Located on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City offers a unique opportunity to travel back in time in miniature. The thirty eight room building is home to the largest collection of miniatures and toys in the Midwestern United States. The collection allows viewers to see the kinds of toys that fascinated children in the 1880’s and 1900’s. Enjoy looking at vintage and antique toy train sets, dollhouses, dolls, and toy cars as you move through the exhibition. In addition to miniatures, one of the most popular exhibits is located in the Marble Games and Gallery Room. This exhibit contains one of the largest collections of marbles on a worldwide basis. Donated by Cathy and Larry Svacina, the collection also provides some hands on activities including using a marble ring and the marble maze.
Billed as the largest exhibit of fine scale miniatures in the world, the miniature collection includes a pair of dueling pistols with a working mechanism and an antique desk with more than 19 secret drawers. Of interest to children, miniaturists, historians and artisans the miniature collection and its intricately crafted furniture and other items is sure to amaze.
One of the most well known miniature artisans whose work is displayed at the museum is Bill Robertson. Bill started his work with miniatures at the age of fifteen after being inspired by the collections of model and miniature boats, street scenes, and planes he saw while visiting the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, where he grew up. His work is in the popular 1:12 miniature scale ratio. His miniatures include miniature scale furniture, tools and architectural details. He generally uses small scale hand tools including small hand planes which he created. Robertson’s miniatures have been on display at the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City for more than twenty five years.