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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

World’s Largest Toy Museum: Branson, Missouri

World's Largest Toy Museum

World’s Largest Toy Museum

You would think a place called the World’s Largest Toy Museum would be a magical place for kids. Well, if you’re a 45-year-old kid, then yes…I loved this Branson attraction. But I’m pretty sure my own kids wouldn’t be so thrilled. Because while there are more than one million toys in this museum, most of them are on display behind glass. No hands-on, interactive stuff here.

Bottom line: perfect place to stroll down Memory Lane, but leave the strollers at home.

The “world’s largest” title recognizes the density of toys per square foot, since the Smithsonian actually has a larger number of toys. There are 10,000 dolls just in the area called “Doll Land.” And let me tell you, some are super creepy. I never liked those eyelids that open and shut willy-nilly, especially after dark.


Clowns don’t bother me. These chill me to the bone.

The museum opened in 2001, and features an amazingly vast collection that owners Tom and Wendy Beck continue to acquire. What you see in the museum is only part of their collection; there’s even more in a warehouse, waiting to be rotated and displayed. There are no guided tours, although you will be greeted and given a brief introduction to the collections after you purchase tickets.

Part of the wonder of this place is in seeing antique toys from the 1800’s. There’s a set of dolls that was made before the U.S. Constitution was even signed. If you’re into certain categories of vintage toys, such as Barbies, Disney, or space toys, this page on the museum’s website provides an overview of just some of the themed collections you’ll find there. Of course, there are even more: board games, dolls, instruments, robots, fire engines, tractors, even Cracker Jack prizes and McDonald’s Happy Meals trinkets.

board games

Can you find BOTH Clue games?

There are entire walls of curated collections: Star Wars figurines, scout memorabilia, Cabbage Patch kids, PEZ dispensers, sock monkeys, ventriloquist dummies (also creepy), G.I. Joe figurines, and Raggedy Ann dolls.


Cool, right?!

There’s also a vast range of sizes. There’s space for larger items such as bicycles, arcade games, and old Coca Cola dispenser machines. There’s an actual 1959 Rolls Royce sitting in the front of the museum, which was explained to us as a “toy,” but for “big boys.”

Even though the collections were very well curated into themes, the signage was sorely lacking. Only a minority of the items have any kind of provenance or name cards describing what the item is and the year it was made. If you’re of a certain age – say, in your mid-40’s – you’ll be able to estimate the age of the toys, since you probably played with them.

So many happy flashes of memory rushed back to me here. I felt a compulsion to reach out and touch the Fisher Price school that I spent hours with as a toddler. And again when I saw the same Snoopy piggy bank that held my loose change. And yet again walking past the lunch boxes and spying the Holly Hobby thermos I used to open to find Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.

And yes, I had these Donny and Marie dolls. In real life, they wore these exact costumes on their variety show in 1976 {pauses to unsuccessfully search for a YouTube clip}.

Donny and Marie

She’s a little bit country…

Other times, you’re left guessing. I had to do an online search for this brand of juke box to find out it was made in the mid-1960’s:

Juke box

Wish it worked!

So, next time you’re in Branson, take some time to relive your youth. Just don’t take your kids.

Hey YOU! Go BIG!
World’s Largest Toy Museum
3609 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616