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Mexico City has a strange obsession with old, creepy toys.
The Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls) is a place of nightmares in the Xochimilco canals and the Mercado Sonora (Witch Market) is famous for selling toys and party supplies alongside magical potions and healing herbs.
The Museo del Juguete Antiguo México (MUJAM) isn’t quite as sinister as these first two offbeat Mexican destinations, but it doesn’t exactly evoke warmth and nostalgia either – not for me, at least.
Still, it’s a fascinating five-floor exhibition showcasing one man’s obsession with antique Mexican toys and this is everything you need to know to see it for yourself!
One of many toy displays with seemingly no rhyme or reason to it
Let’s start with the essential info you need to know to visit the Toy Museum in Mexico City.
Location: Calle Dr Olvera 15, Doctores, 06720 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Cost: 50 mxn / 2.50 usd per person
Hours: 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, Saturday 9 am to 4 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.
Plan to spend about an hour at the toy museum in Mexico City.
We went on a Sunday afternoon and it was lively but definitely not crowded. There wasn’t a ton of information shared about the toys throughout the exhibition, and everything that is shared is written in Spanish.
If you don’t speak or read the language, download the free Google Translate app which allows you to take photos of text and signs and translate them to your language of choice.
It’s a bus full of buses, duh.
How to Get to the MUJAM Toy Museum
The Museo del Juguete Antiguo México is located in the Doctores neighborhood in Mexico City.
Doctores is apparently one of Mexico City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. (But interestingly, Roma Norte, a tourist hotspot, is on the list as well.)
So, yeah, Doctores is probably not the place to be alone at night, but don’t let that scare you.
Dan and I walked to the MUJAM toy museum from our apartment in Condesa on a Sunday afternoon and yes, Doctores has a weird vibe (lots of funeral homes, hospitals, and medical supply shops lining the streets will do that) but we were perfectly fine passing through.
Still, now that I know this neighborhood has a bad reputation I wouldn’t walk there again and I wouldn’t recomend you do it either. Take an Uber instead (they’re cheap in Mexico City) and you can get dropped off and picked up right at the museum doors.
Colorful murals coat the walls both inside and out at the MUJAM toy museum
Outdoor Murals + Finding the Right Entrance
Before you even go inside the toy museum you’ll be awed by the eye-catching five-story murals painted around the sides of the building.
Take a peek into the parking lot on the right side of the museum when you arrive because the wildly colorful paintings are one of the museum’s highlights that you can enjoy before you even step inside!
Once you get to the front of the museum you’ll probably go in the wrong doors. On the street, there’s a glass front window and a large sign announcing the Museo del Juguete Antiguo México and comida Japonesa para llevar (Japanese food to go).
No, that’s not an old sign, there really is – inexplicably – a Japanese sushi restaurant inside the museum’s gift shop on the ground floor.
Anyway, these doors on the street lead only to the gift shop and restaurant. You need to go up the stairs on the right side of the storefront (between the gift shop entrance and the murals/parking lot) to get to the ticket office and museum entrance.
Two-story mask vomiting more masks in the central courtyard of the MUJAM toy museum
Inside the Unique Toy Museum in Mexico City
Now for the good stuff!
What’s it like inside the MUJAM toy museum in Mexico City? We wandered the very cluttered and disorganized floors and found:
- Lots of murals.
- Walls full of barbies and Lucha Libre action figures.
- Life-size robots
- More dolls than I needed to see in a lifetime
- A throne of masks (more on that below)
- Temporary exhibitions on the 1968 Mexico Olympics and King Kong
- So, so, so much more
Rooftop murals and skyline views
The owner has been collecting toys for years and opened the toy museum in an old apartment building in 2008 to finally display them.
The biggest pieces are on the ground floor near the exit to the gift shop, but the most visually appealing piece is right in the central courtyard, where a two-story mask rains smaller masks down onto a throne.
This mask was the stage backdrop at Salon Colonia, the club where Carlos Colorado (one of the most famous musicians in Mexico in the 60s and 70s) played with his band Sonora Santanera. The keyboard was located inside the mouth.
Now it’s been turned into a throne which is interesting but it’s definitely a product of its times (aka racist) as well.
Once you get past that, make sure to poke your head into all the hidden nooks and crannies before finishing your trip through Mexico’s toy history on the roof, where even more colorful murals await along with sweeping skyline views of the city.
Ready to go? Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Mexico City and then explore accomodation like furnished apartments and unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the city.
This article is part of the Miscellaneous Mexico City series. Read the rest below:
Or, check out the complete Mexico Series for 40+ more articles on what to see, eat, drink, do, and discover in the country.