We found some really creepy ones as part of an exhibit of historical toys in the otherwise quite interesting Madatech – Museum of Science and Technology in Haifa, to which we were admitted FREE!! thanks to our still-valid Ontario Science Centre museum membership, which reciprocates with many other science museums around the world.
After enjoying the science museum for a couple of hours – perhaps the subject of another post! – we happened to wander into this room, which is the creepy-doll exhibit. The exhibit features this charming poster in English and Arabic; I didn’t spot a Hebrew version, but perhaps it was elsewhere.
Elisheva in particular was deeply tickled by this invitation to go “back in time… to a time when playing with toys meant taking them down off the shelf, and not downloading them from the internet.” Hmm… is that really what “playing with toys” has come to mean to our kids today?
[Although it seems to me that if you got a good enough 3-d printer, you could indeed download your toys from the Internet, or at least, printable schematics for print-your-own assemble-at-home toys.]
In any event, I’d hate to mock “toys that succeeded to survive, and thus enable a glance at toys… manufactured by… craftsmen, carpenters and peasants…”
Yes, these are truly a peasant-crafted wonder, with their strange, beseeching expressions, cast in plaster or rubber or china, bodies stuffed with sawdust or horsehair or something else similarly historic, each one more precious and/or creepy than the last.
Can’t you just hear them screaming out at you from the pages of history???
Here’s a motley group of mainly rubber dollies…
Very busy dollies – yo-yo’ing…
Hosting a tea party…
This doll didn’t look like she could be trusted with her scissors, quite…
“Hey, I’d better get off these train tracks before someone runs me down!!!”
“To infinity and beyond!”
Mainly, I think we all left the exhibit convinced that despite random moments of coolness in the past and despite how that meddlesome Internet spoils the fun and innocence of children’s play, most toys today (except for the very cheapest, which includes many of the lower- and medium-end ones sold here in Israel) are better – cuter, better-working, longer-lasting and funner – than toys a long time ago.
(Note: if you are making aliyah OR spending large amounts of time in Israel, check for deals like this because FREE!! is a great price! This membership is still good until December and also gets us into the Weizmann museum which is a shlep away in Rehovot but apparently includes some great stuff including dinosaurs. I will also here point out that my friend Shira mentioned this long before we made aliyah and I totally forgot, then thought of it “all on my own”!)
Even if you have no membership from outside of Israel, entrance to Madatech, all of these dolls included!, is a deeply discounted ₪20 for new olim within the first year of aliyah!