When the Dawn Princess stopped in Singapore last week, my goal was to head to Raffles and have a Singapore Sling. But on the way there I took a wrong turn and ended up instead at the MINT.

A five storey establishment hidden between the tall buildings near Singapore’s Raffles City Complex, the MINT or Museum of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys claims to be the world’s first purpose-built museum of toys.

It was opened in 2007 by toy fanatic Chang Yang Fa who, having started collecting toys from the age of six, had ended up with a massive collection of over 50,000 rare and vintage toys from around the world he wanted to showcase.

Wandering around the MINT, my fingers itched to get hold of the wind up toys, spinning flying saucers, and various Star Trek guns. But due to the fragility and the high value of some of it’s collection (the long nosed Mickey Mouse is valued at $35,000) the MINT is a ‘look but don’t touch’ museum, with all the toys encased in special glass and temperature controlled back lighting.

     

Still, even with the no touch policy, the MINT is a toy lovers treasure trove. From collectibles such as wind up climbing monkeys, tin elephants, and lunch boxes to board games featuring the Monkees and the Beatles, each theme based floor displays hundreds of items that remind visitors of a much simpler time when playing required simple toys and a large dose of imagination.