £4.00
Family (2 adults and 3 children):      £14.00
Schools and Groups:                       Price on Application
Disabled (plus 1 carer):                    £5.50

Friday, 17 April 2015

Scheduled Closing Tomorrow

We'd just like to remind all of our visitors that the museum will be closed to to the public tomorrow, 18th of April 2015.
While the exhibits won't be accessible to the public, the museum shop and information points will still be staffed in case you need to ask us any questions or you want to buy any of our stock of new and vintage toys, greetings cards and gifts.
We'll be back to normal on Tuesday 21st April and by way of an apology, we will be running our O gauge collection on Saturday 25th so come along and take advantage of this opportunity to see our larger scale model trains in motion.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Trains Will be Running On Time All Day at Brighton Toy and Model Museum

Well, things are warming up aren’t they? Spring is in the air, the sun is out and people have started coming to Brighton for an icecream, to sit by the sea and to play on the pier.
If you’re in Brighton on Saturday 25th of April, then why not pop into Brighton Toy and Model Museum? As well as all our usual attractions and the Easter Bunny Hunt we’ll also be running the gauge 0 trains so you can see them all in action.
Our 00-gauge model railway layout is always in motion, running through our interpretation of local landmarks at a 1:76 scale, however, most of the gauge 0 trains are not normally run so when they are it’s always a bit of an occasion. Many of these trains are from outside of the UK so it’s not always possible to see them in action, running through their ~1:43 scale layout.

The trains will be running at the heart of the museum and admission covers all the exhibits in the building. If you haven’t been to the museum recently you’ll notice a few changes, such as the 00 layout being updated and modernised, and new cabinets built specially to house our expanding range of Corgi Toys.
Unfortunately, the museum will be closed to visitors on the 18th of April, although the shop and information point will still be open if you need us. And to make up for this closure we wanted to do something a little bit special for our visitors, so we’re holding an impromptu running day so you can see our collection in action. We open our doors at 11am on Saturdays and we’ll be running the trains all day on the 25th so do come along, enjoy the spectacle and don't forget that if you’re under 16 you can enter our Bunny Hunt to win free admission for a year for you and your family.
We look forward to seeing you!