2nd Jul, 2022

Exhibition exploring history of toys and games opens in Coventry

Felix Nobes 6th Jul, 2018 Updated: 6th Jul, 2018

Coventry is set for a summer of Play after a unique exhibition on the history of toys opened in the city.

Play: An Exploration of Toys, Games and Fun will be running at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum until September 23, and features more than 200 items that will appeal to everyone from young children through to nostalgic adults.

It charts the history of play from 2,000 years ago through to the very latest technology.

Running alongside Play is the first ever exhibition dedicated to a video games company which tracks the 30-year life of Twycross-based Rare and is entitled Rare: From 8-bit to Xbox One.

A special VIP launch was held to mark the unveiling of the exhibitions before they were opened to the public.

Frankie Ranford, cultural and creative director of Culture Coventry, said the exhibition will delight visitors – young and old – throughout the summer because there is something for everyone.

She said: “There are so many items to see, enjoy and reminisce over. You could hear people on the opening night saying ‘I had that’ or ‘I remember that’, and you could tell it sparked real nostalgia and enjoyment.

“We have no doubt that it will spark many more conversations like that over the course of the summer and we want people to contribute their memories and photos to our online exhibition too.”

The exhibition features an array of items, from very early games through to more recent toys such as Action Man, Cindy, Star Wars and Transformers.

Jim Horth, studio services director at Rare, attended the launch and said it was a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the history of gaming.

He said: “You’ll see something from some of those very early pixelated characters right through to our global hits such as GoldenEye and Banjo-Kazooie, and then onto our always live, always connected latest release, Sea of Thieves.

“It’s an opportunity for people to learn a little bit about what it takes to put games together and the creative process that goes into them, and complements the Play exhibition perfectly.”

The Play and Rare exhibitions are kindly supported by Rare and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To potentially feature in the exhibition, you can donate photos of your own toys to the Virtual Museum by using #playattheherbert on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For more information on Play and Rare, go to http://www.theherbert.org/

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