Batman Toy Museum in Bangkok (Batcat)
Thailand Largest Toy Museum
Recently opened, Batcat is the largest toy museum in Thailand with, as the name suggests, a strong emphasis on the Batman character. Located outside Bangkok in the Bangkapi area, Batcat Museum will delight memorabilia collectors and fans of the TV series and delves into the very beginnings of the Batman character. Glass shelves spread across two large rooms and two mezzanines above them are packed with 50,000 toys, magazines, games, costumes, with everything and anything featuring the Batman, Superman, Masked Rider or Ultraman logo dating all the way back to 1960.
The first room is an eclectic mix of famous comic book characters that everyone recognises, from their origins, or most likely through their huge comeback with the fashionable and lucrative Superhero movie industry. Exquisitely sculpted Iron Man, Captain America and Thor model collections range from the basic no-frills very first Iron Man to the high-tech version in the latest movies. In fact, the original Iron Man's suit was not that complicated and not many people know than Stark built his suit because he was in a wheel chair, unable to walk. Standing next to these reborn heroes stand some more forgotten ones: Robocop, Wonder Woman and other old familiar faces... No doubt we will see these back on the silver screen sooner than later
Next to the Marvel and DC comic section is a beautiful collection of Masked Rider figurines surrounded by many odd and funny looking enemies, always defeated in about the same amount of time and in the same combat pattern. Funny fact: Thai people call the Masked Rider 'Mot Daeng' meaning red ant while Kamen Rider in Japanese is actually a grasshopper!
Above it, the Ultraman display is also quite impressive with a human-size character standing guard by the door (If he was lifesize, he would be as high as Bangkok's Bayoke Tower). Japanese kids say that Ultraman could never enjoy a cup of instant noodles as his energy runs out after three minutes, the time it takes for cup noodles to be cooked.
Further on, a huge window mixes all the new generation of computer graphic characters from Pixar: Monsters Inc, Robots, Small Soldiers and Toy Story. A smaller section is dedicated to Star Wars (thankfully, the first three and best movies) while a large amount of Spidermen are clambering and hanging over their own showcase.
Move to the next room and you enter the real core of the museum: the Batman memorabilia. Here it becomes obvious that the owner of museum is a true Batman fan. The amount of items is simply staggering and it's hard to believe how much merchandising has been created around a single fictional character! Some objects are impressive, like the lifesize suit or the collection of high-tech Batmobiles and planes, but the old ones are the cutest, naively executed tin toys we thought were so high-tech when we were kids or plastic watches you would talk into, pretending to be in touch with Robin (there was no such thing as an iPhone at the time!). It is hard to believe how many times the Batman suit has changed shape and colour. Remember? Batman used to be blue!
Once you've had your fill of childhood memories, move on to the museum's shop where some items are on sale, then have a drink at the small coffee shop.
Batcat Museum is for true aficionados: the shop is quite far from downtown Bangkok and the drive can take some time in an area notorious for its traffic jams. A good piece of advice is to pinpoint the place on a map really well before going there (see below). It is not obvious to find, and driving around to find the museum is not an easy option.
Batcat Toy Museum
- Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 - 17:00, Saturday-Sunday, 09:00 - 20:00
- Location: 32 Srinakarin Road. Huamark, Bangkapi
- Tel: 66 (0)2 375 9006
- Price Range: Adults: 250 baht, children: 150 baht (discount possible on presentation of a Thai ID or driving licence)