“Into Childhood” is a new museum of Soviet toys, which opened in Odoyev on December 15, 2018. What is it in this museum? The museum is a memory, the museum is nostalgia, the museum is about the Soviet happy childhood. Why is it happy? Our parents are still young there, one may still buy ice cream for 10 kopecks there; girls are wearing white bows and dreaming of becoming ballet dancers and actresses, boys are dreaming about flying into space; the museum is a place where touching memories and light sadness surround us. This is the place where our children's toys live: teddy bears, long-eared hares, airplanes, beloved Karlsson and Buratino, dolls of Nina, Olya and Marina, as well as heroes of our fairy tales. This is the place where we recall friends dear to our heart, where we are like little boys and girls, where we play, fiddle around, go through and fall in love. This meeting with a bygone childhood is staggering.
The Museum of Soviet Toys “Into Childhood” is a joint project of Sergey Kuznetsov, general executive manager of “Filimonovo Toy LLC” (Filimonovo Toy and Harmonic of Grandpa Philimon Harmonic museums), and Tatyana Kravets, collector of toys from Tula.
The choice of place and theme is not accidental. Every year Odoyev is becoming increasingly popular among Russian tourists and today it is associated mainly with toys. Therefore, it was decided to carry on with a toy theme. The clay toy is a funny thing which was mainly played with almost until the middle of the 20th century but later it lost its dominance and gave a way to an industrial toy. One may get acquainted with all this diversity in one place: in the city of Odoyev, Tula Oblast. The organizers recommend getting acquainted with the clay toy first and then with the industrial one.
The museum displays more than 500 toys made in various cities and republics of the USSR from the 1930s to 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. The museum collection is designed for a wide range of visitors. Adults who were teenage during the developed socialism are diving with great interest “Into Childhood”. At the same time modern children raised on electronic games also with curiosity examine mothers and fathers (perhaps even grandparents) played when they were of their age.
The major part of the collection consists of dolls: from miniature naked baby dolls to large walking ones which were the dream of any Soviet girl. Thematic collections of soft toys (cute bears, funny bunnies, or dogs seated on the shelves) will not leave anyone indifferent! Toy objects of doll life (furniture, dishes, irons, meat grinders, and fans) recreate the interiors of Soviet apartments as they are miniature copies of their real objects. Few people know that in the Soviet times each plant was obliged to produce something for everyday needs of working people. And many enterprises accomplished this goal by manufacturing children's toys (partially rearranging technological processes for miniature models of their main products).
A separate section represents the interests of Soviet boys - military style toys. Toy shooting guns, military equipment models, toy pistols and machine guns. And whole armies of tin and plastic soldiers. But what about cars? There are many of them and they are diverse. Do you remember “Behind the Wheel” battery-powered game? So it is in the museum too! Ask guides about it and they will definitely allow you to play!
The museum collection presents musical, mechanical, clockwork, board, developing and first electronic games. Here one may see toys made of a variety of materials: papier-mâché, celluloid, rubber, polyethylene, wood, tin, cardboard and even pressed sawdust. In addition to those toys that were produced in the republics of the former USSR the collection includes toys from the countries of the socialist community: the GDR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. These countries do not exist anymore but there are toys made there still exist! It will be interesting for Tula citizens to see toys made at Tula enterprises!
The creation of one more museum in Odoyev makes this town even more attractive and contributes to the further development of tourism in the district!
In the near future, besides seeing the toy collection in the museum, there will be a possibility to make toys, organize family parties, take part in mini-performances and theme “get-togethers”, events, share childhood memories and book sightseeing and thematic tours.