Adventures in East Asia

Totoman Toy Museum, Insadong

Just north of the Ssamziegil cultural complex in Insadong, along Insadong-gil, we stopped off at the 3rd floor Gallery Cafe, before inspecting the playful looking 2nd floor Totoman Museum.


Looking through its glass door entrance, we initially thought Totoman was a toy shop, but the cashier at the front desk explained in simple English that there was a 1,000 KRW (50p) charge to look around. So, Totoman the museum, it was.


Totoman was literally like a large shop, probably around five hundred square feet, full of clear cabinets that were stuffed with toys and figurines in a seemingly random order.


There were sometimes groups of similar items displayed together such as these Astro Boys and these dolls, but other times, I couldn't work out a theme or order.




Other visitors were busy *playing with* some of the toys on display although most of them were untouchable behind glass (or clear plastic) casing. These mildly x-rated figures were kept out of reach of greasy palms behind a sheet of plastic with a clear message in front.


Stacks of magazines and books could also be read and there were also displays or postcards and paper stationary that could be bought.




Some clothing items were also on display (?!).


Out of the collection at Totoman, there seemed to be an equal balance between retro toys (read: yellow with age), newer items from the last decade and everything in between.



One thing that struck me so far in our time in Seoul was that although we had just come across Totoman, there were not many toy figurines on sale. At least not to the scale of Taipei, Tokyo or Hong Kong. With Totoman and also another toy gallery we visited later in the week (Toykino), these establishments implied that the Koreans do have an interest in toy figures, but it's satisfied by viewing them and not necessarily in owning them.

More photos below and on the Totoman Gallery, Insadong on Flickr.






This entry posted in : Attractions. Shopping. South Korea.

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