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BOY toys : THE EXHIBIT


Once for a change, the Musée de la Poupée presents an exhibit dedicated to boys’ toys aiming to appeal to the masculine part of its public. It echoes the permanent collections, mostly exhibiting girls’ toys.

Toys have always reflected our society. From the Second World War, the toy industrial field has been confronted to an unprecedented technical and commercial acceleration, while the first generations of toy makers had evolved much more slowly. This explains the fact that toys dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries belong to the same aesthetical ideal of childhood opposed to what has been offered on the toy market since. This exhibit focuses exclusively on boy toys made before WWII.

The aim of this event is to gather objects showing how children of male sex played from their birth to the end of primary school, between 1830 and 1930.



For a long time, adults didn’t make a difference between boys and girls of pre-school age. Children of both sexes used to be dressed and have their hair done in the same way, they used to play with the same toys, usually chosen by women: grand mothers, mothers, sisters, nannies… It is only from the “age of reason”, that is 7 years old at the time, that the education of both sexes would change radically: little girls were then educated by ladies and boys by men. This was true both in urban or rural areas. From that point, the toys provided to both sexes would not be the same anymore, because they enabled children to identify to new everyday life behaviours more sexually orientated.


Today, our society seems to have forgotten that some toys, such as poupards, dolls, bathing babies, now considered today as exclusive feminine toys, were in fact addressed to both boys and girls in the past.
Moreover, many toys considered as masculine toys, today, also concerned little girls, such as puppet theatres, magic lanterns, croquet and other outdoor games.


The only toys that we still perceive today as being unisex are the plush animals; they have been competing with dolls for several generations on the toy market.

That’s the reason why the main thread in this exhibit is the “teddy bear”.


This transitional toy, even more sentimentally moving than a doll, reminds memories to both boys and girls from all the living generations. The teddy bear appeared at the beginning of the 20th century and still keeps its leading position in the industrial landscape that turns more and more rapidly to multimedia.


Every windows of the exhibit set up teddy bears playing with games of skill, locomotion games, parlour games, construction games, war games, outdoor games, infancy games…


A rich vintage iconography (pictures, scraps, postcards, illustrated books…) is also presented to show what the collective memory records from yesterday’s boy games.

Hundreds of objects are presented in 20 showcases, immersing the visitor in a yesteryear atmosphere that reminds the faded charm of Epinal images.

A few pictures and words about the exhibit :
http://www.pariswebtvquartier.fr/fr/tv-le-marais/emissions-de-paris-4/paris-recre-198/1
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Related bonus exhibit


Exquisite Ephemera


Around the exhibit...







" Make your own teddy-bear" : workshop for children

Children will make a cloth teddy-bear. The stuffing, sewing and drawing are made by children who will create an original sweet little teddy-bear !


reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11











"Teddy bears and greediness" : story telling sessions

Greediness is not a fault, nether for children, nor for teddy bear ! Get comfortable and enjoy sweet stories... !

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11








Family tours

Tours are given for children and their families. You will discover dolls, their history, their morphologies, their materials and the running temporary exhibits.

reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11







"Have your birthday party with dolls" : birthday parties in the museum

Lets celebrate your birthday in an unforgettable way, inviting your friends with the dolls !

And you will also get a birthday present ! : Amuseworld will offer a present to any child having his birthday celebrated at the museum.

unguided tour with an educational questionnaire or educational tour + cake (not provided) + story time or workshop
A la carte package, on Wednesday and Saturday
Sunday birthday parties :
-unguided tour + tea party
-unguided tour + tea party + on your own workshop
reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11.







"Seminars on doll

Samy Odin, director of the museum and doll expert will give 2 cycles of seminars : Dolls, what's inside them ? (1800-1939) and Bbay-boom, second part, Franch dolls from 1960 to 1979. These 2 hours sessions will enable you to study dolls, from head to toes.

A Friday per month, reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11








How much is my doll worth ? Doll appraisals

How much is my doll worth ? When was it made ? How ? By whom ?... Samy Odin will appraise your dolls after your visit of the museum.

A Saturday per month, reservation required at 01 42 72 73 11







A specialized shop – bookstore

The Museum’s shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 6pm, and is also available on this website.

Play dolls and collectible dolls, clothes and accessories, miniatures as well as a wide range of books and products are for sale.








A doll hospital and appraisals

The Museum’s doll hospital repairs antique dolls, baby dolls, plush animals... and gives appraisals.
Veronique Derez, our doll doctor, is usually present 2 Thursdays/month from 2 pm to 4 pm but you can come from Tuesday to Saturday for a free estimate of the repairs on presentation of the sick dolls or plush animal.


For appraisals and doll identity card, with charge, an appointment is required on presentation of the object.




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