CHESHIRE, Conn. — Gerry Barker grew up with a passion for toys -- lots and lots of toys, but he didn’t have them at home.
“Truthfully, Keith, I had no toys, because my parents wanted to save them all for the collection,” Barker said.
Barker’s parents, Gloria and Herb started their collection back in the 1960s and decades later It’s all on display for the public to see at the Barker Character Comic and Cartoon Museum in Cheshire.
"I love the joy that it brings to people, that’s really what it is," Barker explained. "My parents were just so excited to make people happy."
Today, the family attraction on Route 10 has a collection of more than 80,000 toys.
Blake Bassett has the fun job of showing guests around.
“I have been working here since August and there is usually something I haven’t seen yet, which is crazy, because I am here nearly every day. And there’s always something new,” Bassett said.
According to Bassett, those new discoveries are often very, very old.
“We have everything from 1873 to 2009 and there is a little bit of everything, and there is a little bit of nostalgia for everyone of every generation,” Bassett continued.
Barker says he is committed to growing the collection, although it’s getting harder to find something the museum doesn’t already have.
"If we find something we don’t have, we want it and we will obtain," he said.
The museum is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 11-4.
The most expensive ticket is $5.