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BEST THINGS TO DO AT POLLOCK’S TOY MUSEUM LONDON

INSIDE: Revisit the history of Victorian Toys at Pollock’s Toy Museum London. 

A visit to Pollock’s British Toy Museum is a modern-day stroll into a place not unlike that mystical street from Harry Potter, the mysterious Diagon Alley.

It’s whimsical, weird, and wonderful all in one.

Housed in a pair of fabulously creaky and theatrical Georgian town houses in London’s Fitzrovia, the Pollocks Toy Museum on Goodge Street in London is named after Benjamin Pollock, and is chocka-block full of Victorian toys of old to fill your heart with joy.

Take a look below for details.

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image - Pollocks Toy Museum Benjamin Pollock

History of Pollocks Toy Museum London

Mr Pollock was a well-known maker of toy theatre sets, a popular toy from Victorian times.

He hand printed, constructed and coloured most of the Victorian toy theatre material housed in the museum today.

Take a walk upstairs and you’ll see the Pollock’s Toy Theatre collection of these toy theatres for yourself, including many made by Mr Pollock’s own hands.


RELATED: The Big List of Best Things to Do in LONDON with Kids

toy theater

About Pollocks Toy Theatres

See Pollocks Toy Theatres like the one above.

The upstairs collection also houses:

  • puppets
  • Victorian toys
  • Victorian teddy bears, and
  • unusual dolls from history. 

It’s an archive of Victorian toys and games, and Victorian toy box objects in London.

A Victorian Dolls House c.1880 in The Gunnersbury Museum

Best Things to do at Pollock’s Toy Museum London 

People often ask what toys did Victorian children play with, and you’d be surprised to see how many toys were around in those times.

The list is huge.

Many of those antique toys were the homespun version of toys children still play with today.

The Pollocks Toys Museum is one of the best old toy museums and it’s a wonderful place to see some of these:

  • marbles
  • wax dolls
  • Victorian balance toys
  • Victorian skipping ropes with wooden handles
  • model ships
  • old Victorian toys with wheels
  • optical toys
  • Victorian rocking horse
  • Victorian toy soldiers
  • Victorian board games
  • wind-up toys
  • toy birds

image- 800px-Toy,_cradle_and_dolls_(AM_1966.205-10)

Image credit: Auckland War Memorial via Wikipedia CC BY 4.0

No.1: Jumbo Collection of Vintage Victorian Toys & Victorian doll houses

  • cup and ball toy
  • money boxes
  • Victorian spinning top
  • telephones
  • tin toys
  • Victorian mechanical toys
  • folk toys
  • flying toys
  • paper toys
  • Victorian toy tea set
  • traditional wooden toys & Victorian wooden toys
  • Victorian baby toys
  • Victorian moving toys
  • kaleidoscopes Victorian toys
  • boxed dolls and toys from around the world (Latin America, Africa, India and Europe)

AND the World’s Oldest Surviving Teddy Bear.

image - pollocks toy museum clay mouse

No.2: 4000 year old Toy Mouse

The collection of Victorian children’s toys includes a 4,000 year old mouse made from Nile Clay.

Wow.

That must be the world’s oldest toy ever.

image - pollocks vintage victorian toys

The British Toy Museum you shouldn’t miss!

This little time capsule of life is unimaginably atmospheric and filled with character.

Step back into Old London Town on your next visit at this iconic British Toy Museum filled with Victoria childrens toys.

The Vintage childrens toys museum is highly recommended.

No.3: Pollock’s Toy Museum Shop

There’s also a little shop on site selling a small selection of old-fashioned Victorian toys for kids you can take home for fun.

There’s tin cars, and tin whistles, & ball games and card games too. 

Little boy feeding a doll

Interesting Victorian Toys Facts

Take a look at these Victorian facts for kids.

No.1: How much did Victorian toys cost?

Lots of money!

A doll house alone could cost more than a week’s wages for most lower earning citizens.

But in Victorian times, only children of the rich had the time to play with toys for extended periods, as many children were already working to help their parents pay the bills.

Many of the toys children did have were handmade and very simple, especially in poorer households.

Ye olde snakes and ladders

No.2: The Best Victorian board games

Games played in Victorian times include:

  • Snakes and Ladders
  • Chess
  • Checkers
  • Backgammon
  • Victorian puzzles
  • Simple card games, and educational card games.  Many children loved to try and build a house of cards.

Reading was another popular past-time in the Victorian era, as was playing a musical instrument if the families could afford it.

photo - victorian toys at pollocks museum

No.3: Victorian playground games

Wondering what games did Victorians play?

