Brighton Toy and Model Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of rare and unique model trains, construction toys, cars, bears and dolls. Founded by Chris Littledale over 25 years ago, not only is it a treasure trove of childhood memories, but also a unique venue for comedy, theatre and music, so when you come to see a show you also get a chance to look at some of our fine exhibits! Brighton Toy and Model Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, although many of our special events take place in the evening. Check our website and social media for details.
On the main floor of the museum you’ll find our O gauge railway layout. It includes many rare vintage trains which we regularly run on our popular Train Running Days when we also take down the Perspex screens so your view of these unique antique toys is unimpeded. They travel around the tracks, under tunnels and bridges, past hotels, cricket matches, and streets all laid out and cared for by experts in railway history, both model and real.
Around the museum you’ll find a range of other toys which you may remember from your own childhood, or have heard about from your parents and grandparents. We have Hornby trainsets, Steiff and Dean’s cuddly toys, dolls and doll houses, Corgi, Triang, Matchbox and Spot-On cars, boats, and aeroplanes, lead soldiers, cowboys and Indians, a scale zoo with lions and tigers and bears, and much more!
We have a puppet theatre area in which you’ll find many favourite Pelham Puppets, paper theatres and pop-up books plus characters made popular by TV and film. Many of these are too delicate to play with, but press a button and they will dance for your entertainment!
And amongst all those other attractions you’ll find our latest temporary exhibition, ‘Lego Before Lego’, an informative collection of toys from Lego’s early history, before they became known for making the iconic plastic bricks which have become an important part of modern childhood. This collection sits alongside the many alternative forerunners and contemporary building toys to give context to the development and success of the Lego brand.
Many of our exhibits, like the dancing puppets, the funicular railway, and Penny Arcade games are interactive, press a button, turn a wheel or put a coin in and you can enjoy the toys as they were intended to be when they were created long ago. We offer a number of different activities for children to get involved with too, which makes their visit even more fun! These include quizzes, themed trails, caption competitions and our popular #MuseumSelfie competition where the winner wins a family free family ticket for their next visit.