German Toy Museum

Sonneberg, in the mountainous region of Southern Thuringia, was regarded in the early twentieth century as the toy capital of the world. It is an ancient town, established in the early fourteenth century at the foot of the Schlossberg. From about 1830 some manufacturers switched from the traditional production of wooden dolls to the manufacture of dolls from porcelain. The best-known producers were Armand Marseille and Ernst Heubach.

 

After the Second World War Southern Thuringia became part of the DDR, and government policy forced toy manufacturers to join large–scale collectives. Ultimately the whole toy industry in East Germany was incorporated into one nationalised concern with 27,000 employees, 10,000 of whom were in Sonneberg. The combine was broken up after reunification. There was some contraction of the industry, but it remains lively, and today about 1,000 people work for small- and medium-sized companies in Sonneberg.

 

The museum, located in a handsome baroque building, contains model steam engines, large displays of model trains, vast numbers of tin soldiers and innumerable dolls. A particular feature is the representation of a Thuringian fairground, awarded a Grand Prix at the World Exposition in Brussels in 1910.Sonneberg, in the mountainous region of Southern Thuringia, was regarded in the early twentieth century as the toy capital of the world. It is an ancient town, established in the early fourteenth century at the foot of the Schlossberg. From about 1830 some manufacturers switched from the traditional production of wooden dolls to the manufacture of dolls from porcelain. The best-known producers were Armand Marseille and Ernst Heubach.

 

After the Second World War Southern Thuringia became part of the DDR, and government policy forced toy manufacturers to join large–scale collectives. Ultimately the whole toy industry in East Germany was incorporated into one nationalised concern with 27,000 employees, 10,000 of whom were in Sonneberg. The combine was broken up after reunification. There was some contraction of the industry, but it remains lively, and today about 1,000 people work for small- and medium-sized companies in Sonneberg.

 

The museum, located in a handsome baroque building, contains model steam engines, large displays of model trains, vast numbers of tin soldiers and innumerable dolls. A particular feature is the representation of a Thuringian fairground, awarded a Grand Prix at the World Exposition in Brussels in 1910.

German Toy Museum
Beethovenstrasse 10
96515 Sonneberg
Germany
+49 (0) 3675 - 702856
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