The Force Comes to Bath – An American Toy Story – 19 March to 30 October 2016
February 15, 2016 - Helen Keel
This spring and summer, the major exhibition at the American Museum in Britain is An American Toy Story. It will appeal to avid cinema fans as well as families looking for an interesting day out, as it tells the story of the toys and games that inspired – and were inspired by – popular films.
As well as showcasing movie props, vintage toys, and memorabilia from various famous films – including James Bond, Star Wars, Snow White, Mickey Mouse, Frozen, and Toy Story – the exhibition will also give visitors the chance to take part in various interactive activities, a stop-motion animation zone, and the chance to dress up as film characters.
Exhibits will include well-loved toys displayed alongside mint-condition treasures from film buffs’ collections. Donald Duck and Shirley Temple dolls from the 1930s will appear alongside the ET Extra-Terrestrial video game from 1982; 1970s Early Bird Deal and Millennium Falcon toys can be contrasted with Buzz Lightyear 1996 action figures; and more recent films such as Frozen will be represented too.
Disney started early in the licencing and franchise business, but few other early film companies ventured into that arena as it was not seen as very profitable. In 1977, there was a radical change when George Lucas struck his infamous deal with 20th Century Fox for a share of the merchandising rights for Star Wars. The money made from this deal exceeded box office takings and enabled Lucas to set up his own production company. It also heralded an era of film in which merchandise became both commonplace and also collectable.
Items on loan to the exhibition have come from a variety of sources ranging from children lending their beloved toys to serious collectors showing valuable and unusual pieces.
The exhibition will be open from 19 March – 30 October 2016 in the Exhibition Gallery.
Tuesday – Sunday, 12noon – 5pm. Gardens and café open from 10.30am.
Closed Mondays except during August and on Bank Holidays
For press information and images contact:
Helen Keel firstname.lastname@example.org
American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, Claverton, Bath, BA2 7BD
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