Marion and Uwe Groll from the Toy Museum in Freinsheim rely on the exchange of different generations. Unlike other museums, the Toy Museum does not show interactive temporary exhibitions, but a classic permanent exhibition dedicated to the Bing company. "We need contemporary witnesses and dedicated collector colleagues to convey the stories behind the objects in the showcases. That's why we are always particularly pleased when grandparents visit the museum and our museum festival with their grandchildren and explain, for example, how a steam engine works," says Uwe Groll. "When the steam engine also moves and drives something, it exerts an extreme fascination on all generations." For this, we are organizing the "Bing Players Meeting" in Freinsheim for the ninth time. A special feature is that visitors are taken on a journey through time and children are even allowed to play along in some cases. Over the years, a fan community has developed here - perhaps a coming generation of collectors and players? The museum, which is compact at 300sqm, now displays an almost unbelievable variety with around 2000 Bing exhibits, all dating from before 1932. "Bing had everything in its range and left nothing out. We have, for example, a 300-page catalog from 1893 filled only with household items and accessories. Bing is a collecting field that you can probably never close," Uwe Groll tells us. Therefore, in the last 10 years, the museum has been constantly changed, presentations have been improved and, in particular, many top-class collectibles have been added. The museum festival, which will take place on 29/30 October 2022 from 11:00-17:00 in each case, has steadily developed and now reaches nearly 700 visitors who visit the exhibition in the Von- Busch-Hof, in the museum as well as in the museum café. Many exhibitors and visitors come partly from far away, because there is hardly anything comparable. The steam and clockwork operated railroad layouts in different gauges are always dedicated to new themes. This year, for example, "long, international trains" will be presented in gauge 1, and a layout in the very rare sizes of gauge II to gauge IV is also being planned. "We want to showcase the versatility of the Bing company." So lots of other tin toys that Bing was known for will also be on display. Among them steam engines, cars, ships and of course railroads, because that's where Uwe Groll's collecting fever began. At the age of 31, he discovered his first Bing locomotive at a flea market in 1996. He was fascinated by the simplicity of the technology and by the fact that it was possible to recognize which real model the locomotive followed. The friends of steam engines and hot air engines have their own exhibition area. Here, extremely rare models can be admired. Particularly interesting here is the reference to other manufacturers from Nuremberg and the surrounding area who were at that time partly suppliers and partly competitors of Bing. There are many interesting technical discussions but also tips for the care, operation and careful repair and restoration of the machines. At the turn of the century, Bing called itself the largest toy factory in the world. It sold 80 percent of its products abroad. Uwe Groll: "In economic terms, the toy industry was the second most important export sector in the German Empire." A blessing and a curse at the same time: because buffeted by the Great Depression and World War I, Bing filed for bankruptcy with its toy division in 1932. The rest of the Jewish company was broken up and sold during the Nazi era. Toys from the Bing company are now museum pieces and reveal much about the early 20th century. For one thing, many toys were illustrations of the reality of the time and were top modern. In the daughter's doll kitchen were the same toy-sized pots as her mother had in the real cupboard. Bing, for example, also made steam irons from its housewife's household goods section identical in construction as toys for girls. Comparable to today's imitations of kitchen and drill machines for children. "The manufacturer was very, very good at marketing," says Uwe Groll, addressing a point that should not be forgotten despite all the nostalgia. The toy industry is not an educational institution, but an industry dependent on profit. "It's a battle for customer favor then as now. Toy manufacturers are guided by what the market would like. If you compare the present with the Bing era, the fast pace has changed in this respect, nothing else," says Uwe Groll.
Influenced by professions in environmental protection/recycling and pedagogy, it was clear to us from the beginning that we would also like to have a sustainable concept and today we are happy about the support and confirmation by TourCert as a sustainable destination.
The exciting mediation of German-Jewish cultural and industrial history is an important, socially sustainable contribution. The owner and director of the museum, Marion Groll, relies on the exchange of different generations who discover the museum together. For example, when the steam engine moves and drives something, it exerts an incredible fascination on all visitors. Some grandparents then enthusiastically explain to their grandchildren how the machine works. We opened the toy museum and ice cream parlour in April 2011. This was preceded by the renovation of the old town ensemble, originally consisting of four buildings, which was carried out with a great deal of personal effort and a sure instinct for history. Almost all of the technical equipment is second-hand and was comprehensively checked, repaired and modernised by us for reuse. In the design of the exhibition rooms, upcycling of showcases and lighting is just as important to us as low-energy and low-waste management, as is the use of regional products in the ice cream parlour. For PfalzCard holders, a visit to the Toy Museum is free of charge.
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150 years of Gebr. BING, the former largest toy factory in the world. Illustrated with exhibits from the Bing Museum in Freinsheim. 80 pages, 9 euros
In the catalogs of ... only the train unit in gauge 0 and I with the item number ... is shown, but no complete layout. Bing constructed this layout from proven bridge parts and supports of a level crossing as a basis. The test construction in the museum is currently taking place. Base, decoration and a backdrop made of contemporary cardboard model construction will follow.