Edinburgh is graced with a great many museums, but the Museum of Childhood is perhaps the most divisive. For some, the five galleries would be nothing more than a charming look at the toys and trends of yesteryear, but there are some for whom the exhibits could supply enough nightmare fuel to keep them up for weeks. The truth is somewhere in the middle; while there are some undoubtedly creepy moments within the three floors, the overwhelming feeling is of quaint, if a little tired, nostalgia.
That is not to say that the collections are not impressive, but the sheer abundance of faded primary colours and fraying lace turns what could be an interesting retrospective into something that feels more akin to a jumble sale long past. Even if you’re not one of the many who finds the hundreds of ceramic dolls unnerving, there is something almost cloying about it, especially when the next floor follows it with the sing-song voices of children immersed in clapping games and nursery rhymes.
There are some interesting artefacts to be found but, paradoxically, the museum does not feel like a place kids would enjoy. Instead, it is a sweet if somewhat saccharine homage to childhood decades ago, and is such more suited to those that actually remember reading the Beano and watching Muffin The Mule.