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Toy Exhibition is Launched

​Coventry is set for a summer of Play after a new exhibition was launched in the city – and it is already proving popular.

Play: An Exploration of Toys, Games & Fun will be running at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum until September 23, and features more than 200 items that will wow everyone from young children through to nostalgic adults.

It charts the history of play from 2,000 years ago through to the very latest technology.

Running alongside Play is the first ever exhibition dedicated to a video games company which tracks the 30-year life of Twycross-based Rare and is entitled Rare: From 8-bit to Xbox One.

A special VIP launch was held to mark the unveiling of the exhibitions before they were opened to the public.

Frankie Ranford, Cultural and Creative Director of Culture Coventry, said the exhibition will delight visitors – young and old – throughout the summer because there is something for everyone.

She said: “So much work has gone into creating Play and Rare and we are delighted to launch the exhibitions to the public – judging by the initial reactions, people are going to love them.

“There are so many items to see, enjoy and reminisce over. You could hear people on the opening night saying ‘I had that’ or ‘I remember that’, and you could tell it sparked real nostalgia and enjoyment.

“We have no doubt that it will spark many more conversations like that over the course of the summer and we want people to contribute their memories and photos to our online exhibition too.”

The exhibition features an array of items, from very early games through to more recent toys such as Action Man, Cindy, Star Wars and Transformers.

Jim Horth, Studio Services Director at Rare, attended the launch and said it was a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the history of gaming.

He said: “You’ll see something from some of those very early pixelated characters right through to our global hits such as GoldenEye and Banjo-Kazooie, and then onto our always live, always connected latest release, Sea of Thieves.

“What connects them all is that opportunity for people to play together and have unique moments personal to them and create memories.

“It’s an opportunity for people to learn a little bit about what it takes to put games together and the creative process that goes into them, and complements the Play exhibition perfectly.”

The Play and Rare exhibitions are kindly supported by Rare and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To potentially feature in the exhibition, you can donate photos of your own toys to the Virtual Museum by using #playattheherbert on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

For more information on Play and Rare, go to