Friday, 21 March 2014

Suomenlinnan Lelumuseo - The Finnish Toy Museum

In Helsinki, Finland, there is a place that is familiar to us all. Suomenlinna Toy Museum was opened in 1985, and like Brighton Toy and Model Museum, it presents the public with historic toys that have been loved through the ages. 
            (Nalleja 1900-luvun alkupuoliskolta)

(Teddy bears in the first half of 1900’s)
 Nallerouva Hunajapurkki
(Mrs. Winnie the Honey Jar)
Suomenlinna Toy Museum is a family owned company, with a wide range of toys dating back to the 1800’s and celebrating Finnish History.
The founder, Beep Tandefelt, had an awakening one day, and thought to herself, “Why churn out new objects from the already existing world, when you can cherish the old”, and with this she began to collect antique toys, and once word got out that she was collecting them, she received many more from those around her.

Loppuun leikityt)

         (Bebe –nukkeja 1930 – luvulta)          
(Baby Dolls)
In 1979, the Nordic Center for the Arts requested there be space at the Jetty Barracks exhibition for the antique toys, and after a successful show, Beep began to wish for a permanent display for the toys.
In 1985, what Beep Tandefelt had been wishing for came true, and the Finnish Toy Museum was opened in the basement of Piipan Tandefelt’s home, who took over the reins from Beep.

(Nukkekoti – interiööri 1800 – luvun lopulta)
(A dolls house interior in the late 1800's)

Moomin dolls made by Ateljé Fauni in 1950’s)
In 2003, Piipan Tandefelt passed the running of the museum over to her daughter, Petra Tandefelt, who also produces beautiful postcards based on the collections at the Finnish Toy Museum. Some of the postcards available are shown here, which Petra gifted us with when she came to visit us recently.
When Petra came and saw us, she told us that she loved what we had on display here, and if she could, she would take the Brighton Toy and Model Museum with her back to Finland.
(Vanhoja värssykirjoja)
(Old verse books)
We all enjoyed having Petra here visiting us, and hope that she comes back to see us again soon.
If you want to learn more about, or take a virtual tour of the Suomenlinnan Lelumuseo – The Finnish Toy Museum, you can visit their website at

(Kaksosnuket Manja ja Ljuba)
(The dolls, Manja and Ljuba)

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