Brighton Toy and Model Museum is home to displays which draw from its core collection of over 10,000 items, the Museum also exhibits various pieces and full displays on loan from outside collections. The displays showcase collections from the last 100 years, including examples from the world’s top toy and model makers.
The Museum features a priceless model train collection including an extensive working 1930s’ three-rail ‘0’ gauge layout which is without doubt our jewel in the crown. The layout also features authentic period track side accessories and collectables.
Please Note – Due to the age and value of the models, the 0 Gauge layout is NOT in full operation on a daily basis. There will always (barring technical faults) be a single goods train running on a push button, but more extensive operation will only take place on special running days. The dates of these days will be advertised well in advance in the events column on this site and on our facebook page so keep an eye out for details.
Spanning the area at the rear of the museum is an intricately-detailed working ‘00’ gauge model layout based partially on the Sussex countryside.
Our exhibit features an extensive collection of model trains from Bing, Marklin and Bassett-Lowke.We have locomotives, carriages and accessories from these giants of the toy train world some of which date from very early in the 20th century, and some which are the only known surviving examples.
As well as Steiff, George the Bear, and his friends we also have soft toys, large and small, from Schuco, Bing, Chad Valley, Merrythought, Farnell, Chiltern and Dean’s Rag Book in several locations throughout the Museum.
A large selection of Meccano and other construction toys, from companies that you’ll remember, such as Erector, Trix and Lynx and companies that you won’t, like Primus Engineering Outfits, Ubilda, EzyBilt, Manufax and Juneero. As well as the sets themselves we have incredibly well preserved boxes, instruction manuals and advertising.
Our Meccano display has recently had a massive update. We have added new shelves to accommodate a great selection of intersting items including rare Elektron and X Series sets along with some very well made working models.
Take a look at our Featured Exhibits page for more information.
Our die-cast models include the Tri-ang Spot On collection, which is one of the largest in the world and features some of the rarest toy cars from the Spot On range. Alongside this, we have a nationally acclaimed Corgi Toys display which features examples from a collection built over 20 years and is often updated. These cars include special and foreign editions.
You can also try your hand at old-fashioned penny arcade games or enjoy early photographic animation by looking into our working Mutoscope !You will also see tin plate toys, cars and buses, exotic toy and model ships, trams, large-scale, radio-controlled aeroplanes, Animated and static puppet theatres (including a Punch and Judy booth), and Pelham Puppets from Muffin the Mule to Sooty. There are a number of beautiful and rare dolls on display as well as building toys like Lotts Bricks and Kiddicraft, alongside other favourites such as, paper construction models, army,farm and circus figures.
For more information about our collection and a whole range of other vintage toys and their manufacturers, take a browse through our Knowledge Base.
The Shop, located in the Museum foyer, sells souvenirs, books and postcards as well as inexpensive toys for young children and also features a Collector’s Market. The stock in the Collector’s Market changes continually, so stop in and have a browse. Admission to the Shop is free and doesn’t require a visit to the rest of the Museum. The shop also acts as a Tourist Information Point for Visit Brighton. Just ask any member of staff for the help you need. In the unlikely event that they can’t help, we can always Google it for you!