June 17, 2013 : allenc
Come join us for a journey back in time. We’re going back to the time before Amazon One Click…before we had the Internet, or superhighways. Our destination is more than a century ago when Model T’s were a new invention. Back then, travelling salespeo ...
Today’s toys are mostly electronic gadgets that keep kids rooted in one spot for hours on end. But sitting in attics and basements around the world are toys from a bygone era – when toys were more likely to exhibit craftsmanship and whimsy, and ran mostly on imagination rather than voltage.
Now we give toys like them a new home where they can inspire the imaginations of future generations.
“I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from folks who want to donate toys or toy collections,” said toy museum owner Ron Sturgeon. “Like me, these people are interested in leaving a legacy by sharing their prized possessions with others.”
In 2009, Sturgeon opened DFW Elite Toy Museum to donations. The museum is home to approximately 3,000 toys, mostly automotive-related. Perhaps the museum’s most treasured artifact is the Eva Braun car, a model of the pre-WWII Mercedes that Hitler reportedly gave to his girlfriend.
The museum specializes in automobilia including models, but contains a little bit of everything. Sturgeon adds that, “visitors always confirm what we’ve heard time and time again: this is a “repository of cool stuff.” Included in our eclectic exhibits is a turn-of-the century dog carrier for the doting owner traveling by train.
Visitors will also find a late-19th century chair-scale used to weigh jockeys.
“Our female visitors never want to sit in it,” Sturgeon joked. The museum’s collection includes bronzes, wall art, pedal cars, tractors, and intricate, working and built-to-scale salesmen’s samples of farm machinery and automobiles.
Sturgeon has accepted donations of toys, but is being cautious not to overload the museum with items it doesn’t have room to display. Typically, these donations came from someone who wanted to create a legacy, or honor someone. Sturgeon displays information About the honored person, the donor and the collection. The museum is open five days a week and does not charge an admission fee.
Sturgeon, a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, began the museum as a natural extension of his passion for collecting vintage automobiles. He had a particular fondness for Mercedes, and at one point decided to try and collect every toy Mercedes ever made. His ambition changed as he began adding other to his collection. Today, he owns one of the most extensive collections of European Driver’s School models in the world.
Each toy that comes into Sturgeon’s possession is meticulously catalogued and lovingly cared for. He has never sold any of them.
“These toys are tiny bits of history, and I feel it’s my responsibility and privilege to be able to share them with the rest of the world,” he said.