Houston Toy Museum
How It Started
We are Matt and Sara Broussard and we are the creators of the Houston Toy Museum. This museum has been a long time dream of ours and we need your help bringing it to fruition! It all started about a decade ago when Matt set out to find a specific toy he loved as a kid. He began to collect other toys from his childhood and his collection continued to grow as he acquired toys and other pop culture items from earlier decades. For years he stored and displayed his toys in the garage apartment of our home in the Heights. He loved bringing guests over to see his collection and he loved the thrill of seeing their reactions as they were overcome by nostalgia at the sight of something special from their childhoods. This is exactly why we knew we wanted to do this on a bigger scale and in a more public way.
We want to offer our guests an experience. We want for people of all ages to come into our museum and immediately point to something and say, "I remember that!". We have done a ton of research into the history and stories behind some of your favorite toys and one of our goals is that you leave our museum having learned something new.
Our exhibits will focus not only on the toys themselves, but their inventors, as well as the artists behind the design and branding of the toys you know and love. We'll showcase a timeline of popular toys throughout the decades, and share how certain world events impacted toy production and the future of toys. We plan to dive deep as we look closely at some of our country's more troublesome history and the problematic toys and pop culture items that were produced and marketed as a result of it. We also won't shy away from exploring gender stereotypes in toys and the marketing of domestic "home-maker" type toys to young girls over the years.
We'll explore the idea of learning through play, take a look at the toys that impacted future career choices, and the evolution of an industry of learning toys that is today known as S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics).
Although the Houston Toy Museum will not be considered a children's museum, we will have something for every member of the family! We are parents to three year old twin girls and we know that we can't just make kids walk through a whole building full of toys they can't touch without giving them an opportunity to play! We have some interactive exhibits and hands on fun planned for the kiddos. And our hope is that each of our guests, no matter their age, will be able to connect with their inner child again. We're working hard to build an environment where people of all ages and backgrounds can come relive this part of their childhood. We hope to spark new conversations and to bridge the gap between generations as they find common ground in a love of nostalgia.
We've chosen the Houston Heights as the home for the Houston Toy Museum. We were both raised in the Houston area, we bought our first home in the Heights, and it's where we brought our twins home when they were born. We have a deep appreciation for our home city and we hope for the museum to be a sort of love letter to Houston. We were children of the 80s and 90s and you'll see a lot of that influence throughout the museum, including nods to Houston legends like Astro World and "Slime in the Ice Machine". If you know, you know.
Our space on 19th Street was once home to one of Houston's favorite vintage shops, Retropolis. We've shopped there since our teens and Matt even had a booth there where he sold vintage toys! It's literally a dream of ours to be in this space, on this street, in this neighborhood.
How You Can Help
We have put our hearts and souls into this museum and so much of what we have done has been about our guests and visitors to the museum. We want to give you a truly memorable experience and we want you to have a reason to come back. Your gift will allow us to continually bring change and upgrades to our exhibits. Most of all we want to offer more interactive options for all of our guests, both young and young at heart. We have so many ideas for the future and your contribution will allow us the freedom to make our dreams a reality!