  • Victorian street games included the old fashioned hoop and stick game,
  • Victorian cup and ball toy game was popular too, where you spin the attached ball into the air, and try and catch it into the cup
  • Victorian yoyo games were in fashion too
  • Quoits
  • Skittles

Popular Victoria era Indoor Parlour games included Charades, pin the tail on the donkey, Oranges and Lemons, and Blind Man’s Bluff

Pollocks Toy Museum

No.4: What toys did rich Victorians play with?

Victorian era past-times were a little different to ours today.

They did not have giant Toys R Us toy shops filled with mass-produced plastic rubbish.

So even rich Victorian children did not have rooms full of toys, like many modern children today, but the quality of the toys they owned was far greater.

Victorian dolls hair was made from real human hair, and placed strand by strand.

These China doll faces were made from porcelain.

They were so valuable that children were not often allowed to play with them!

Popular toys for wealthy Victorian families included:

  • Victorian tea sets
  • train sets
  • doll houses
  • hobby horses
  • zoetrope moving picture toys, and
  • rocking horses.

Toys were valued for their educational value above all else so puzzles, board games, and card games were prized.

image - pollocks toy museum old toys

No.5: Victorian toys for the poor

Most families did not have money or access for expensive toys, but this didn’t stop them.

Their lack of resources sparked their creativity to make their own toys from wood and metal.

Handmade dolls, peg dolls, spinning tops, wooden blocks, and handmade balls made from material offcuts could be found in almost every household.

Many children loved paper toys, including:

  • paper dolls, and
  • recreations of their local village and animals.

Many children whiled a day away making elaborate doll houses from cardboard or craters, and filling their doll houses with furniture and furnishings cut from paper.

Outdoors, poor children played with marbles, offcuts for skipping ropes,  simple hoop and stick games, and went fishing with simple lines.

It was what it was.

They also spent a lot of time outdoors making forts and cubbies from branches and sticks they found.

Imagination was everything.

No.6: What were Victorian toys made of?

Wood, metal or whatever material they could lay their hands on.

Old Toys

No.7: What Victorian Christmas Toys did children receive? 

Special gifts of toys for Christmas in Victorian times, for the rich who could afford them, included:

  • kaleidoscopes
  • moving pictures (zoetropes)
  • metal toys
  • puppet theatres
  • toy theatres, and,

Otherwise families had to make their own version or make do.

Victorian toys to make at home

Learn how to make Victorian toys including a spinning top from paper, a peg doll, and a thaumatrope ( a spinning disk that creates a moving image) here.

Paper Mother and Child with Clothes for Each

How to make a Victorian toy out of paper

Download a printable of a Victorian paper doll from 1886 and her wardrobe here.

Learn how to make a Victorian Jack-in-the-box toy here.

Learn how to make a Circus Rider from paper here. 

image - benjamin pollocks toy shop london entrance

Next stop: Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop in Covent Garden!

Be sure to visit Benjamin Pollock’s incredible Toy Shop in Covent Garden too.

Click the blue link above for all the details of Benjamin Pollocks Covent Garden store.

Pollocks Toy Museum

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Pollocks London Toy and Model Museum

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in British pounds, unless otherwise stated

Address: Pollock’s Victorian Toys Museum is located at 1 Scala St, London W1T 2HL. Enter from 41 Whitfield St, W1
Telephone: 0207 636 3452
Email: [email protected]
Website: Pollocks Museum London

Pollocks toy museum Opening Hours:

This old toy museum is open 6 days.

  • Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Last admission to Museum 4.30pm
  • Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays

Pollock’s Toy Museum price

The Pollock Toy Museum ticket price is as follows:

  • Adult £7
  • Child £4
  • Senior/Student £6
  • Under-threes FREE

Pollock's Toy Museum

How to get to Pollocks Toy Museum Goodge Street London

By Bus: 10 minutes by bus from Trafalgar Square (24, 29, N5, N20, N5, N29, N279)

By Tube: 

  • From Victoria Station to Warren St exit, walk 8 minutes. 
  • You can also catch the Northern line’s Charing Cross branch to Goodge Street between Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street stations,
  • It’s in Travelcard Zone 1.

By Car: 8 minutes drive on the A400 from Trafalgar Square.

Pollocks Toy Museum parking

Limited on-street parking may be found nearby, or find a paid parking station here.

Map of Pollocks Toy Museum London

Facilities at Pollocks Toy Shop Museum

Nearest takeaway coffee and/or food options: Cafes within walking distance.
Disability access: Limited – stairs.
Dogs: No

Toadstool Rating- Pollocks Toy Theatre & Museum

pollocks toy museum review

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