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!

♥ ♥ ♥

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

These items may seem like junk, but are very nostalgic for Koreans! Metal doshirak lunch boxes!

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 ♥

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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!

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26 Responses to “Toto’s Nostalgia Museum and Giftshop ♥ 토토의오래된물건”

  • Such wonders to behold in that museum!

  • Custom avatar Amez:

    Now I regret not exploring Insadong more thoroughly!

    Of course people do read your blog :D when I went to Korea I planned visits to a lot of spots you recommend but sadly I couldn’t go to them at all :(

    Keep blogging, Elle! I love your blog :D

    • Elle:

      Aww haha! I think insadong is one of those areas that is *really* easy to write off as lame tourrist zone, I did not visit it for almost 5 years after going once! They have some really awesome hidden gems though, I feel like its stuff mainly asian tourrists (better guide books prob) or locals know about since english speakers gravitate to other things.

      Toto was a really obvious insadong feature, but I have several other cool places that are a little less “popular” that I cant wait to show you guys ♡♥♡

  • Custom avatar airair:

    Thank you so much.. This place will be in my place list in Seoul^^

  • oh my goodness that place looks insane and lots of fun too :) If I ever visit Korea, I’m popping this on the list

  • Custom avatar SHINeeUKShawol:

    oh my gosh!! so cool!!
    this is my kinda place!!
    though i’d be scared i’d knock stuff over thanks to my clumsy self…

  • This place looks like a 90s kids’ paradise!

  • Custom avatar Henny:

    Just found your web, so pretty and informative
    anyway can yuu please help review of bead shops in korea? is there any online store selling beads and charms? I believe Korean beads and charms are very unique and cute, if I ever go to Korea would like to buy some ^^

  • Custom avatar CupKate:

    Lots of nostalgia here!

  • The museum looks like a great trip down memory lane. I recognized some toys from my childhood ^_^
    And it’s so nice that you met Yasmin and Robin there!

  • Custom avatar Dima:

    I think we might have gone in when we went to Korea, but I don’t remember having to pay an entrance fee.

    • Elle:

      Then it was not this Museum, they have always had a fee to get in and watch the door full time. You cant even make it 5 feet without paying XD she yells at you

  • Custom avatar Cherry:

    Hi! I’m just letting you know that your blog is heaven sent! I go through it and decide what to do on the weekend! :D … your directions are brilliant and easy to follow and you post loads of cute photos etc. Thank you for that :”D totally going to Doota tomorrow ㅋㅋ (went to Monster Cupcake the other weekend and will probably do this museum next) :D

    • Elle:

      I am so glad to hear!!! You will have a blast at Doota, it is a lot to look at so I have been working on a post for that area for a while haha! While you are at Doota, check out “bomgom” (you can see my feature on them here in the blog) if you want cute designer key chains ♥

  • Custom avatar Virginia G:

    I love your blog, but I have to say this place would totally stress me out! Too much craziness and clutter and dust. I think I must not be their target demographic. Fortunately, thanks to all your pictures, I feel like I’ve already been there!

    • Elle:

      Haha yeah XD many of the older korean shops are a complete and total cluster like this in these tiiiiiny shops! It kinda amazes me that they can find things sometimes! XD

  • Custom avatar Christine:

    AHH I just discovered your website yesterday and I THINK I AM IN LOVE ♥
    EVERYTHING IS TOO CUTE. I AM SCREAMING INSIDE and rolling around in my happiness~

    I want to eat your website.

    And you are amazing.

    ♡~

  • Custom avatar Alex:

    Gaaawd! I love your blog <3

  • Hi Elle! Your blog is just so helpful. Im going to Korea this May and Ive been using your blog with making plans on where to go :D
    Anyway this place sounds interesting!

  • What’s hanbok? i will go to Korean, i love it

  • I intend to korea in the next few weeks, I find friend traveller please let me know your email we can go together. Email theanh.eureka@gmail.com

  • Custom avatar Iris:

    Hi!
    I reaally like your blog! You always find the cutest things to blog about ^^
    I saw your artwork, and I’m amazed :D What sort of materials do you use? (for the lines & color)
    Thank you :3

  • Custom avatar Alicia:

    I really enjoyed seeing all the cool toys. I love old toys so much but they are getting harder to find, and it’s funny how everyone has A beloved toy or A story about their favorite toy they grew up with. I still love my childhood toys . I even remember toys I lost as A child with sadness

  • Custom avatar Mel:

    Elle I love your blog! I visited Korea for a very short two weeks last year, and since discovered your blog. I wish I had seen it sooner, so many wonderful things to do!! Now I obviously need to go back to Korea to try out all the things you recommend hehe. Mel xxx

  • Flipping amazing!
    I can’t believe the literal volume of STUFF. Haha. >.<

    I didn't even know museums like this existed until now. Thanks for the pictures!

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