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The Toy Museum of Catalonia

Chapters «Entertainment», «Optical illusions» and «Magic and illusions»

Exhibition area on tricks that deceive the eyes and stimulate the brain. Photo © MJC

Exhibition area on tricks that deceive the eyes and stimulate the brain. Photo © MJC

Some games and toys disrupt and confuse our visual perception; others expand our capacity to interact. This means we learn that not everything we see is real, and not everything is as it seems, contradicting our senses. Fact and fiction are blurred and everything seems possible.

This section includes toys that create optical illusions: figures and games that trick our eyes and stimulate our brain, entertaining us, including the anamorphoscope, a cylindrical mirror that shows us a distorted image of real objects; or the zoetrope, an item from the history of cinema, in addition to projectors where movement is key.

There are also objects and toys that allow explore children to explore their creativity and imagination: shadow puppets, circuses, and puppet theatres (mainly those made by Palouzíe and Seix i Barral), puppets and marionettes made to look like different characters such as the devil, wolves, farmers and shepherds, and used to stage simple stories in line with popular Catalan traditions including the personification of good and evil.

The display also features several magic tricks and illusions. Some of them are professional, while others are for playing with. These last exhibits are to perform magic tricks to surprise and entertain an audience while simulating the popular shows that appeared in variety shows or the circus.


<p>The zoetrope was the forerunner to the cinema. This one was made by Borr&agrave;s in 1910. Photo &copy; MJC</p>
<p><em>The little conjurer,</em> magic box made in Germany in 1930. It had belonged to Brossa when he was a little boy. Photo: &copy;&nbsp;MJC</p>
Joan Brossa's The little conju
Joan Brossa's The little conjurer
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