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Toy Robot Museum (In Memoriam)

Our destination was supposed to close at five. It was already a little past four, so I figured there was no way we’d make it to Adamstown with enough time to do what we needed to do. But then, we’d been lucky throughout the day with everything from traffic to weather to food to destinations, so why not? It’s not like we weren’t going that way anyway. So onto highway 222 en route to Adamstown, Pennsylvania, which is a place with about 30,000 antique malls and flea markets, none of which seem to be open on a late Saturday afternoon. There’s also a microbrew pub, and a place called Black Angus I totally would have eaten at if I’d been the least bit hungry.

Just across the street, though, is what looks to be some fairytale village plucked out of a Disney ride and plopped down in south-central Pennsylvania. And in that little village, known as Stoudtburg Village, you will find the Toy Robot Museum. Or you would. I hear tale that it has shut down, which would be a shame. We got there at 4:45, and although it was obvious the owner was ready to go home, he was welcoming, friendly, and let us poke around for half an hour. It’s a truly fantastic assembly of robots and robot related games and nick-knacks, with Forbidden Planet playing in the background and little video players set up to play old robot toy commercials. The collection covers the gamut, from old school tin robots to modern-day transformers, and I was personally happy to see so many representatives from the late 70s, early 80s on hand — all those insane robot toys that were supposed to be, basically, real robots. Or so we all thought as kids. I remember all those guys, and the Toy Robot Museum had a whole slew of them on hand. I was overwhelmed. The museum also has a gift shop full of robot and space stuff, all reasonably priced (much of it shockingly cheaper than you could ever hope to pay in New York City), and including shelves of amazing books: toy guides, old “wonders of the atomic age” style books, and lots of boy’s own space adventures — again, all for remarkably cheap.