Fun Ho! National Toy Museum

The Fun Ho! National Toy Museum is a toy museum in Inglewood, Taranaki.

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The museum displays the popular New Zealand made Fun-Ho! toys that were produced between 1935-1982.

Harold (Jack) Underwood began making toys from his Wellington basement in the 1930s. His first toys were made from lead. This was not very healthy and he changed to aluminium around 1940.

Jack later moved to Taranaki and opened a factory in Inglewood.

By the mid 1970s, over a million Fun Ho! toys were sold each year. In the late 1970s import restrictions were lifted allowing cheaper imported toys. Sadly this lead to toy production ceasing in 1982 and the factory closed in 1987.

Barry Young, who had worked for Jack for about 30 years had a big collection of Fun Ho! toys, and when the factory closed he took the rest of the collection.

In the old factory Barry opened the Fun Ho! National Toy Museum. The museum later moved to its current site in the town, where is it also operates as the Inglewood Visitor Information Centre (look for the fire engine on the roof – a replica Model No 105 Large Fire Engine)

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The museum has about 3000 Fun Ho! toys as well as many other New Zealand made toys. Today reproductions are made onsite in the workshop. If you are lucky the toymaker may be firing up the furnace when you visit. They use the original moulding plates – including ones from the 1940s.

Yes they sell reproduction toys in the shop and repair and restore them too.

The Fun Ho! National Toy Museum and Inglewood Info Centre is located at 25 Rata Street, Inglewood. Inglewood is 16 kilometres southeast of New Plymouth.

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Musée Mécanique, San Francisco

Musée Mécanique is a collection of penny arcade games located in a museum on Pier 45 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

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‘Laughing Sal’ – one of San Francisco’s most nostalgic landmarks at Playland from from 1940 – 1972.

Ed Zelinksy begun collecting at age 11. Originally his collection was exhibited at Playland, an amusement park located next to Ocean Beach.

In 1972 Playland closed and the Musée Mécanique collection moved into the basement of the Cliff House (click here to read my blog post on the Cliff House).

In 2002 Musée Mécanique was moved to Fisherman’s Wharf. Today it is owned and managed by Ed’s son Dan Zelinsky.

There are over 200 coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and arcade games. It is free to enter the museum, but visitors pay to play the games. The games are priced from one cent to a dollar. There are change machines available.

Musée Mécanique is located at in Shed A, Pier 45, which is at the foot of Taylor Street.

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Puke Ariki

Puke Ariki, which opened in 2003, is an combined museum, library and tourist information centre in New Plymouth.

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The Museum has three permanent galleries Taranaki Naturally, Taranaki Life, and Takapou Whāriki. These exhibitions explore Taranaki’s geological, early settler life, and Māori history. There also two temporary galleries for visiting and short term exhibitions.

The Museum is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm and 9am to 5pm on weekends.

There is an airbridge that links the Museum and i-Site with the public library. The library is open the same hours as the museum, except for a late night on Wednesday with a 9pm closure.

Puke Ariki is located at 1 Ariki Street, New Plymouth.

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Taranaki Pioneer Village

Taranaki Pioneer Village is an outdoor museum experience representing a Taranaki Village from 1850 to 1950.

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The 10 acre property has over 40 original buildings dating back to 1853. Buildings onsite include the Tariki Railway Station (1903), Opunake Railway Station (1925), Stratford Courthouse (1895), Mangatoki Church (1904), Kaponga Jail (1914), and Pembroke School (circa 1930s).

There are also historic homesteads and many village shops including a bank, barber, bookbinder, butcher, chemist, cobbler, Doctors and dental surgery, drapery, grocery store, hardware store library, post office, and printshop.

There also also agricultural buildings, such as a dairy factory, forge and saddlery, barn, and cow shed.

All the buildings are set up inside with artefacts from pioneer times. The Pioneer Village also has live days where a barber, bookbinder, forge, and printshop operate.

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Library

The Pioneer Village also includes the Stratford Hospital Museum, which was developed after the closure of Stratford Hospital, and is run by a group of retired nurses.

There is a Pioneer Express train, which is based on Barclay shunting engine that would have been used in Stratford in the 1920’s. The train does two circuits of the perimeter of the Village. I recommend doing this first to get a layout of the Village.

During the summer months the Pioneer Village is open daily, during the winter months it is open Wednesday to Sunday. Check their website for current hours.

Taranaki Pioneer Village is located at 3912 Mountain Rd, Stratford.

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Pioneer Express Train and Opunake Railway Station

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Stratford Courthouse

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Kaponga Jail, Cobbler’s shop, and Police Station

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Mangatoki Church

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Pembroke School

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Barber

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New Plymouth Savings Bank

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Stratford Hospital Museum

Gallipoli: The scale of our war

Gallipoli: The scale of our war is an exhibition on at Te Papa focused on the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War.

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The exhibition is told through real-life stories of eight New Zealanders – seven soldiers and one nurse. Each person tells a part of the eight month Gallipoli campaign.

The highlight of the exhibition are the large scale models of the eight featured New Zealanders. The models designed by Weta Workshop are 2.4 times human size. These figures took 24,000 hours to create, and they each weigh between 90kg and 150kg.

There is a short six-part series online, which is explores the behind the scenes process of creating this exhibition.

