Nestled in the quaint town of Cheshire, Connecticut, the Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum is home to 80,000 antique toys and collectibles spanning over 14 decades of American history.
Housed in a two-storey building that opened to the public in September 1997, the museum holds the personal collection of Gloria and Herbert Barker. It focuses exclusively on character-themed toys and artifacts, including dolls, marionettes, action figures, board games, lunch boxes, and Pez dispensers. The earliest artifacts date back to the late 1800s; the museum’s oldest toy is a set of twin elephant ramp walkers from 1873.
The museum grounds are peppered with dozens of wooden cut-outs of cartoon characters, including Snoopy, the Simpsons, Nancy, Woody Woodpecker, and Popeye. The museum also holds “one of the finest California Raisins collections in the world”, and the only official CelebriDucks Museum in the world.
Next door to the museum is the Barker Animation Art Gallery, which features a collection of animation art, cartoon cell art, and other collectibles available for purchase.