Never mind the Pollocks, here’s a toy museum!
No doubt, you’ve seen it a thousand times on Instagram – the cute-as-candy handpainted shop front on a Fitzrovia street corner. [Photo: @wallis_p_ ]
Creeped out yet? Yes, as you might have guessed, Pollock’s is largely dedicated to toys and playthings from the what-were-they-thinking part of the Victorian era. Across the six-room gallery, you’ll find miniature toy theatres, dead-eyed dolls to send a shiver down the sign, and, inevitably, the odd racially-insensitive character from the most pre-woke of eras. Victorians, eh?
It’s a decidedly old-school experience that will, admittedly, probably bewilder younger children. But for the rest of us, it’s a quirky diversion that illuminates the archaic child-amusing industries of the past.
This cat is an early meme, depicting ‘that feeling when your boss gives you a job you have no idea how to do’:
Aside from the varied selection of retro amusements, there’s naturally a cute toy shop in the front room, focusing on traditional products from pop guns to miniature vehicles.
So pop along, pay the modest entrance charge: every visit supports an Instagram influencer capturing that perfectly posed portrait outside!
Location: 1 Scala Street, Bloomsbury. Nearest station: Goodge Street. See it on Google Maps.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm.
Price: £4 for kids, £6 for students, £7 for adults.
Nearby attractions: the quirky Novelty Automation gallery, the British Museum, fancy darts hall Flight Club and ultra-aesthetic drinking/dining options at Coral Room and Dalloway Terrace.