The exhibition, which cost $8 million to develop, also features other models, dioramas, interactive displays, and artefacts, such as uniforms, weapons, and personal diaries.

Gallipoli: the scale of our war is located on level 2 of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington. Exhibition is open daily 10am – 6pm until April 2019 and is free to visit.

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Brickman: Wonders of the World

Brickman: Wonders of the World is a touring exhibition made entirely from lego® bricks currently on at Auckland War Memorial Museum.

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The exhibition is led by Ryan ‘Brickman’ McNaught, the only LEGO® Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere and one of only 14 in the world.

This exhibition first premiered in Brisbane in 2016 and was followed with an Australian tour visiting Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Over the summer the exhibition was on at Te Papa in Wellington before a three week run in Hamilton earlier this year.

The exhibition features over 50 large-scale Lego monuments including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Arc de Triomphe, the Titanic, and many more.

There is plenty of interactive stations where kids (and ‘big kids at heart’) can build their own models to add to the exhibit.

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Interactive Stations

McNaught and his team spent 4,944 hours and used over two million bricks, weighing five tons to build these amazing LEGO® masterpieces.

There is also a pop-up LEGO® store in the special exhibitions hall foyer.

The exhibition is on for one more week at the Auckland War Memorial Museum before it closes on Sunday, May 13th.

On a side note the Let Me Myself – The Life Story of Anne Frank touring exhibition developed by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is also on at the Auckland War Memorial Museum until May 13th.

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STATUE OF LIBERTY – 8,820 pieces; 43 hours to build

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BIG BEN – 18,437 pieces; 94 hours to build

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NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS – 9,532 pieces; 65 hours to build

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ARC DE TRIOMPHE – 30,000 pieces; 170 hours to build

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SINKING TITANIC – 133,900 pieces; 240 hours to build

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GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE – 27,268 pieces; 125 hours to build

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TAJ MAHAL – 55,000 pieces; 128 hours to build

Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum is in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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The museum, which was founded in 1886, has three permanent galleries – natural history, modern history, and First Nations’ history.

There are over 7 million items in the museum’s collection.

The Royal BC Museum is located at 675 Belleville St, Victoria.

Below are some photos from the First Nations’ exhibit.

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Trekcetera Museum

Trekcetera Museum is a small museum in Alberta, Canada displaying over 300 authentic screen-used costumes, props and set pieces from film and television.

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In 2013, Trekcetera Museum opened in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada. It closed in 2016 and relocated from the Star Trek capital of Canada to Drumheller – the Dinosaur capital.

While there is a strong focus on the Star Trek series, the museum has costumes and props from television series, such as The Carol Burnett Show, The Drew Carey ShowHell on Wheels, Sherlock HolmesThunderbirds and Terra Nova.

There are also items from films including Brokeback MountainCaptain AmericaHarry PotterMagnificent Seven, Men in BlackPirates of the Caribbean, and Titanic.

They also have real pirate treasure from the Atocha to complement their Pirates of the Caribbean display and artifacts from the R.M.S. Titanic and R.M.S. Olympic to complement the Titanic display.

The museum is located at 802 Hwy 9 South, Drumheller.

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Cape from Superman III

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Brokeback Mountain

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The Drew Carey Show

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Dumbledore’s Will, Harry Potter

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Miniature from Titanic

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is a museum and palaeontology research centre in Alberta, Canada.

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The museum, which was established in 1985, is named after geologist Joseph Burr Tyrrell who accidentally discovered the first dinosaur fossil in the Red Deer River Valley in 1884.

Today the museum has a collection of more than 130,000 fossils.

It is a highly interactive space and visitors should allow at least 2 – 3 hours to visit. A highlight has to be the Dinosaur Hall, which has over 40 dinosaur skeletons.

Visitors can also peer through the glass window to the fossil lab and see palaeontologists at work.

From May 15 to August 31 the museum is open 7 days from 9am to 9pm. From September 1 to May 14 it is open from 10 am to 5pm. Note from October to May the museum is closed on Mondays.

The museum is located 6 km (4 miles) northwest of the township of Drumheller at 1500 North Dinosaur Trail.

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Fossil Lab

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Papakura Museum

Papakura Museum is a community run museum in the South Auckland suburb of Papakura.

Papakura Museum

Papakura Museum

The Museum is housed in the Museum and Library Building, which also houses Sir Edmund Hilary Library, a café and an educational services store. Pedestrian access is at 209 Great South Road. There is an undercover parking building at 28 East Street (street behind the museum).

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Sculptures outside Papakura Museum

Sculpture art outside Papakura Museum

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4:30pm with a late night on Wednesday (open till 6pm). It is open Saturday 10am to 3pm. The museum is closed Sundays and public holidays.

Entry is free by donations are appreciated.

They currently have an exhibition As We Saw It: Letters to and from the Front, WWI, which features a collection of letters, diaries, postcards and official war documents from the First World War. The exhibition also includes photographs, personal memorabilia, and war uniforms.

The remainder of the museum explores Papakura’s local history including the town’s involvement in Māori Land Wars, World Wars, industry and local business.

Lieutenant C V Grant Jacket, WW I

Lieutenant C V Grant Jacket, WW I

WWI Medals

WWI Medals

Letter from 14-year-old Papakura Central School girl to Sergeant Lionel Lloyd James Grice

Letter from 14-year-old Papakura Central School girl to Sergeant Lionel Lloyd James Grice