The WIRED.com headline reads “Giant Midwest Mecca of Nerditude in Oklahoma” (that’s a good thing by the way) and the story is about the huge collection of action figures on exhibit in Pauls Valley at the world’s only Action Figure Museum.
The article stirred up a plethora of global twitter. WIRED reaches millions of techno nerds, each with thousands of blogging pals, and their topic of discussion lately has been one of Oklahoma’s Top 10 Attractions.
Driving through historic downtown Pauls Valley, visitors are in for a surprise. It is hard to miss the 8 foot robot action figure over the entrance to the Toy & Action Figure Museum. Encompassing 6,000 square feet, this phenomenon of alternate universes showcases and pays tribute to the amazing characters that comic books, movies, and toy companies have made into some of the world’s most popular products and icons.
Well over 10,000 super heroes, arch villains, cult favorites and movie monster articulated toys fill the glass cabinets and open displays throughout this maze of memories. The walls are lined with unopened boxes (that most of us wish we still had) and common consumer products featuring well known comic book personalities.
Batman memorabilia has long been a favorite of curator Kevin Stark, whose collection was the genesis of this tourist destination. Batman’s Cave is loaded with everything from batmobiles and movie posters to candy and costumes; along with the evolution of Batman’s many incarnations from Adam West to Christian Bale.
The Action Figure Museum is also home of the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection, an exhibit of works by published Oklahoma comic artists and writers such as Chester Gould of Dick Tracy fame, and Jack and Carole Bender of comic strip favorite Alley Oop.
Ever changing and evolving exhibits, a recent addition pays tribute to the years of comic book and action figure fun we have all enjoyed because of the tireless artists at DC and Marvel Comics. Several hundred super heroes and their nemesis villains stand side by side proud to be part of the history of entertainment that continues to fill comic book pages and television screens around the world.
One of the most notable displays at the Toy & Action Figure Museum recognizes the work of the designers and sculptors in the field. One goal of the museum is to stimulate imagination in young people and introduce them to a myriad of career possibilities in the toy industry.
Kids love this place as much as adults. There are several interactive areas like Spidey’s Closet where little guys dress up as their favorite super hero and leap tall buildings!! Then there is Action City loaded with action figures and toys to play pretend with, plus a variety of coin-operated vehicles for the little guys including a Batmobile in Batman’s Cave.
The museum is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 1pm to 5pm. Pauls Valley, also home to bedré chocolates, Field’s Pies, Valley Vineyard & Winery and some fantastic shopping, is 60 minutes south of Bricktown on I-35. Take Exit 72 east on Highway 19 and follow the signs. Visit www.actionfiguremuseum.com or call 405/238-6300 for event information.
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