Batteries Not Included, open now!

The National Football Museum has announced a new interactive exhibition that explores the history and development of football toys and games, their remarkable influence on our lives and understanding of the beautiful game.

Batteries Not Included takes visitors on an immersive journey from the Victorian era through to the latest cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) technology, reflecting the cultural influences of each decade and how play technology is now adopted across the professional game.

Best of all, visitors of all ages can get hands-on with a range of football toys and games taking you on an exciting exploration of play between the real and virtual worlds, with 17 interactive games and exhibits, including Subbuteo and a variety of classic arcade video games.

England superstar and McDonalds ambassador, Beth Mead, also has her own place in the exhibition too in the form of the first ever women’s football ‘Big Head’ collectable figurine.

To celebrate the start of the Women’s World Cup  and bring a new piece of football memorabilia to fans across the country, McDonald’s teamed up with Beth Mead to create 10,000 football ‘big head’ figures in her image.

Beth’s figurines will be unveiled in the Score Gallery as part of the Batteries Not Included exhibition as of Wednesday 12 July.

McDonald’s ambassador, Beth Mead, commented: “it’s incredible to see a mini me in the National Football Museum. It is truly amazing to be the first ever women’s player to have their own ‘Big Head’ collectable. It feels really special, for this figurine to be joining football memorabilia through the ages and hopefully this is just the start of seeing more football collectables from the women’s game. I can’t wait to get my figurine into the hands of fans across the country in time for the World Cup.”

Batteries Not Included has been co-created with the community and football fans, featuring personal stories and a special, separate children’s interpretation trail. It is also the National Football Museum’s most environmentally sustainable exhibition to date, making extensive use of re-purposed materials and recycled components.

This exhibition is the museum’s first as a new National Portfolio Organisation (NPO), which centres around ‘Football Creates’ – an inclusive, three-year cultural programme using the unrivalled appeal of football to engage people and communities in creativity.

Tim Desmond, CEO of the National Football Museum said: “We are really excited to showcase our new exhibition to all our visitors this summer. Whilst there is certainly an element of nostalgia, Batteries Not Included also explores the future of football toys and games and importantly with many opportunities for people of all ages to engage with Football Creates through the exhibition and events programme.”

Batteries Not Included opens at the National Football Museum on 12 July 2023 until 25 February 2024.

Tickets are available online here and includes unlimited visits to the museum and the Batteries Not Included exhibition for 12 months.

Thanks to funding from Manchester City Council, City of Manchester residents are admitted free of charge.