How must it feel to be the only child in your class to wear a hearing aid or use a wheelchair?

For disabled children, seeing themselves reflected in the toys that they and their friends play with can help combat isolation and build self-esteem.   

Since the early 1900s toys have been used to explain medical procedures to children with disabilities. In the 1960s toy production began to reflect changing attitudes towards disability and toys designed purely for play became available.  

Digital Disability collects toys as part of our work recording and archiving the experience of disabled people in society.  

Disability and the Home: Toys and Games exhibition runs from Tuesday 17 January to Sunday 26 March 2023 at Museum of the Home 136 Kingsland Road London E2 8EA Entrance is free. #DisabilityandtheHome



BeckySchoolPhotographer.jpgShare a Smile Becky, Paralympian and Photographer by Mattel


Stephen Hawkins in Turbo Charged Flying Wheelchair. Featured in The Simpsons Animation Comedy. 20th Century Fox Television

(Note: Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) A Theoretical Physicist made four appearances on the Show as himself.)

Playmate Toys 2003



Commander Sam Shore Action Figure in Hover Chair

Featured in TV Series Stingray (UK 1964) the first Supermarionation for children's TV made by Matchbox 1964


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WWI First World War period bisque / ceramic doll,    Scottish Regiment soldier in full uniform with original WW1 miniature medals. The doll is supported by a crutch as he has one leg.
Measures approx; 25cm tall. 


Featured in Ironside USA NBC TV Series 1967–1975
Starring Raymond Burr

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Text reads: Robert T Ironside is a legendary chief of detectives who confined to a wheelchair by an assassin's bullet becomes a crime consultant for the San Francisco police department

His customised wheelchair has the horsepower of a small car to compensate for the extra hilly terrain of his beat while his specially modified police van which he uses as a an office on wheels carries a mass of intercom and detection equipment in addition to being a highly efficient and speedy means of transport for the Ironside team. Paddy-wagon black Maria and Ironsidemobile are just three of the many names given to this very special vehicle from the Ironside T.V. films.


Ironside Van Model Kit

Mpc Of The Fun Group At General Mills 1969


Ironside: A board game

Ideal 1969


Ironside’s Police Truck and Figures

Corgi Toys 1971

Edward Scissorhands play figure.  Featured in film Edward Scissorhands 1990

Quasimodo soft cuddly toy from Disney animation 1996
Small play figure character with lamp and keys from a Kinder Egg.

Swashbuckle Pirate
Play figure Swashbuckle  Pirate with flowing hair and cape.

Sea Captain. Carved wood  figure of sea captain with peg leg.


Peri action figure with Sil and tank

Featured in Doctor Who TV BBC series 6th Doctor Who 1984-1986 ‘Vengeance on Varos’

Underground Toys 1985 Peri (Nicola Bryant) is the assistant to Doctor Who,  Sil ( Nabil Shaban) is an alien. Underground Toys 1985.

Lakeshore 1994 educational toy figure with crutches

Lakeshore 1994 educational toy figure with calipers


Lakeshore 1994 educational toy figure with white cane

Lakeshore Education 1994 Solid plastic play figures

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Bad Bob cuddly toy.
Bad Bob features in Rex The Runt  Aardman claymation TV series 1998 about a purple dog Rex 
and his friends.