In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Toy Museum also holds temporary exhibitions a few times a year, offering exciting news of what is going on in the world of toys to adults, as well as fun activity and playing opportunities to children. Large-scale temporary exhibitions are set up in the Courtyard House, while smaller ones can be found both in the museum foyer and the connecting galleries.
DREAMS AND REALITY. Kids in the 1990s
|What toys did children dream of in the 1990s? What did they actually play with? What influenced their wishes?|
In the 1990s, Estonia started shifting towards the Western consumer society. The newly opened borders and the media created an image of “good Western life”, but not all families had equal opportunities to achieve that. The commercial world also started to influence the life of children. Luule (born in 1987) recalls:
The exhibition gives a chance to see the phenomena of that new era: toy commercials, cult series the heroes of which were made into games, TV programmes which were imitated or parodied at kindergartens and schools, collectible toys from sweet and snack packets, etc.
The exhibition includes a separate display of outdoor toys, as at least in the summer kids tended to play mainly outside. Outdoors, they often didn’t even need any special toys – when there were enough kids, they played run-outs, four square, French skipping and other chasing, jumping and ball games.
Visitors can also see the wondrous things children collected and exchanged in the 1990s, from small rocks to beer cans. Novel and foreign items were particularly highly valued. With some of those (sticker albums, football cards, etc.) the producers used clever sales tricks to ensure that kids kept buying the products.