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Monday, August 07, 2006

Holy, Awards! Museum Association to Honor Toy & Action Figure Museum

Though Pauls Valley’s Toy and Action Figure Museum is still in its infancy, the unique, one-of-a-kind museum has already garnered recognition usually reserved for much older attractions.

When the Oklahoma Museums Association meets on September 29 for its annual awards luncheon, the Toy and Action Figure Museum and its curator, Kevin Stark, will be there to accept two awards from the OMA. In fact, the museum will be in the company of some of Oklahoma’s most noted museums and attractions such as the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.

The awards recognize outstanding achievement by museums and individuals throughout the state during the past year.

The OMA announced this week the Toy and Action Figure Museum will receive an award for Best Promotional Piece for museums with a budget between $25,000 to $99,000. The promotional piece award is for the museum’s Hot Wheels Double Dog Dare Derby held last May during the Memorial Day Weekend. The derby was sponsored in part by Hot Wheels along with several other local sponsors. The event featured some actual “Hot Wheels” which lined the street in front of the museum, giving visitors an up close look at the cars and their drivers. Some racing enthusiasts traveled from as far away as Georgia to participate in the derby and check out the museum. Before the Hot Wheels derby began, each participant got a few trial runs on the 50-foot racetrack provided by Hot Wheels. Ninety-two entries ran in the first Hot Wheels Double Dog Derby.

Stark will be honored with a Certificate of Recognition for his efforts in making the museum a reality for Pauls Valley. A byproduct of the Vision 2010 process in 1999, Stark helped form a museum board in 2000. The museum would be the world’s only museum dedicated to action figures.

“Kevin staked a lifetime of creative accomplishment, realized on so many levels, on the success of the museum,” said the OMA in its announcement. Stark even loaned his massive action figure collection — over 7,000 — as the centerpiece for the museum.

“Citizens of our community have recognized this commitment, but few really know what a project of this magnitude means to an artist of his caliber. Kevin Stark is a credit to our community and well deserving of this statewide award with the Oklahoma Museums Association,” stated museum director Della Wilson in her nomination of Stark.

Since opening on October 15, 2005, the museum has welcomed over 10,000 visitors from all across the nation and several foreign countries.

With more than 450 members, the Oklahoma Museums Association supports Oklahoma museums in their efforts to educate, inform and entertain.

By Jeff Shultz
Managing Editor, Pauls Valley Daily Democrat