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Bing meeting will be held on 28/29/10/2023

Exhibition and demonstration of historical railroads, steam engines and tin toys

11th International Bing Players' Meeting in Freinsheim

A unique demonstration of historical model railroads and steam engines in the region is just around the corner and surprises with a new concept.

The organizer is the sponsoring association of the SPIELZEUGHAUS Freinsheim known among connoisseurs as the "Bing Museum". Over the past 13 years, the Toy Museum has built up and constantly developed a permanent exhibition of cultural history that is unique in the world, dedicated to the Jewish company Bing from Nuremberg. The museum is not only known among national and international collectors and visitors interested in cultural history, but also inspires many grandparents with their grandchildren, who during their visit can dive together into an almost forgotten time without computer games ", says Uwe Groll.

"When the steam locomotive or steam engine 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 11th 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 has grown to 320sqm, displays an almost unbelievable variety on 3 floors with around 2000 Bing exhibits, all dating from the time before the Nazis came to power. "Bing had everything in its assortment and left nothing out. For example, we have 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. For this reason, the museum has been constantly modified over the past 13 years, presentations have been improved and, in particular, many high-caliber collectibles have been added. Current special topics are the versatile parlor games of Bing as well as Experminetierkästen.

The museum festival, which will be held on Oct. 28-29, 2023 from 11:00-17:00 each day, has steadily evolved and expanded. The exhibition takes place throughout the Von Busch Courtyard, the museum as well as the museum café. Many exhibitors and visitors come, sometimes from far away, as there is hardly anything comparable.

The steam and clockwork operated railroad layouts in different gauges are always dedicated to new themes. For example, the large gauge 1 layout will be completely redesigned and increased in size. Matching exhibits from the world of steam engines and drive models will be integrated directly into the layout and move along with it.

"We want to showcase the versatility of the Bing company." At the age of 31, Uwe Groll 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 at the same time it was possible to recognize which real model the locomotive followed.

The exhibition area on the upper floor still belongs to the friends of steam engines and hot air engines and was already a highlight of the exhibition last year. Here, extremely rare models can be admired. Especially interesting here is the reference to other manufacturers from Nuremberg and the surrounding area who were partly suppliers and partly competitors of Bing at that time. 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: for, dragged down by the Great Depression and the political changes that had begun, 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 that 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, today's toys differ mainly in that they are fast-moving and use a lot of plastic, but little else," says Uwe Groll.

Sustainability at the SPIELZEUGHAUS Museum & Café

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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Book tickets online now

New: Buy tickets for the Bing Museum online

Choose your desired visit date. Appointments can be ordered 2 weeks in advance via the shop. The number of visitors is currently limited to 15 adults per hour due to hygiene regulations.
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PLAY TOY CULTURE - 150 years of BING Bros.

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
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Structure and history of Parisian elevated and underground railways

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.