Brussels Toy Museum And Its Collection Joining ToyPedia

When you realise that lack of space, time and money are going to stop you from realising your plan to build a real-life collection of every toy ever made, the best thing you can do is get involved in ToyPedia!

Or at least that's what Andre Raemdonck, owner of the Brussels Toy Museum thinks. Andre, the latest name to join the ToyPedia Advisory Board alongside luminaries of the collecting world including fellow museum owner Chang Yang Fa of Singapore's MINT Museum, aspiring museum owner Richard Topelen and LA Slot Car Museum Curator Philippe de Lespinay, had once dreamed of collecting every toy ever made, but quickly realised the impracticalities of his plan. But with ToyPedia, Toy Collector's wiki-based catalogue of collectable toys and models - which is ultimately intended to include listings for every toy and model ever made - he can help build a collection in virtual form.

"It's great to be working with ToyPedia," he said. "Now I can see my dream become a reality in a different way - one where I don't have to worry about storage space!"

Located centrally at 24 Rue de L'Association, the Brussels Toy Museum opened it's doors 30 years ago - Andre has been collecting for 40 - and is housed in a family mansion built in 1900. It has more than 30,000 items on three floors, with donations coming in all the time and is open seven days a week, with Andre personally welcoming the 20,000 visitors he receives each year.

And while Andre loves the virtual museum side of ToyPedia, Curator Heloïse Desfougères is a fan of the site's practical applications - and even keener on some of the features coming in the future.

"It's a great tool for someone in my role," she said. "Excellent for research and planned features like inventory management and location management will make keeping track of our 30,000-plus items a lot easier! While we have pretty much everything on display at any one time, we'll also be able to track what's on display and what's in storage, items we've been leant and solicit item donations."

Heloïse, who will be working on adding the museum's items to ToyPedia, added, "It's also a great place to advertise the museum with other site features like the Yellow Pages. The possibilities of Toy Collector are endless!"

About the Brussels Toy Museum

Like many others, the sTOYry of the museum began with one man's passion for toys. As a father of six, he had the perfect excuse to buy as many as possible for birthdays, Christmas and good school results, making his children part-owners of the collection. Around 1969, the family began loaning toys to schools, cultural and commercial centres and other similar establishments, but as this meant time-consuming packing and shipping, plus the danger of damage occurring, the idea of a permanent home for the collection started to take shape. The ASBL opened officially in 1985 and has been located in its mansion house home at 24 Association Street for 22 years. Since then, the museum has grown steadily, with new items donated on an almost-daily basis, and further toys sourced from the many toy shows, collector fairs and antique markets in and around Belgium. The museum has an extensive exhibition programme allowing cost-effective and interesting displays in anything from fairs to company head offices with subjects such as Early Belgian Toys or Early Wooden Toys.

For more on the museum go to or email

About Andre Raemdonck

Andre Raemdonck started off collecting model trains before moving into mechanical toys, then teddy bears, then paper theatres (the museum has a wonderful collection of these as a result of 18 years of collecting by Andre - it is one of the most comprehensive collections in Europe). For some years, he has also had an extensive interest in wooden toys, preferably large-sized ones, as well as more unusual items. Now he collects all toys and welcomes worn toys to the museum, feeling that this shows they have been played with and used for the purpose they were intended. "If you'll allow me to be controversial," he says, "a Dinky Toys in pristine condition in original box is like a toothbrush at the Hilton!"