SINGAPORE  UNIVERSAL  STUDIOS  TRANSFORMERS  RIDE
(from Australia)

DAY 3 of 6

QUICK INDEX - to jump to a specific page, event or day
DAY 1 - Pre-trip planning, (Tue 20th) flight over there, first evening and local area recon.
DAY 2 - (Wed 21st) Universal Studios.
DAY 3 - (Thu 22nd) Toy Museum & retail toy hunting.
DAY 4 - (Fri 23rd) Vintage toy hunting.
DAY 5 - (Sat 24th) Tourist Bus tours around Singapore.
DAY 6 - (Sun 25th) Singapore airport and return home (Mon 26th).
 

THURSDAY 22ND - TOY MUSEUM & RETAIL TOY HUNTING

8.00am - wake up

9.30am - late down to breakfast, as I was looking up locations for what to do today.
I found online that there was a Toy Museum in Singapore, which sounded interesting, so we agreed to check that out, and then go to a nearby shopping center which had a ToysRUs store.

Back in our room at 10am, I talked Julian into using a taxi, as it was so cheap yesterday, and it would be so much quicker and easier, especially with them being everywhere, and a rank was located near the hotel (if we didn't want to wait for one to stop outside the hotel to drop of a patron).
On the map below, we went from the hotel (A) to the first X by taxi, and walked to the second X, then a taxi all the way back.  Each taxi trip was SD$6-9 (about AU$5-8), it was so cheap.
Brisbane taxis are so much more expensive.  What took 15 minutes to get to $10 on the meter in Singapore, only takes about 3 minutes in Brisbane.

10.30am - arrived at the Toy Museum, which was a lot smaller than I was expecting.
It's the narrow bluish building that has wavy glass panels on the front.

A closer look at the entrance.

It was five floors of narrow floor space... which made the $15 seem a bit steep.
Below is the ticket to the museum (and universal studios), plus the museum pamphlet listing the themed levels.  I would have sorted the toys by eras though, as a chronological run of toys.

I was hoping to see toys from my era (80s onwards), but this museum only had up until the 70s... with just two Transformers items that I could find (a comic and a lunchbox).
I think we were the only people in there as well, so it was a shame that they didn't have much patronage, otherwise they wouldn't be staying open much longer.

We were told to start on the top floor, and work our way down.

So many of the toys were old, rare and extremely valuable.  The total value of this collection would have to at least be a couple million dollars, by the one person.  But like our own toy collections, very few would know about its value, or how best to sell them without it being traced back to them.  Prices were listed on various items, which probably cant be seen in the photos... but quite a few items were listed as being in the thousands, and there are thousands of toys in this place.
It was really informative, and obscure. It's just a shame that this place is tucked away out of sight, doesn't appear to get any tourist marketing, and didn't seem to have the patronage to look like it would last long.

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These next few photos have items that would be offensive now, but back when they were produced as toys, up to a hundred years ago, these were just normal toys for "white" kids.
Imagine if a toy company tried to produce these now...

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Back to more socially acceptable toys...

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Above and below were some of the few 80s icons I saw at this museum.

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A little before midday (we took our time, so was there for over an hour - otherwise, it could just take a mere 20 minutes to walk through), we walked off towards the nearby ToysRUs.
We found a shopping centre two blocks over, and spent about an hour looking for the ToysRUs store.  It ended up being in the third building of several joined buildings, known as Suntec.

But before we found the toy store, we found a Burger King... and I had to have a look of course

For some reason, there were more burgers with Turkey Bacon on it... which is a weird coincidence for something so unusual.
So I bought a BK burger that had the turkey bacon on it, to see what it was like... and naturally, onion rings too.
That burger ended up being the only BK burger I had the entire time I was in Singapore, which surprises even me.

Their breakfast menu sounded more interesting though, but I wasn't able to get to one during breakfast hours.

The ToysRUs store.  Heaps more Transformers toys, but nothing I was willing to buy at Singapore prices.

This was a total surprise. Despite all the American franchises we were finding in Singapore, I never expected to find one of their big chains of Giant Pretzels vendors.  I saw it in the distance and was really excited, mostly because I totally missed out on the American Universal Studios trip in September.  But the excitement was short-lived...

...the pretzels were anorexic.  They were about the right size, and even tasted about right, but they were skinny instead of fat and puffy.  A major letdown.

One of the good things was finding a huge asian foodcourt. It was already about 3.30pm by this stage, and we were starving.  This was like a place I once saw in Sydney, which had dozens of all these small food cubicles around the perimeter of the seating area.  And the prices were amazing... not to mention it being prepared right before your eyes.  The meal I got below was only $4, which was a bowl of noodles with mixed meats, plus a broth of assorted meats, vegetables, egg, and fish sitting on a mini burner candle.  By the time the candle burnt out, the egg was cooked/poached.  It was such a shame to see signage up, saying that the foodcourt was closing down within a week, as it was probably a very popular, cheap, authentic asian foodcourt. Or maybe the area was modernising too much to support it.

We also found a couple of small grocery stores, and found some interesting snack items to sample.  Octopus flavoured chips (just tasted like calamari), seaweed Pringles (that's a flavour I bet Australians would never have believed possible - they were nice though), and more cookies&cream chocolate.

The weird green colour of the Pringles.

4.30pm - we caught a taxi back to the hotel, but didn't go inside just yet. We checked out the ToysRUs store again.  Didn't have anything new, so we went back to the hotel.

5.30pm - back in the room to unwind, clean up, play on the computer (and for Julian to play with my toys).

We weren't really planning to go back out, but by about 9pm we started getting bored (the TV in the hotel had a weird selection of channels, with nothing much worth watching) and I was thinking food.
We decided to walk up Orchard Road a couple blocks, about as far as we went on the first night.  But this time I had my camera with me, to take photos of all the lights.

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During this time we ended up finding another ToysRUs just 2 blocks from the one next to the hotel.  That was amazing... and it was just five minutes before closing, so we were being told to leave just as we walked in the store and were looking at the Transformers near the entrance.  Usually stores will just stop letting people in at closing time, not forcibly remove everyone.  I grabbed an Airachnid toy, thinking that I'd probably not find it in Australia. It was in European/multi-lingual packaging, so was missing the full bio, but the price was hard to knock back such a small toy (at about AU$18.50). It was the last of the TFPrime Deluxes I needed anyway, so was worth tying up the loose end.

The TRU store was on the fifth floor of a particular complex, so we went down to ground floor to where a grocery store was located to grab a few items (including tomato flavoured Twisties and Peach Fanta).  There was a food court on that level too, which had a jerky vendor (heaps of different meats and flavourings) that was still open (I bought Chicken, Beef and Pork to try - they were really nice, but expensive). A bakery like the Breadtop chain was also there, and since they were closing up, they were selling there leftovers cheap.  I grabbed a bagful for us to share as a late dinner back at the hotel.

10.30pm - back at the hotel for the usual late night eating, showering, toy testing (mostly by Julian) and computer stuff.


Our combined collection of purchases so far in Singapore (Julian had been buying some as well... with a little prodding from me).

When Dispensor saw Starscream wearing a Bumblebee keychain as Bling, he didn't want anything to do with the photo.

1.30am - sleep.



Continue onto DAY 4 OF 6



To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au