Pastimes: Toys and Games


Take a trip down memory lane and explore toys and games from the last 150 years.

Discover why toy soldiers are now made from plastic and not lead, the rise and fall of fad toys, why Tetris theory is used in psychology, how Pokémon helped get people more active and why Star Wars started a toy revolution. 

Stay and play with playable tables, technology and classic board games on offer. Build models together with LEGO, teach a child Hopscotch and play Cat’s Cradle or enjoy the nostalgic retro fun of Super Mario on the NES! 

Puzzles, tabletop games and playing cards are available for families to rediscover the joy of playing these nostalgic games and spending quality time together. 

Public programmes and School Holiday classes accompany this exhibition.

Supported by Ohnyx IT Solutions and Deco Precasters

Image credit: 'Buzzy Bee', H.E. Ramsey Limited; manufacturer(s); circa 1943; Auckland, wood. Gift of Judith Clearwater on behalf of Robin Clearwater, 2012, Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Pair of roller skates with white ankle-length boots, c. 1950s . Collection of Te Manawa Museums Trust, Palmerston North