A MAJOR free exhibition is being staged in Coventry this summer, exploring the history of toys and games from across the country.
Entitled ‘Play’, the exhibition is being held at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum from June 30 until September 23.
It will feature a host of nostalgic and contemporary objects – from Lego to loom bands, and from early Monopoly to Meccano.
Toys, games and costumes dating from Roman times right up to the present day will be on show and have been chosen to cover a broad range of play based on the curators’ research.
Another exhibition will run alongside Play that focuses on local games company Rare – the first major exhibition based on a video game developer.
Rare has been at the forefront of gaming for more than 30 years, developing iconic games such as GoldenEye, Donkey Kong Country and the company’s latest release, Sea of Thieves.
Overall, more than 200 objects will be on show at these joint exhibitions for the duration of the run.
Frankie Ranford, cultural and creative director of Culture Coventry, said: “The importance of play – from toys and games to outdoor activity and creativity – should not be underestimated.
“The way we play as children has a huge influence on who we become as adults.
“We always aim to make our exhibitions accessible and relatable to everyone and Play is certainly something that everyone can connect with.
“The exhibition features some wonderful exhibits. Some date back 2000 years while we have some that have been very popular only recently, such as fidget spinners and slime!
“Some of the toys are iconic and will really draw out the nostalgia in adults and capture the imagination of children.”
The Play and Rare exhibitions are kindly supported by Rare and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Frankie added: “Rare is a major company locally and one of the largest and longest-running video games businesses in the UK.
“Working with Rare has also enabled us to include another digital element within the exhibition as video games are now a huge part of the way many people choose to play.”
Craig Duncan, studio head at Rare Ltd, added: “It’s such an honour for Rare to be showcased at The Herbert with the exhibition ‘8-bit to Xbox One’.
“As a Midlands-based studio with such a storied history steeped in over 30 years of gaming heritage, I’m very proud we can bring this story to life in a physical form, for both people in the Midlands as well as travelling Rare fans.”
For more information go to http://www.theherbert.org/