The identity of the Suomenlinna Toy Museum is to be an old timey collection museum: here the visitor gets to admire the beautiful and extraordinary artefacts, wonder at the changing times and reflect on their grandparents’ lives. This is not a playground or a children’s culture centre, those you can find in Helsinki City Museum and Espoo. Our target group is nostalgics, hungry for the romance of bygone times, irrespective of age or gender.
The Toy Museum was started by an artist and antique dealer Piippa Tandefelt, and is now being continued by her daughter Petra Tandefelt since 2003. The collection, like the museum, is private and 100% self-sufficient.
The Toy Museum is open for two seasons: Summer and Christmas. During the Summer season we are open daily, from the beginning of May until the end of September. Outside these seasons we are open mainly on weekends, and we are always open during the Easter holidays, welcome! At Christmas, the museum is open from the first Advent to epiphany. At Christmas time, of course, the museum has all the old Christmas decorations and elves in the collection on display.
The museum space has been renovated and expanded twice already, allowing more space for the growing collection – even the soviet toys finally made it to the showcases! Yet, we are still short on space. Another issue is our location on the map, not exactly central. This makes expanding to the residential floors of the Villa not sensible. Our customer flow is not enough to support such a big renovation, even though we’re always dreaming and planning!
Take a look at the Toy Museum Story on video (subtitles in english):
The Collector Petra Tandefelt gathered toy stories and delicious pastry recipes into a book, Nallerouva Hunajapurkin Herkkukirja – nostalgisia leluja ja reseptejä (Tammi 2012). Two editions were printed and both sold out, but you can still lend it out from the library (unfortunately the book is available only in Finnish). 2019 saw the self-publication, The Toy Cabinet – Stories from the Toy Museum, which brings background to the iconic jewels of the collection, come to life. The book is available at the Toy Museum and is also available in English.
The Toy Museum as the museum Café Samovarbar has loyal customers around the world. We are very grateful for any support, including psychological: happy customers are our best sales agents. We hope that you will enjoy your turn in our cute little museum!
See 360°-view of the exhibition