An Out of This World Exhibit

Toys – Mission Cosmos, the McCord Museum’s fourth annual foray into family focused exhibitions has extended its run through April 21, 2014. Designed for children aged 3 to 9, this intergalactic adventure was born out of the suggestions made by children attending last year’s Toys exhibit.

The interactive quest begins in Professor Copernoc’s lab where, alongside petri dishes and test tubes filled with coloured liquid, the display includes an old Tinkertoy, View-Master, Meccano construction set, and KerPlunk game. The Thingmaker and the Demon Dancer are two of the more unusual toys on exhibit. The 1964 Thingmaker was a contraption that allowed children to melt “Plastigoop” (PVC) into moulds and create creepy crawlers. Shockingly dangerous, this toy would heat the PVC to more than 300°F (149°C). At more than 100 years old, the thermodynamic Demon Dancer is one of the oldest toys on display. A blue “demon” trapped inside a glass tube magically raises when the bulb at the base of the tube is grasped.

A video message from Professor Copernoc soon leads visitors aboard a rocket and into the cosmos. From “space”, looking back down to earth we see farm and zoo animals, a train station, cars and a 1955 printed tin toy Eiffel Tower that is being circled by two sight-seeing planes.

Traveling through space we encounter a doll named Tammy, toys based on the space denizens from Star Trek and Star Wars, a Fisher Price castle and a horde of Smurfs. A Blue Genie doll, based on a gas industry logo designed by Hanna-Barbera animator Gene Hazelton, is somewhat unsettling. Produced in the 1950’s for customers who bought natural gas heating systems, the hair on this doll was made to resemble a natural gas flame. Dating from the end of the 19th century is a little cart pulled by two ribbon-adorned goats. Although it seems strange for goats to be pulling a cart, it actually was common at the time for both goats and sheep to be harnessed in such a way.

Arriving on the planet Quartz, we are asked to enter the launch code for Professor Copernoc’s spaceship. Clever space travelers can figure out the colour and shape based code by answering questions as they make their way through the exhibit. Enter the correct code and you will help send the Professor back to earth.

Special Activities

The museum has also planned a slew of exhibit-inspired events, like: story hour each Saturday and Sunday, and galactic workshops on each Sunday (through April 6th). The exhibit is free for children 12 years old and younger.

For more information: 514-398-7100

McCord Museum
690 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec  H3A 1E9

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