For tourists, the area of Insadong in Seoul is a wonderful place to visit for a view of the cultural aspects of Korea. Places to dress in hanbok, souvenirs, street performers dancing to 강강술래, and hidden traditional tea houses that make homemade 수정과 punch!
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Honestly, It is a great place to spend the day exploring and enjoying the unique atmosphere~even if the cliche tourist stuff does not appeal to you!
For those of you looking for something a bit more “fun” when it comes to museums while visiting the area, I highly recommend a visit by Toto’s Nostalgia Museum and Giftshop ♥ 토토의오래된물건 AKA Toto Toy!!
I will be featuring several other retro toy museums here on the blog, but Toto is (I believe!) the oldest one here in Seoul!
Founded in 1996, Toto Toy boasts a HUGE collection of Korean treasures from the 1970’s-1980’s, although I have seen goodies from the 1990’s slipped in as well. It is a blast walking through, arranged almost like a cluttered attic with boxes upon boxes of things.
Many things here appear to have been purchased in huge piles from closing 문방구 and fill the shelves still in the dusty boxes! It can be a bit confusing at first because you expect things to be sitting pretty and on display~ but honestly it totally has a similar feeling to old Korean toy shops so I am sure this is very intentional.
Familiar western characters or their bootleg evil cousins make appearances, as do many classic Japanese favorites like Tiger Mask, Candy Candy, Rose of Versailles, Saint Seiya, Crayon Shin-chan, Slam Dunk, Dragon Ball etc.
Korea’s “Dooly” and his friends!
You can also discover a lot of 100% Korean characters that are pretty much unknown outside Korea, but entertained children during the 70’s-80’s when Korea still strongly resisted the import of Japanese goods (entertainment included) and simply made their own
Power rangers, Kikaider, Kamen Rider with Jack, Spiderman, & Batman! Quite a jumble of Japanese and American classics
Sailor Moon will punish you!
Family photo, police helicopter, bottle of tequila…. lol okaaay.
That pencil box looks like a super vintage Kiki and Lala / Twin Star item maybe?
Lady Oscar obviously made Doreamon cry XD
That Tiger is Hodori / 호돌이 The mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul! You see old paintings or things him from time to time around the city!
Old Korean Uniforms
Vintage Korean school uniforms with the name tags stitched on to identify the student!
Anyone remember payphones? Hopefully some of my readers do!
Astro Boy is here to save the Titanic!
These are the cutest thing ever!
Very vintage candy machine, TV, and cassette tapes!
Although everything is a strict “no touchy” policy, they do have some masks out you can take pics with… too bad that mirror has seen better days!
Also, awesome moment~ we were recognized by other visitors who read the blog! Thanks for saying hi!!!!
yeah….I was kinda a hot mess in my wig since it was like 9pm hahaha we had been reviewing cafes in Insadong all day *_* Hope I did not horrify you guys! lmao! As always, if you see Nara and I please go ahead and say hi! I am a little awkward in person, but I love meeting readers and after I always go “see Nara, people DO read my blog!!” haha
Stacks and stacks of old VHS tapes!
that bunny is up to no good….
One thing I adore about vintage Korean cheap toys is how insanely saturated the colors are!
plastic dress up dolls and a skiing power ranger? XD
*Insert amusing caption here*
I have been trying to get my hands on some vintage 80’s Korean beauty/fashion magazines to share on here someday~ They have been hard to find though! So tempting to snag one….
Nostalgic adult items ~
How about some old Korean movies? ^^
Beautiful vintage movie posters~ sadly many of these are just in messy piles!
Old Korean cigarets…of course they would have a brand called “Aririang” hehe
Mountains and mountains of kits!
Those of you that are itching to buy a vintage toy will be out of luck sadly, even though many items have price tags on them they are sadly not for sale! The exception is a select area where you can purchase some special sticker, vintage-style pop up games/kits, candy or prints though! Admittedly it can be a little hard to tell what is actually for sale given the crazy cluster-tastic nature of the store, so just grab with caution!
Vintage Korean candy~ 3 pieces for 1,000 won
Toto Stamps ♥
I nabbed a few cute items! Will add them to the post tomorrow for a mini haul<3
Directions to Toto’s Nostalgia Museum and Giftshop ♥ 토토의오래된물건
서울 종로구 관훈동 169-2
Admission Price: 2,000
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-8pm | Saturday-Sunday 10am- 9pm
Official Site: www.totoman.co.kr (down currently)
Toto Toy Museum is located in the tourism cultural hot spot of Insadong in Seoul! Since it is an area with a lot of places to walk and explore, the Seoul Metro is usually the easiest option for travelers! The easiest station in my opinion to get to Indadong is Anguk, which is located on the Orange line #3
When you arrive on the main street of Insadong using exit #6 you will walk down a short ways and immediately see lots of Korean souvenir shops and goodies! Toto Toy is on the main street of downtown Insadong, so you will be able to find it easily! Follow the street down past several shops and eventually you will see a sign for Toto on your right.
It is easy to miss sometimes with all the distractions in the area since it is located on the 2nd floor and the tinting on the window is a tad dark, so just keep your eyes peeled for the giant window of toys or the wonder woman sign!
This shop requires a small admission to enter and view all the goodies! It is worth it!
Ascend the entry stairs and immediately after you enter is the payment window for admission~ I believe it is cash only!
Most people (including myself) miss that window since its RIGHT after you enter XD the other or staff will take your payment and you are free to enjoy the museum as long as you wish! Photos are allowed, just no touching since although it it a chaotic mess inside it was done with intent!
Have you been to Toto? Do you love vintage toys or museums like this? See any toys you recognize??? Comment below and share! Even though this was Korea, I saw a lot of toys I remembered! Funny how they had some of the same things we did back in the 80’s!