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Toy Museum



Toy Museum

Turkish poet and author Mr. Sunay Akin has opened the first and the only private toy museum of Turkey on 23.April.2005. This opening date was not chosen randomly. April 23rd is an important day in the history of the Turkish Republic. It was on this day that the Grand National Assembly first met in 1923. It is also when the country simultaneously celebrates National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, dedicated this important date to the children of the world. 

Akin first visited a museum when he was six years old. They had just come to Istanbul from Trabzon, their hometown, for a month-long summer holiday. On the first day his father took him to the archelogical museum. After returning home from the summer vacation, Akin realised that he developed a new game that he called the “museum game”. Unfortunately his museum game was short-lived , because his friends did not share his enthusiasm. 

Sunay Akin had noticed a toy museum in Nürnberg-Germany in 1990 and laid the foundations of the Istanbul Toy Museum with a toy horse he purchased from an antique shop in Germany. He expanded his collection for over 15 years and has collected 7000 antique toys. Meanwhile he has made serious efforts to convert the historical villa, belonging to his family, into a cozy museum. 4000 toys are on display in this four-floor museum located in Göztepe, Istanbul. The oldest is a miniature violin manufactured in France in the year 1817. A doll made in the United States in the 1820’s, a set of marbles also from United States dating back to the 1860’s, tin toys from Germany, plus porcelain dolls are amongst other items of the extensive collection. 

Located in the garden of the Sultan Eyup Mosque, the famous Eyüp Toy Shop was one of the city’s favorites until the 1950's. Today, it is displayed on the ground floor of the museum. Sunay Akin has successfully managed to carry our historical values of the past to the present day. 

 The 9 daughters of Zeus who lived on Mount Helicon were called the “Muses”. They were also referred to as the “Fairies of Inspiration.” The source of the word ‘museum’ is ‘muses.’ In other words, a museum is an inspiration fairy. The income Sunay Akin earns from his books, stage performances and TV/radio programs has been the main financial resource for Turkey’s first toy museum. In a speech he made, Akin pointed out that he is grateful to his readers who are attracted to the inspiration fairies. He also stated that he spent his earnings on antique toys and finally built a house for the inspiration fairies. 

The interior décor and displays were arranged by stage designer Mr. Ayhan Dogan. Each room resembles a different theater stage. For instance, when you enter the gallery of space toys, you encounter shining stars overhead, whereas miniature train sets are exhibited in a genuine train compartment. You have to pass through a submarine in order to reach the toilets on the basement. Visitors can relax in the the cafe where antique dolls, dollhouses and miniature furnitures are displayed on the walls. The museum also features a theater that has 70 seats and a gift shop where Sunay Akin's books and museum souvenirs are sold. 

Every community is enlightened by passing through its own museums. Museums are the first steps of the cultural development. Akin’s Toy Museum is a gift towards the path of enlightenment. 

The museum is closed on Mondays.

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