There are many magnificent sights which might persuade you to visit Sintra Portugal, such as the beautiful Pena National Palace (and its magnificent gardens), the Quinta da Regaleira or the Cabo da Roca. But it must not be forgotten that Sintra is also home to the toy museum (Museu do Brinquedo, www.museu-do-brinquedo.pt), which, with two stories and tens of thousands of toys, will pleasantly surprise you. This museum was made possible by founder João Arbués Moreira, and his passion for toys, which he collected and studied from childhood.
The museum devotes itself to a huge variety of toys and games, from Diecast miniature car models (with extras such as garages etc.) to motorbikes, trains, boats, planes, dolls, tricycles, soldiers etc. You will leave partly amazed by the quantity and diversity of the toys there, and partly surprised that when these toys were made, many years ago, (there are toys that are 50, 60 or 100 years old, and older!) they made the models so realistic and with such quality.
The museum has much more to offer, but for now we shall focus on the scale model cars, of which you can find the following brands …
- Portuguese: MAJORA, OSUL, JATO, HERCULES, RADAR, LEIRIA, MARINHA GRANDE, RIBEIRINHO, FABRINCA; Manuel Moreira da Silva, Costa e Silva, José Augusto Junior, Armindo Moreira Lopes, Luciano Moura, F.M. Esteves, Coelho de Sousa, Ancasil, Bresca, Eduardo Brazão, etc.
- German: BING, GREPPERT & KELCH, DOLL & CO, Carl Bub, Hesse Mobil, CARETTE, Gescha, Schuco, MÄRKLIN, OROBE, Lehmann, GAMA, Distler, Kellermann, Revell, Wiking, Siku, etc.
- Italian: INGAP, LIMA, BBURAGO, POLISTIL, MEBETOYS, etc.
- French: JEP, Victor Bonnet, Saussine, Solido, Rami, Majorette, etc.
- Spanish: Verdu & CIA, Paya, Rico, ANGUPLAS.
- English:METTOY, CHAD VALLEY, MECCANO, Dinky Toys, Corgi Toys, ROADACE.
- American: ARCOR TOYS, KINGSBURY, STRUCTO, TOOTSIETOY, Mattel, Hot Wheels, Matchbox.
- Japonese: YONEZAWA TOYS, TAISEIYA, ASAHITOY.
- Danish: Tekno.
… and miniatures of cars from manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Lancia, and many more, made from a variety of materials like iron, tinplate, Zamak, plastic, wood, modelling clay, and plaster etc, and with years of manufacturing history, mainly in the 20th century.
The tour, which mustn’t be hurried, as there is so much to see and many of the display cabinets in fact contain a huge number of models, will leave any enthusiast delighted with this world of Diecast collectibles.
- zamac or zamak is a zinc based alloy, made with a group of metals which form this german acronym; zinc, aluminium, magnesium, and copper (kupfer in german).