Friday, January  17, 2020
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In need of a short break, we stopped by briefly at our hotel. Following this, we returned to the hauptmarkt, where for lunch we sampled the output of several market food vendors. Following this, it was time for more browsing and shopping. Several things were purchased, including some fancy multi-purpose sport carrying bags and some precision medical quality tweezers. You can find pretty much everything at these markets!
courtesy JInnes
courtesy RHanel
Returning to the avenue
Lunchtime in the market
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Smoky Saint Sebaldus
Carvings, Saint Sebaldus Church
Karmann Ghia
Our thoughts returned to the toy museum we spotted earlier in the day. It might offer a unique, alternative view of German history, we thought. After all, children's toys often mirror or echo society at large. So, we decided to spend a couple of hours to check it out.

The unassuming building housing the toy musuem turned out to be fairly large place. Part of the Nuremberg Municipal Museum network, the toy museum is a four-story collection of toys old and new.
courtesy JInnes
The Toy Museum
Early blocks
Cup set
The first floor, in addition to containing the lobby and ticket purchase counter, had a collection (possibly temporary) of ancient toys from around the world. Also on the first floor (ground floor for Europeans) were an extensive collection of wooden toys, generally all from the 1800s.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Farm set
Matryoshka dolls
The second floor (first floor for Europeans) contained a huge collection of dolls and doll houses, some amazingly intricate. On the floor above this was an extensive collection of "tin" toys - the kind of toys you usually think of when you think of old toys. A big name in this space in Germany was the E.P. Lehmann company, who made all sorts of toys out of weird subject matter and with remarkably complex mechanics (e.g. the wind-up "Ajax the giant" tin clown).
courtesy JInnes
Lehmann Toys
Ajax the giant
Minature peep show
courtesy JInnes
Minature peep show
Best in the world
Little Priest Kit
Little war figurines
The third floor (second floor for europeans) seemed to be yet more mechanical and more modern (essentially we were moving forward in time as we climbed higher). Here were all manner of 'technical' toys: meccano, stabil, electric hobby kits, that sort of thing. One especially amazing exhibit was the so-called "Omaha in Nuremberg" model train diorama. A huge construct (30 square meters), it recreates an American railway junction. It was built over 25 years by a Nuremberg geologist and donated to the museum. Apparently he ran demonstrations until his death in 2005 (these days, a successor has been assigned the task of periodically giving demos of the diorama in action).
Huge Steel Bridge
Toy steam engine
The electric hobbyist
Omaha in Nuremberg
Omaha in Nuremberg
Control Panel
Stabil construction set
In addition to the general 'tech' nature of the third floor, there was also a section for foreign toys (primarily stuff from the US).
American Toy
Worn Doll
HHP Predecessor?
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Active outdoor gear
Kid skills to the test
Moving forward again in time, we came to a section full of 'plastics' - toys of the 70s, 80s and 90s - including some stuff I remember seeing either in person or on TV as a kid. The "He-Man" Castle Greyskull play dioramas and figurines I remember well (on TV, I never actually was interested in them myself). But other stuff, like the old video game consoles and early electronic games - those I definitely was into and coveted.
The plastic era
The original game console
Our tour of the toy museum finished up on a sobering note - an exhibition of the toys and games produced during the era of the National Socialists in Germany (ie- 1930s to mid 1940s). It was somewhat chilling to see dioramas and figurines of the most prominent members of the movement, as well as toys and games oriented towards marginalizing and denigrating the Jewish population.
Nazi Toys
The Air Raid
Hunting the firestealer
Post-war makeshift toys
End of the toy story
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