Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Check out the toy cars and trucks in the World's Largest Toy Museum in Branson, Mo.

One of the sub-categories we delve into here from time to time is the fascinating world of toy and model cars, and it so happens that there is an impressive public collection just south of us in Branson, Mo.

The World's Largest Toy Museum is full of all kinds of toy cars and trucks, both rare and common. It would be easy to get caught up in all of this for hours once you get through the doors, but Branson has so many other things to do that you had better plan your time accordingly.

Some of the more interesting transportation toys included cast metal trucks like the popular and valuable Smith-Miller line, a smattering of dealer promos, old slush metal cars and trucks from the 1940s and earlier, a large Hot Wheels collection, vintage tin litho gas stations, and more.

The collection is loosely arranged by theme, so there's a big fire truck section, an ambulance section, a group of race cars, Nylint moving vans, TV displays such as Dukes of Hazzard vehicles, and on and on.

There's also a real Cadillac sedan from the 1920s and an old Rolls Royce in there. The tour guide will give you a story about how the Rolls transported the queen. Anyway, they're in there, but they really get lost among all the toys.

Of course, it's not all about cars at the “World’s Largest Toy Museum.” There are plenty of cap guns, Happy Meal toys, Barbies and other dolls, doll houses, stuffed animals; you get the idea.

In addition to the toys, there is an area called the "Harold Bell Wright Museum." There are a bunch of items that belonged to the best-selling author of The Shepard of the Hills, such as guns, furniture, and manuscripts. Wright was like a folk legend in Branson, because his most famous book, which was also made into a John Wayne movie, was a historic depiction of the Branson area.

The World's Largest Toy Museum is located at 3609 West Highway 76 in Branson, Mo. For more information, make sure to visit their official website.

In the meantime, the slideshow below has a few pictures from inside the museum. I’m apologizing right now for the quality of the pictures. I didn’t have a decent camera with me, and I need that photo stabilization feature to keep the shakes to a minimum. Still, they’ll give you an idea what’s in there. And really, photos can’t compare to seeing the real thing anyway, so after you look at these abysmal photos, go to Branson and check out the World’s Largest Toy Museum.

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