Not surprisingly, according to a visitor survey, The World’s Largest Toy Museum in Branson gets the majority of its visitors from people who are driving by and stop out of curiosity.
I mean, who wouldn’t stop? The playful red and yellow striped roofing, the larger-than-life toy soldiers guarding the front entrance, the huge teddy bear waving you down from the side of the road … you know you would stop too.
Located just north of White Water on the strip, the World’s Largest Toy Museum is true to its name, featuring more than one million toys from the early colonial days up until now and is also home to the Harold Bell Wright Museum, an interesting historical collection of his personal items.
The museum is owned by Tom and Wendy Beck who used to live in Texas and it was there that they first purchased a small toy museum. They traveled the country, continually adding to their collection of toys at the museum and in 2001, the Becks bought the toy museum in Branson. They obtained the Harold Bell Wright materials shortly after in 2004.
About 2-3 percent of what you will see in the museum has been donated by families or individuals and the rest of the toys have been purchased and collected by the Becks throughout their travels. Even though the museum is already filled to the brim with fascinating toys, the owners hope to expand and continue adding to their collection for the enjoyment of their visitors.
When you visit the World’s Largest Toy Museum, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in your thoughts as well as physically, in the maze of dolls, bikes, action figures and planes but the simple sight of a familiar toy from your childhood will send you back to a time when life was less complicated and the most enjoyable part of your day was spending time with your ninja turtle action figures or feeling the wind in your face as you sped around the neighborhood on your bike.
Toy enthusiast, Ron Howard has been employed by the World’s Largest Toy Museum for about eight years now and he says the goal of the popular Branson attraction is to create a memorable experience for each guest.
“The toy museum provides triggers that take you back to memories of your childhood,” he said. “There’s something in here that reaches everyone who comes through that door.”
The World’s Largest Toy Museum appeals to visitors of all ages and I would encourage you to stop by if you haven’t already. And when you do visit, I dare you to try to get out of there without a fun-loving museum employee approaching you with magic coloring book or trick toy.
At this toy museum it’s always a fun time.
You can find the World’s Largest Toy Museum at 3609 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson MO 65616. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
For tickets or more information, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/buyWorldsLargestToyMuseumTickets.cfm.