Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

March 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Tucked away in a side-street near Notting Hill and Portobello Road is the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertsing. If you’re feeling nostalgic for turn of the century consumer products or want to see how the advertising and goods have evolved to today then this museum might be for you.

The largest displays deal with the periods between the late 1800s to the 1950s. While I didn’t recognise most of the brands on display I did overhear a number of oohs and aahhs from a contingent of pensioners wandering through. So clearly it resonates with some people. Reading about how early consumerism developed in Britain was interesting and seeing some of the early advertisements was amusing (like smoking while playing tennis). Most of the time periods also feature a small section dealing with toys.

After the 1950s the space devoted to each decade begins to rapidly shrink. From the 1960s I started to see some more familiar brands and packaging – although still quite different to their modern counterparts. The 1970s had a number of children’s toys (in their original packaging) from shows like Star Wars and Star Trek (that’s right you heard me collectors). I would have preferred more information and shelf space for the 1980s to the present as it is there was barely a wall of content for each of these decades.

Perhaps I have a broader view of the term ‘brands’ than the museum intends but I had hoped to see – especially by the 80s onwards – displays dealing with TV and later internet advertising and its influence on brands. Unfortunately the museum only showcases some posters and predictably focuses on the packaging.

It was a reasonable experience and might be useful for some people but personally I think having to pay £5.80 (adult) makes the museum less than worthwhile. However the collection of toys – while small – does provide a better snapshot than Pollocks of toys throughout the century. Although the latter has a much larger number of toys for the period it focuses on.

Pollocks Toy Museum

February 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Random, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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Located in a side street near Goodge Street tube is the small and quaint Pollocks Toy Museum. The outside of the museum and toy shop looks a little run down but the staff seemed cheery. Although that could be because we were paying £5 (adult) to enter the museum.

Pollocks Toy Museum Pollocks Toy Museum (3)

The museum is located above the shop and via some occasionally cramped stairwells. Many of the exhibits and all of the rooms offer a synopsis of the content.

Generally the displays are most suited for those of a certain age and interest in older toys. The bulk is focused on dolls and dollhouses with a few sections on games and other assorted turn of the century children’s toys. Rather incongruously we noticed in one case a Kellogg’s Rice Bubbles Box with a Phantom Menace Game on the back.

While some of the pieces were interesting it wasn’t something I’d recommend unless you particularly like dolls. Nonetheless there was a stream of people coming in, mainly families with small children and retirees.

Personally, I think the museum would benefit by giving up some shelf space to some more recent toys from the 60s to the present, which would help to diversify the age of visitors.

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