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!):

When the weather turns frightfully chilly, nothing warms you faster than a delicious adult beverage, enjoyed in the comfort of a... View More

With the holidays fast approaching, you may feel a bit panicky about getting your holiday shopping done. Relax, take a deep... View More

Soaring from a humble airplane hangar to a massive beer empire in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., brew boss Mark Doble knows the ins and... View More

It's safe to say 2019 has been one of the best years ever for foodies in the Raleigh area. In Jan., the much-hyped Transfer... View More

Have family visiting and looking for things to do over the Thanksgiving weekend? We’ve got you covered! From jaw-dropping... View More

Crafting an irresistible and mouth-watering pizza is a solemn art form that many pie purveyors in the Raleigh area have elevated... View More

A 200-foot-long, 21-foot-tall mythical phoenix has invaded Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C. Yes, the North Carolina Chinese... View More

Every two weeks, we send out a newsletter that includes the best of the best upcoming events. If you sign up for our E-magazine,... View More