Become a kid again at Kansas City’s National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Kansas City
An entire gallery featuring dolls is available for viewing at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City.

Want a trip down memory lane, back to when we were kids and played with our favorite toys? Meet me in Kansas City, near the corner of 52nd and Oak. At the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Easy Bake Oven will be there. GI Joe and Barbie, too.

Kansas City
Didn’t it take like 20 hours to make a small cake in the Easy Bake Oven?

The museum, located on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, takes visitors down a path to their childhood, when playing was all we had to worry about. The museum has an amazing collection of toys…and miniature models.

Before you check out the toy section, you’ve got to take a stroll through the first floor exhibit of miniature models, ranging from a tiny piano or violin to a living room set. Want to know something super impressive? The miniature musical instruments actually work. Lamps light up. The model makers are dedicated to their passion, and create actual working pieces of art.

Kansas City
The miniature model is a replica of the life-sized display.

The miniature exhibit is divided into sections – music, furniture, houses and artwork, among the items.

In looking at the music section, can you imagine a piano smaller than the palm of your hand is capable of making real music?

Kansas City
Can you believe that these pianos actually work?

Art, including portraits a little larger than a fingernail looks like an actual painting you could see hanging on a wall in an art gallery. Vases that resemble their larger brethren. Just truly amazing work done by these artists.

Kansas City
This miniature model actually looks like a real room.

Dollhouses are located throughout the exhibit, home to beautiful displays of rooms.

Kansas City
Doll houses galore at the museum.

The museum displays several model room sets. As you look closely at them, you’d swear they are full size and you’re visiting a dream house.

Kansas City
The realism and detail in this piece of work is truly impressive. You can see the courtyard through the window.

As you move from the miniatures to the toy section, you start the trip back to your childhood. What was your favorite toy? A couple of my favorite toys are on display.

[bctt tweet=”Become a kid again at @toyminiaturemuseum in @VisitKC! This museum was fun and brought back memories. “]

I loved Rock ‘em Sock ‘em robots. I received the toy one Christmas. However, it was a bit hairy that holiday. My folks had hid the toy under their bed. One day, my cousin and I found it and played with it. We did our best to put it back in the right spot. But, fifth graders are not always that bright. My folks realized what we had done, and they had their own Christmas present for me. As we gathered around the tree to open gifts Christmas Eve, I had a small box under the tree. It was a Matchbox car…one of my own.

Kansas City
These boxing robots were among my favorite childhood memories.

As I went to bed mad and sad, I had no idea what waited for me Christmas morning. As I came down the stairs, I saw it – the boxing ring with the blue and red robot boxers. Whew! I would say lesson learned, but…I realized as an adult I passed that trait of snooping for gifts on to one of my daughters. She was a master Christmas gift sleuth as a child.

Kansas City
I salute you, GI Joe. You’re a true American hero.

I was a collector of GI Joes. I had several of them, including accessories. Well, I saw one of my old Joe buddies at the museum. Hello, old friend, hello.

Kansas City
Who ya going to call? Ghostbusters!

Speaking of my youngest, she was a huge “Ghostbusters” fan a youngster. We taped (yes, back when we had VCRs) the cartoon series. She collected the toys. She had some the small action figures and the car. Our favorite, err, her favorite, was the proton back pack with the ghost trap. The museum has that, too.

Kansas City
The toy and miniature museum features toys from several eras, including the 1950s.

The museum takes a look at the history of toys, highlighting them from 1950 through today. The museum mentions that the toy market exploded during the 1960s, as toys expanded and parents had more money to spend on their kids. Toys such as Etch-a-Sketch, Lite Brite, Easy Bake Oven and GI Joe grew in popularity.

Kansas City
The 1960s launched a toy explosion for kids.

The Force is strong at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Star Wars has its own section, featuring several action figures and props.

Kansas City
May the force be with you.

A couple of Omaha connections are displayed. The first highlights the love affair a child had with being a sheriff.

Kansas City
This western set of toys belonged to an Omahan.

The second features the marble championships that used to be hosted at Boys Town.

Kansas City
Boys Town in Omaha used to host a marble tournament.

The museum offers visitors an opportunity to take in a couple of special exhibits. The first features the history of African Americans as told through paper dolls. The exhibit – which prohibits photographs – showcases the disrespectful manner in which a group of people were depicted. In the end, you can see the progress made in the treatment of African Americans in paper dolls. There is one of President Obama, as well as other prominent African Americans.

Kansas City
One of Omaha’s downtown streets is featured in this pedal exhibit.

Another Omaha connection is represented in the Pedal to the Metal exhibit of pedal-powered vehicles. A car sits in front of a photograph of a street race in downtown Omaha, featuring pedal vehicles. The exhibit “Pedal to the Metal – Pedal Cars and American Car Culture” follows the history of pedal cars, from the days of the metal cars to the plastic vehicles, including the Big Wheel.

Kansas City
Vrooom! Vrooom! Who had a Big Wheel as a kid?

The museum has more than 70,000 items on display in its 7,000-sq. foot building. It’s easy to spend several hours in the museum. We spent about two hours exploring the toys and miniatures. Want to know another cool thing about the museum? Admission is $5 per person. I think they could easily get away with a $10 admission fee.

We loved the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. It’s a must-see for anyone visiting Kansas City. It ranks as one of our favorite museums we’ve visited. We highly recommend visiting it.

For more information on the museum, please visit