Little shop of horrors

More debris from the summer. I took these pictures in a toy museum in Suomenlinna island, off the coast of Helsinki. The museum is tiny, tucked away in a quiet corner of the island off the main tourist tracks. I imagine in the autumn after the tourists are gone and weather is cold and sad, it is a wonderful place.
0IMGP7627Coffee on the terrace.
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0IMGP7640The light in the museum is appalling for photography, and all the toys are in tightly filled glass cabinets, often with no direct light, so lots of the photos I took that day turned out to be out of focus, underexposed or full of reflections in inconvenient places – the cabinet surfaces were full of tiny hand prints.
0IMGP7687The collection is very valuable – original Steiff bears, “first edition” Barbies, Moomin figures made by Tove Janson… I’m always fascinated by how scary old toys are. The dolls in the museum look like two armies of zombies and vampires gazing each other viciously through their barriers of glass – dead-eyed, grey-faced, red-lipped, their necks distorted.
0IMGP7704Poor Bambi, he looks terrified.
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0IMGP7711This bear mama has made the wise decision to hide with her cub.
0IMGP7649What is this? WHAT IS THIS? Answers on a postcard.
0IMGP7666This guy escaped from the film Freaks.
0IMGP7664Vampire Shirley. That is one evil-looking doll.
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0IMGP7699Even the Moomins look a bit sinister. I guess living across the room from that Shirley Temple doll does that to one…
0IMGP7667This little guy I cannot fault. He is just cute.
The Suomenlinna Toy Museum is open for one weekend towards the end of October, for most of December, and then again April. It’s a little bit expensive, but well worth it, if you have got couple of hours to spend to take it all in properly.

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