Friday 23 August 2013

War Games at the Museum of Childhood

The family 'stay-cation' rumbles onward and this week we have been focusing on exploiting the good weather with plenty of outdoor activities and a few trips to the beach. But yesterday we had a busy day with a trip to the Theatre in the morning followed by a visit to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green in the afternoon. I have been wanting to revisit this great little museum for a while because they are currently running a special exhibition called War Games which explores the sometimes complex relationship between war and children's play. It contains a wide and interesting range of toys that have been influenced by warfare from 1800 to the present day, included a few that have a special place in my past (you know your getting old when your childhood toys appear in a museum!).

I shot a load of photo's as usual and here is a small selection of my pictures to give a flavor of what to expect.

The War Games Exhibition at the Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green
Toy Catalogue dated to 1840-42 in Germany
Copy of Little Wars by H.G.Wells
The Strategy Game 'Risk'
Cardboard Prussian Cuirassiers from 1870
The Battle of El Teb soldiers 1890 - German 'Tin' Flats
Model Toy Tank with concealed Sniper - by Louis Marx & Co USA in the 1920's
German Lancers from 1920's
Marching Nazi Sturmabteilung Troops (Brownshirts) - Made by Hausser in Germany 1930's
Home made war toys - German Cardboard Tanks from 1930's
Anti-Aircraft Gun - Made by Tipp & Co Germany in the 1930's
'Young Patriot' Made by Colorgraphic Inc in the USA in 1942
Sunny Andy Tank by Wolverine in 1918
Home Casting Kits made in Germany in 1978 by Westfalische Zinnfuguren
Captain America comic dated 1969 (first published in 1941)
Inside the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
Plastic Toy Soldiers from the 1950's
French Propaganda 'toy soldier' Poster
I went with both my kids in tow and I'd recommend that if you do intend on visiting you need to take a kid along or you'll look a bit strange walking around the rest of the museum alone! If you get a chance this exhibition is well worth a visit. 


  1. Interesting exhibit. That home-made cardboard tank is pretty impressive. Early scratch-builders ;)

  2. What an amazing looking museum, I have to confess I wasn't aware of it so thank you.

  3. Fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting.

  4. Excellent tour, thanks. I particularly like the flats. They have always had a degree of fascination for me.

  5. It's been years since I've been there. Will have to pay another visit one day. Add it to the ever growing list.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always try to reply as soon as I can, so why not pop back later and continue the conversation. In the meantime, check out my YouTube channel Miniature Adventures TV