back to top

25 Amazing Pieces Of Vintage Toy History

Herb Barker's Character, Comic, and Cartoon Museum is a must-see.. Nestled in the quaint town of Cheshire, CT, Herb's incredible collection was the perfect stop on our MINI NOT NORMAL Road Trip.

Posted on

The Barker Character, Cartoon, and Comic Museum in Cheshire, CT was absolutely everything we hoped and dreamed it would be. Their giant collection is well organized and the staff is very knowledgeable. When you visit, be sure to bring along one of your own old toys to donate to Herb's museum. It's one of our favorite traditions thus far from the road.

8. Before there was Elmer, there was Elsie.

Elmer, from the famous Elmer's Glue, was created to save his wife Elsie. Elsie became so popular in the late 1930s that the glue manufacturer didn't want customers imagining her demise. So they invented her husband, Elmer, and melted him down to make glue. :(

10. Everybody's favorite trouble maker.

Dennis the Menace first appeared in newspaper comic strips in 1951. He has since been the inspiration for a TV show, movies, board games, and countless toy figurines. In the UK, he was actually depicted as a black-haired hooligan, as seen in the middle.

11. The Barker Museum's lunchbox collection is outrageous.

With over 1,600 alphabetized pails, you won't have any trouble finding a few of your old lunchtime favorites. Their collection is only three shy of being complete. Literally. They are only missing three vintage lunchboxes in existence.

22. The Barker Museum also houses the world's only complete collection of CelebriDucks.

What's a CelebriDuck, you ask? Celebrity rubber duckies, of course. The only two CelebriDucks that don't have the signature orange/yellow bills are President Obama and Michael Jackson.

23. Mickey Dugan, better known as The Yellow Kid, was the inspiration behind yellow journalism.

This bald, snaggle-toothed boy from the comic strip, Hogan's Alley, wore an oversized yellow nightshirt and hung around in a slum alley (which was typical in certain areas of squalor that existed in late 19th century New York City).

24. Remember when cereal boxes used to have good toys inside?

The Barker Museum sure does. They have an extensive collection of boxes, and many still have their original cereal inside. And, yes, that is a full Franken Berry box.

All photos by Joseph Lin / BuzzFeed