Roadside Oklahoma

As part of my ongoing quest to visit every attraction listed for Oklahoma on roadsideamerica.com, I talked Ron into taking a little field trip to Pauls Valley yesterday to see the Toy and Action Figure Museum.

On the way to the museum, I got out the iPad and discovered a new addition to the Oklahoma listings: Edmond’s “Wigwam Church,” which was designed by world-renowned architect Bruce Goff and constructed by church members in 1951.

The church, closed for many years, has fallen into disrepair, but efforts are afoot to restore the mid-century structure.

Taking U.S. 77 south to Pauls Valley, we found another bit of RA-recommended roadside kitsch in Lexington:

The primary goal of this trip, however, was to visit the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley. We’d heard good things about the museum, and we were not disappointed.

A vast collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles confronted us from shelves and display cases, brandishing weaponry of all types:

I especially liked the Lego variant above. Note the Smurf in the lower left-hand corner of the photo and the superhero flying dangerously close to Raphael’s blade.

G.I. Joe was there …

… along with the usual comic-book heroes. I particularly liked the creativity of the displays. In this tableau, a piece of cheesecloth serves as a makeshift web for Spider-Man and three companions …

… while Batman and Robin scale a wall in another display case:

The museum has an extensive collection of Batman memorabilia, including some incredibly shameless merchandising:

There’s an outsized Balrog prototype …

… but the most fun display of all was the enormous replica of an adult toy collector’s bedroom, where we found the Wild Things starting a wild rumpus with a couple of Thundercats and the members of Spinal Tap …

… two variations on the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man …

… the gang from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse …

… an assortment of characters flying from the ceiling with the aid of monofilament …

… and a frightening horde of superheroes, villains, rock stars, and childhood companions of all stripes:

Here’s the hilarious placard that appears in front of the elaborate display:

Before heading back to Tulsa, we visited two more roadside attractions: a muffler man near Wynnewood …

… and this strangely pretty sculpture outside a welding shop near Stratford:

By the time we found the butterfly sculpture, we were running out of daylight, so we called it a night and headed back to Tulsa by way of Shawnee, where we stopped for dinner at Van’s Pig Stand.

Hope your weekend was full of kitschy goodness.

Emily

 

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