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Price: Free with general admission ($6-$11)
Beyond nostalgic associations, toys of the past offer fascinating cultural insights, as evidenced by the Minnesota History Center's newest exhibit, "Toys of the '50s, '60s, and '70s." Toys are cleverly arrayed in three era-specific living rooms and a garage, and each space serves as a time capsule containing some of the most memorable toys of each decade. Among the hundreds of items on display are Hot Wheels, Barbies, E-Z Bake Ovens, LEGOs, and other childhood artifacts. Accompanying the pieces are personal reminiscences reflecting how much these seemingly trivial objects meant. Further reinforcing the historical background, classic toy commercials air in each room, and a trivia game, hosted by Maureen McCormick (a.k.a. Marcia from The Brady Bunch), tests visitors' knowledge of the place toys have occupied in American society. Considering the subject, of course, the standard museum rule of "look but don't touch" just seems cruel. For that reason, each room offers a play zone, reminding visitors that simply having fun remains the first concern of toys.