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Celebrating Disability  everywhere in everything. 

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Toys in Wheelchairs
An Exhibition:
Disability and the Home 



Toys in Wheelchairs

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.  

As part of our work recording and archiving the experience of disabled people in society. we collect toys. 

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. 

Little Tikes Toys


School bus with 5 people 1 wheelchair
Little Tikes 1980s


Play figure: Boy in wheelchair with ramp
Little Tikes 1990s


Wheelchair and baby doll
Lakeshore Learning 1990s


Barbie Chelsea in Wheelchair 
Mattel 2022


Barbie  Winter Paralympic Skier
Mattel 2022


Barbie in Wheelchair  with Chelsea ('You Can Be Anything' Range)
Mattel - Barbie Fashionistas Range 2019


Barbie Ken in Wheelchair
Mattel - Barbie Fashionistas Range 2019


NB> Other Barbie wheelchair users are available...



Becky Paralympian Games Sydney 2000
Mattel 1999

Becky in Wheelchair
Mattel - Share A Smile Becky 1997

TV Supermarionation

Commander Sam Shore Action Figure in Hover Chair
Featured in TV Series Stingray (UK 1964) the first Supermarionation. 
Matchbox 1964

stingray1 copy.jpgstingray2.jpg
Book: Stingray The Ghost Ship by Graham Marks
Boxtree Limited. 1992
Book: Stingray Terror of the Giants by Alan Fennell
Boxtree Limited. 1993
Book: Stingray Under Fire by Graham Marks
Boxtree Limited. 1992

Doctor Who

Davros action figure with controller.
Featured in Doctor Who TV BBC series 6th Doctor Who 1984-1986 ‘Vengeance on Varos’
Product Enterprise 1985


Pull-back-and-go action figure
Featured in Doctor Who TV BBC series 1985


Moxx Balhoon
Pull-back-and-go action figure with Robot Spiders
Featured in Doctor Who TV BBC series The Moxx Of Balhoon Series 1: The End Of The World
Character Options 1985

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

card ironside.jpg
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

TV Animations:
Family Guy - The Simpsons - South Park ...

Stephen Hawking Theoretical Physicist*Real person


Stephen Hawking 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

familyguy_joe_swanson.jpgwiki- joeswanson.jpg

Joe Swanson, a character from the animated US sitcom Family Guy, 
described as 'a macho paraplegic police officer'

Joe Swanson action figure in wheelchair.
Featured in Family Guy Fox TV Animation Series 1999.
Cartoon image Wiki (

South Park


Timothy "Timmy" Burch action figure in wheelchair
Featured in South Park Original network Comedy Central 1997


Little Britain


Lou and Andy wheelchair and carer soft toy
Featured in Little Britain BBC TV sketch comedy show  2003

Characters with wheelchairs in Film / Movies


Dr Finkelstein Action Figure Series 1
Featured in The Nightmare Before Christmas Disney Film 1993
Reels Toys 1993

Dr Finkelstein Action Figure Series 2
Featured in The Nightmare Before Christmas Disney Film 1993
Reels Toys 1993

Dr Finkelstein Collector’s Action Figure
Featured in The Nightmare Before Christmas Disney Film 1993
Reels Toys 1993


Dr. Loveless with Spider Blaster Action Figure
Characters Feature in Wild Wild West Film 1999
WB X-Toys 1999



Rocky Balboa action figure with wheelchair
Character features in Rocky II film 1979
Jakks Pacific 2007

 Jake SullySam Worthington.jpg

Jake Sully character from film / Movie  Avatar 2009 Sam Worthington

Pop! Funko PopHeads


Doctor Finkelstein Pop! Funko PopHead
Featured in The Nightmare Before Christmas Film
Pop! Funko 2017

Head King Bran the Broken Pop! Funko PopHeads
Featured in The Game of Thrones TV series
Pop! Funko 2022

Head Professor X Pop! Funko PopHeads
Featured in the Marvel Comic Series The X-Men Film
Pop! Funko 2018

Blanche Hudson Pop! Funko PopHeads
featured in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?  1962 Joan Crawford
Pop! Funko 2023

Professor Xavier Pop! Funko PopHeads
X-Men Marvel movie Patrick Stewart 


Build a Bear Workshop 2022:

Popular genre of novelty toys:


2 pull back and go action figures driving mobility scooters,
Jam WH Smiths retail Limited 2007


Stunt Granny with controller and accessories
Maplin Electronics 2008


Grannies Racing Circuit
2 racers, with controllers and track.
Maplin Electronics 2010


Early Learning  Centre  toys


Happyland play figures
Sunflower school children includes girl in wheelchair
Early Learning  Centre  2009


Happyland Hospital Set
Includes a nurse and young patient with wheelchair 
Early Learning Centre 2021


Play Mobile play figures in wheelchair with carers,

playmob plasters.jpgplaymob-older.jpg
playmob child.jpg
There are Playmobile Hospital sets and children in wheelchairs included in other sets.
Child play figuires tend to have accessories that indicate an injury: a caste for a broken limb etc.   
Adults play figuires are older and come with a nurse-like carer.


Sylvanian Families. Hospital set includes wheelchair and Nurse Rabbit.


Young man in wheelchair, with electic handcontrol,
front and side view ridgid plastic toy
Lakeshore Learning 1994

Collectable Models


Elderly man in wheelchair with nurse
Collection Models 2004


Hospital wheelchair group of the First World War (9908)
Charles Biggs Model Company 2001


King & Country WH008


Lego Friends
Accessories include wheelchair and impossibly cobbled surfaces