It’s not too unusual to find creepiness in what should be innocuous places. On one level, things do look quite different to adults, but that’s only part of the story. Enter the Million Toy Museum, which we saw a sign for the last time we were in Ayutthaya.
Started by Krirk Yoonpun in October 2008, the professor has drawn illustrations for children’s books for decades and won several prizes for them (including a prestigious NOMA award in 1982). After visiting the Kitahara Toy Museum and the Hakone Toy Museum in Japan, he decided to open his own in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
When you collect toys for 25 years, you’re bound to have quite the collection — it’s safe to say there are indeed at least a million toys. While organized, there’s very little detail or information at play here.
How many bunnies can you stuff in a glass counter?
While much of the first floor focuses on toys, there are a number of other odd exhibits — ostensibly from his own collection, but there’s little to understand.
This reminded me of the final scene from Shrek, although there weren’t quite so many dancing Fionas there. Not pictured and off to the right are a couple of very lucky Shrek figures.
Some of the professor’s artwork — it takes up one of the first-floor corners.
The second floor switches gears. On one hand there are still plenty of toys around, including several life-size Ultra Man (Ultra Men?) for photo ops.
The reflections in the glass might make a bit difficult to see that these are liquor bottles — tiny ones like you’d buy at a convenience store. Second floor exhibitions tend to focus more on Thai lifestyle along with toys.
A 10 meter long panorama, seemingly hand-drawn in a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ fashion. Keep your eyes peeled by some puns and unexpected awesomeness mixed into the colorful trees and animals.
Also on display: the sculptures, ivory, cultural artifacts, or the hundreds of amulets to go along with the silverware, glass bottles, and some old Thai currency. It’s an odd addition to a colorful museum, and if you’re bringing kids you can safely skip.
It’s well worth the trip the next time you’re in Ayutthaya — be ready to pose for some photos, and take in the souvenirs (toys, postcards, etc.).
Name: Million Toy Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์ล้านของเล่นเกริก ยุ้นพันธ์)
Address: Thawasukri 45 Moo 2 Tambon Muang Thong, Ayutthaya (45 หมู่ 2 ถ.อู่ทอง ต. ท่าวาสุกรี อ. เมืองพระนครศรีอยุธยา จ. พระนครศรีอยุธยา) — GPS: 14.360343,100.552529
Directions: Take a tuk-tuk or bike here. From the tourist-friendly street of Ayutthaya, head down to Naresuan road and head west / right. Go 800 meters to Chikun road, then go north / take a right. You’ll see Wat Mahathat and Wat Rat Praditthan across the street. Go about 900 meters to Uthong, then cross the road and head left / west. It’s about 1.7 kilometers from here, and you’ll see it on your right, just past Khlong Tho.
Admission: 50 baht.
Phone: 086–334–4581 was the number that rang through for us, but I’m pretty sure this is someone’s mobile phone. Give 035–328–950 a try (and yes, I know it’s one digit short)