Guide to SKOPJE

The toy museum is my poetry

The story about Sunay Akin, a poet and an owner of one of the most famous toy museums in the world…

Istanbul, Goztepe, a historical white castle with five floors. The poet Sunay Akin has inherited this valuable property from his family. Than he restored it and he converted it into a museum. And not  any museum, but a real Toy Museum. Besides the toys from his childhood, Akin is also collecting  antique toys from all around the world.

“The motto of the Toy Museum is that once you leave this place you will hold your child in one hand and your own childhood in the other” – says the poet Sunay Akin.

The museum was founded in 2005 and today it has over 4 thousands of various toys. The toys are from different cities in Turkey. Every year since the first phase when he began the preparations for opening the  museum, he travels abroad, touring around the world and collecting toys. He has been collecting the toys with suitcases. Now through internet he can easily find information about where and what kind of a toys can be found. Regarding the prices, Sunay Akin says “I could just say that the toys are really very expensive”.


“The idea for the museum was born during my visits abroad. Since I was a kid, before I came to Istanbul, Istanbul came to me. My dad was often traveling to Istanbul because of his work and on return he always brought me toys”-says Akin.

Now he buys the toys from the money he gets from the sale of his books. He restored the historic house inherited from his family and he turn it into a museum for toys, which has five floors.

“It’s very hard to find a toy from the past which is in good condition. If you eventually find it, the price is very high. These toys are usually sold at auctions. I’m collecting toys and following the auctions for 20 years now. In the history of toys there are brands. For example: Lehmann, Gunterman, Fleischmann are the first toy factories. Also world famous brands are Arnold, Schuco, Marx. In our museum we have rare examples of those brands on display. We wanted to create an environment where the people will not be bored”- explains Sunay Akin.

The museum is specific because most of the toys are from America, Germany and Japan. In relation to that Sunaj Akin says: “One country should primarily develop the industry for toys and than the economy of the country will grow. And we should all remember that the dreams come before the actual, real life“.

Balkon3 selection of toys

The violin manufactured in 1820 in France is the oldest toy in the museum.

In the earthquake that happened in Kastamonu in 1944 , a 7 year old girl called Bilge Ergin and her doll remained under the ruins. The little girl survived the accident and had minor injuries, but her plastic doll got a broken left arm which she later repaired it with a sellotape. Many years later as a retired teacher Bilge Ergin came to visit the Istanbul Toy Museum. She brought the plastic baby with her and left it to lie in the so-called „hospital room“ of the museum which is located on the second floor. Besides the baby, there is the original black and white photo of the 7-year Bilge with her loyal friend – the doll.

White horse – The first toy that was purchased by Sunaj Akin for the museum.

Toys from the Second World War


Husamedin Gina