The sign outside the Penang Toy Museum says "Welcome to the World's Largest Toy Museum". Somehow I doubt it is the world's largest and anyway it is not a true toy museum in the sense that it does not have so many categories of toys.
What it is however is a massive hoard of movie and TV-related models, dolls, figurines and miniature collectables, mostly made from plastic and resin.
It is the personal collection and labour of love of the museum's owner, Mr. Loh Lean Cheng, who has amassed more than 110,000 exhibits over a period of 30 years.
In fact he has another 30,000 items stored offsite due to lack of display space in the museum.
Mr. Loh has turned his hobby and passion into a nice little earner. He claims the museum attracts 100,000 visitors annually (and I have seen higher estimates). Multiply that number by the admission charges (see below) and you do the maths - a handsome income!
He certainly does not waste too much money on overheads. The museum is housed in the former premises of a nightclub called Shock Egypt at the Copthorne Orchid Hotel and the original tired Egyptian themed decor is still in evidence.
The exhibits are mostly displayed on cheap metal shelving more suited to a warehouse. Some of the glass panels and floor tiles are cracked and patched up with sticky tape. The place could do with a good clean and staffing is minimal.
Having said all that, if you are a fan of movie memorabilia, you will forgive the flaws in presentation and simply drool over this enormous collection.
Here are just a few of the characters and themes on display:
Super Heroes & Comic Book Characters. Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Wolverine, Professor X.
Classics. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Goofy, Jungle Book, Pinocchio, Barbie.
Rock and Sporting Legends. Beatles, Kiss, Queen, Muhammad Ali, Smackdown.
Movie Blockbusters. Planet of the Apes, Shrek, ET, Star Wars, Star Trek, Bugs Life, Monsters Inc, Kung Fu Panda, Toy Story, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mr. Bean, Frankenstein, Chucky.
Japanese. Pokémon, Doraemon, Sailor Moon.
...... and many, many more.
In addition to the scale models, the museum also has obtained some unique life-sized figurines of blockbuster movie characters (such as Lara Croft) directly from Hollywood.
I am a fan of collectables and for that reason I have included the Penang Toy Museum on my list of Top Penang Attractions. However if you are not really into static displays of models or are expecting a more conventional toy museum, you might well be disappointed by this place.
My ten year old daughter said "it was OK but not very interactive".
Open daily from 10am to 8:30pm.
Malaysians with MyKad pay RM10 per adult and RM6 per child.
Foreigners, annoyingly, have to pay more - RM20 adults and RM10 children. The man at the entrance (might have been Mr. Loh) would not accept my Malaysian Driving License to qualify for the Malaysian rate (they accept it in other places such as KL Bird Park).
Penang Toy Museum
Jalan Tanjung Bungah
11200 Tanjung Bunga, Penang
It is easy to find. It is directly in front of the Copthorne Orchid Hotel.
The location is marked on the map on the main Top Penang Attractions page