With Toy Story 3 finally out in UK cinemas, we thought this would be an appropriate time to visit London's very own toy museum, Pollock's. Considering its central location, this enigmatic small museum and shop remains scandalously obscure.
Pollock's occupies two 18th century houses behind Goodge Street station. It is named after Benjamin Pollock (1856-1937) a Victorian maker of toy theatres, and is currently run by his grandson Eddy who doesn't seem to have touched any of the exhibits in years. You may explore the two houses at leisure and are given a leaflet as a guide. The stairs do creak a little, the carpet is somewhat worn, and there is a slight smell, but this all adds to the charm.
Every room, every wall space, every twist and turn is filled with every conceivable type of old toy: tin toys, mechanical toys, china dolls, dolls houses, puppets, rocking horses, board games, Victorian theatres and objects from every corner of the globe. Unfortunately, but understandably, nearly everything is kept behind glass which is really sad when you get to the rooms filled with teddy bears and dolls, who look like they could do with a cuddle.
Pollock's Toy Museum and shop is at 1 Scala Street, London W1T 2HN. Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 10 am-5 pm. Last entry to museum 4.30pm.
By Helen Soteriou