The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures opened in 1982 as the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City featuring the collections of Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall. Operating in a building on the corner of 52nd and Oak on the University of Missouri – Kansas City campus, the 7,000-square-foot museum had two full-time staff members.
Over the next thirty years with expansions in 1985 and 2004, the museum grew to 33,000 square feet. During that same period, the collection increased to over 72,000 objects. In 2012, the museum embarked on its first public capital campaign to support building and exhibit improvements.
On August 1, 2015, the museum reopened as The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures with the world’s largest fine-scale miniature collection and one of the nation’s largest antique toy collections on public display.