I'm not a raging Star Wars fan, perhaps a bit more so than the usual bod on the street, so the May The Toys Be With You
exhibition at Leicester museum pricked my attention, and was also a great way to catch up with two Star Wars fans and small child at the same time.
Rather than trying (and inevitably failing) to write a polished review, this is going to be the first of my “Explaining it in a pub” reviews. Essentially, the near stream of consciousness I'd give if you asked me “How was that place you went to? Worth it?”
We were excited as we entered the Exhibition space, the first few cabinets had some familiar and some unusual toys, and quickly made a direct connection to a local manufacturer, which helped the exhibition feel genuinely relevant rather than just a crowd pleaser. We could see there were lots of cabinets, well set out with space for excited kids, plus large decals on the otherwise white walls.
One of my fellows pointed out another missed opportunity with the wall cabinets. As an example: The cabinet highlighting how collectors pay different prices depending on the condition of the toy… In the cabinet there were some damaged toys, but nothing to illustrate their prices. Where was the labelling to highlight some of the different conditions and prices? Likewise we had fun playing spot the difference with illegal figures vs legitimate ones, but some clear examples given would help a visitor faced with a wall of action figures.
We hit the back half of the exhibition, where things took an unexpected turn… Movie posters! This had some genuinely interesting content, a poster where Princess Leia was the central figure, Josh Kirby artwork… But as we'd not been aware of the posters before seeing them in the Exhibition (I see now they are mentioned in the promotional text) it felt like the toy exhibition had run out of toys, and the posters were a filler.
It was a shame they hadn't received more focus in the promotion for the exhibition, as their presence lifts the exhibition from “Bring the kids! Summer holidays! Star Wars toys!” to something which ticks more boxes for more fans.
Done with posters, we circled back into they toys, and the fantastically captioned Han Solo display (Kudos whomever wrote that label) By now the little one was getting increasingly Sith-like in her wheedling to see the dinosaurs now.
May The Toys Be With You has an astonishing amount of content, and some surprising factoids I will gladly pull out in future pub conversations, yet feels like it was rapidly put together, or kept very simple, for reasons unclear to us, which gradually left us disinterested in engaging with all of the content presented.
Worth visiting, but be prepared to put in the effort squinting at figures.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
Follow The Attendant:
All text and images are produced by and copyright of the artist, holder of the domain name of attendantsview.com