Toys are the latest story at the North Carolina Museum of History!

In early Oct., the museum unveiled its newest free-to-see exhibit, Toy Boom! Toys from the 1950s & ’60s. Featuring vintage playthings in abundance—from an Easy-Bake Oven to Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots—this exhibit examines how the toys most beloved by baby boomers reflected the energy, ambition and abundance of a prosperous era, all while channeling the uncertainties of the period.

Toy Boom

“The baby-boomer years were a time of more in America… including more toys,” said Katie Edwards, the curator of popular culture at the North Carolina Museum of History. “We created this exhibit to help North Carolinians reflect on their paths from childhood to adulthood, including the toys that paved the way.”

Toy Boom! is curated into unique environments, including TV westerns, as well as space age, zany and creative toys, with many of the sections including dolls, action figures and more. The exhibit features multiple photo ops for visitors to share on social media.

Toy Boom

Visitors can see toys come to life with fun, hands-on interactive activities. Attendees can look forward to reliving their childhood with a larger-than-life Twister board, a giant Lite-Brite wall, an Etch A Sketch station, working Hot Wheels racing tracks (complete with inversion loops), a “Name that Tune” with TV Westerns game and digital Christmas catalog stations where visitors can digitally flip through the pages to look at vintage toys.

Why focus on the boomer era? Post-World War II, a soaring birthrate made America become a more child-focused culture. Parents believed toys would help children find their correct place in society. Television was a huge factor, and for the first time, toys were marketing to kids directly.

Toy Boom

Toy Boom! is a free exhibit, open daily at the North Carolina Museum of History (Mon.-Sat., 9am-5pm; Sun., noon-5pm). The exhibit will run through Jan. 3, 2021.
 

Upcoming events in Raleigh, N.C.

Pick an event, plan a trip (and save some time to visit the North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State Capitol—all within a few steps of each other—while you're here!):

  • 2019 North Carolina State Fair, Oct. 17-27
  • Falling for Local at Dorothea Dix Park, Oct. 19
  • Exhibit: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, opens Oct. 26
  • 2019 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Championship, Oct. 27
  • Carolina Artisan Craft Market, Nov. 1-3
  • Moonlight in the Garden, Nov. 7-16
  • Vintage Market Days of the NC Triangle Presents: "Home for the Holidays", Nov. 15-17
  • North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, opens Nov. 22
  • 75th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade, Nov. 23
  • Carolina Ballet presents The Nutcracker, Dec. 18-29
  • First Night Raleigh, Dec. 31

While it's certainly beginning to feel a lot like summer, the coming July 4th holiday is going to be a different one to say... View More

Note: Authored by David Menconi, this piece has been produced in partnership with Raleigh Arts. While the coronavirus shutdown... View More

Last updated July 2, 2020 Restaurants in the Raleigh area—and across the state—are currently operating with some... View More

Origin Raleigh has opened their doors in downtown Raleigh, steps away from Trophy Brewing Company, Morgan Street Food Hall and... View More

Note: Authored by David Menconi, this piece has been produced in partnership with Raleigh Arts. Raleigh, N.C., band Jack the... View More

Support these delicious restaurants and great shops owned by members of the Black community here in the Raleigh area. And if we... View More

Note, May 27: Due to COVID-19, the hours or operational status of some of the items below have changed. We have included current... View More

Please note: City of Raleigh parks facilities have been operating with some changes due to COVID-19. While parks, greenways and... View More