Baby Boomers loved Paper Dolls, Erector Sets, and Mr. Potato Head, Gen Xers preferred Holly Hobbie and Hot Wheels, and Millennials have never known a world without Super Mario or My Little Pony. Some toys, like Barbie and G.I. Joe, have adapted to appeal to different generations and remain popular today. Toys and games have changed over time, but the desire to imagine, compete, and create has not.
TOYS! is an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones. This GRPM original exhibit features toys and games from the Museum’s Collections and on loan from the community, allowing visitors to imagine, compete and create, while going on a journey of toys through generations.
The exhibit even includes a 1980s style arcade!
Through the design process of the exhibition, the Museum worked with several experts from the community making sure the design was as inclusive as possible so everyone visiting can enjoy it. The exhibition is presented in English and Spanish, and has elements of Braille.
TOYS! is included with general admission to the Museum.
TOYS! is great for school groups!
Book your trip today and add on one of our Guided Programs for TOYS!
Investigate: Toys & Games
STEM: Design with littleBits
Toys for Tots!
Thanks to the many donors, lenders, collaborators and friends of the GRPM who shared their toys and ideas with us. We couldn’t have created this exhibit without you:
Arcade Market, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Alkema, Jr., Susan Bair, Hannah Barker, Kristin Barrington, Peter Berghoef, Gladys Biazan, Alice Bickley, Gina Bivins, Emily Brieve, Paul Brown, Vicki and Larry Burghdoff, Lara Carling, Lee Carlson, Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Bryant Chandler, Katherine Chase, Timothy J. Chester, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Lora B. Cleary, Comprehensive Therapy Center, Corporate Color, Aimee DeHollander, Dave Dennett, D. J. DePree, Eileen DeVries, Sarah Dilley, Thomas Dilley, Jim Engelking, Eudora Estabrook, FASTSIGNS, Alan Forist, Alex, Sara & Sophia Forist, Melissa Fortino, Organized by Melissa, Andrew Fraser, Abigail Gautreau, William J. Glasgow, Grand Rapids Griffins, Grand Rapids Public Museum School, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Great Start to Quality, Brian Gritter, Chris Hanks, Andrew Harwood, Brian Hauenstein, Craig Anne Heflinger, Herman Miller Incorporated, Ruth Herrick Highscope Educational Research Foundation, Torin Hodgman, Annette Hollister, Arnold Hooton, Stevie Hornyak, Inclusive Performance Strategies, Marcia Jagger, Marilyn Jenkins, Kathleen L. Johnston-Calati, Douglas J. Karel, Mary Jane Keeler, Chris Kemmler, Rebecca Kenny, Katherine and Robert Kimball, Phyllis Kramer, Dr. Mira Krishnan, Lakeshore Museum Center, Falon Large, Catherine Leiber, Virginia Lettinga, Edward Lowe, Angelique McGuire, Meijer, Andrea Melvin, Marilyn and Meredith Merdzinski, Elizabeth A.R. Miron, Marilyn Monte, Sarah Murphree, Mike Myers, Carin Obits, Mrs. Arthur Ormsbee, Rick Overway, Kevin, Andrew & Ashleigh Palmiter, Ward A. Paul and Charles G. Schoenknecht, Maria Petlichkoff, Playmonster, Tim, Emme & Isabel Priest, Terry Priest, Tom Priest, Matt Priest, Pyramid Scheme, Helen M. Ranta, Mrs. Edith Richards, Dale and Sonja Robertson, Amanda Roozeboom, General John H. Schouten, Cyanne, Cora, and Rob Schuitema, Becke & Brad Shiel, Lynn Marie Skrobot, B. D. Slack, Spaces to Experiences, Mrs. Stuart L. Spindler, Breanna Stayskal, Dr. Phil Stegink, Raymond Stoutjesdyk, Stow and Davis Furniture Company, James A. Straub, Andy Strong, Linda Sweigart, Kelly Tasma, Dave Taylor, Jennifer Teaker, Paris Tennenhouse, Georgia Thompson, Mike Traxler, Reuben, Melissa, Neal & Silas VanTil, Vidiots, Mary Voss, Gloria Warren, Jack Wheeler, Karen Wilburn, Willoughby Associates, Katherine Wills, Mary Wisnewski, Jim Wisnewski and Pat Zimmer.
David & Amy Leonard
Chris & Kim Branoff
Jim & Barb Haveman Family