Swindon Museum and Art Gallery are always grateful to those who donate objects to its collection. Over the years items from a 19th century fire engine to a tiny Swindon crested china thimble have all been loving accepted into the Collection and cared for. But now they are asking if anyone has anything slightly more modern than what we think a Museum might hold.
For the next four weeks, the Museum in Old Town is using their Pick of the Month cabinet to display some of the most popular children’s toys of the late 1980s and early 1990s made by Swindon-based Bluebird toys. On display they have two Mighty Max toys sets, a Polly Pocket toy set, and a Big Yellow Teapot.
The Museum and Art Gallery need your help.
A spokesperson said: "Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is looking for donations of Polly Pocket and Mighty Max toys, and are particularly keen to acquire a Big Red Fun Bus and Jumbo Fun Plane. We want to better reflect this important Swindon business which did so much to enrich play time for children of the 80s and 90s.
"These objects won’t be on permanent display, we are planning to create display of Bluebird toys in 2020. Swindon’s Social History collections cover all aspects of Swindon’s past, and we are currently acquiring objects associated with the town’s postwar history and major employers."
Bluebird Toys was founded in 1980 by Sir Torquil Patrick Alexander Norman. Their first successful toy was the famous Big Yellow Teapot, currently on loan to the Museum and on display throughout August. The Teapot used bright colours and hardwearing plastic to create a modern take on the traditional doll’s house. It was followed by the Big Red Fun Bus and Big Jumbo Fun Plane.
As well as the Bus, Teapot and Plane, Bluebird Toys also made the Polly Pocket range, introduced in 1989, and was a global phenomenon. Children loved the small interactive toys which came in a variety of designs with different characters and movable elements. Although the sets were made in China, they were all stamped with “Bluebird Toys Swindon England”.
Mighty Max was launched in 1992 and was primarily aimed at boys, with its combination of monsters and sci-fi elements. More than eighty different sets were created, as well as a tie-in video game, battle cards, watches and backpacks.
In 1998 the company was purchased by Mattel and closed its Swindon headquarters in Cheney Manor.
You must be the legal owner (or acting under instruction from the legal owner) of an item in order to donate it to the Museum. Swindon Museum and Art gallery reserves the right to decline donations.