Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
Pauls Valley’s Toy & Action Figure Museum has had visits from public and private schools across Oklahoma; more than 50,000 people have stopped to see over 13,000 action figures and related toys. It’s the world’s only museum devoted solely to the art and collection of action figures — and it’s bound to inspire creative thinkers and future toymakers.
“The idea behind the museum was to present the art and sculpting of action figures to the public — how toys are designed, sculpted and manufactured,” said Kevin Stark, curator, “but also to let visitors connect with a part of their past they might have forgotten about.
“We get many guests who are amazed at how much of their childhood they encounter at our museum,” he said. “We believe that everyone can connect with the feeling of seeing their favorite toy.”
The museum is divided into sections, including a collection of cartoon artwork from Oklahoma illustrators, and a room called the “Batcave” featuring every Batman-related collectable imaginable. The museum’s focal point is a sprawling central diorama featuring thousands of figures from what seems like every possible franchise.
“When groups come to the museum, we give them a tour conducted by myself, and I give them a background on the museum and designing toys,” Stark said.
Stark has been designing toys since 1991 and has worked on several major toy lines, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Speed Racer and The Simpsons. “I also set up an easel and drawing paper, and have students help me design a couple of action figures to show them what goes into the actual work of designing a figure,” he said. “We feel groups receive the best visit out of anyone because of the special one-on-one attention.”
For more information call 405-238-6300 or go to toyandactionfiguremuseum.com.