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New York Transit Museum’s Great Gifts for Holidays

New York Transit Museum’s Great Gifts for Holidays

This holiday season, give the gift of something authentic, celebratory, nostalgic, rare, or just plain fun. From apparel and children’s toys to collectibles and limited-edition art, here are some shopping solutions and one-of-a-kind gifts found all in one place that can be shipped directly to the recipient from The New York Transit Museum. 

Arts and Design 

For the art enthusiast, this iconic design of the MTA New York City Subway Diagram is slated to be included in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Designed in 2012 by Vignelli Associates it uses concepts from Massimo Vignelli’s iconic Subway Map design of 1972. Revised to reflect the current subway system, colors, and nomenclature, the poster has been printed in vivid Pantone and Hexachrome inks on acid-free archival cover-weight paper. 

Adorning subway cars across the city you’ll find an assortment of uniquely designed Art Cards and Art Posters curated by an assortment of artists such as the famed Missed Connections by Sophie Blackall, The Whale by Peter Sis, Moonlight Moment by Jasu Hu, and New York View by Olimpia Zagnoli.


Give the gift of art within an activity with one of the many puzzles celebrating the rich history and culture of New York. Artist Yuko Shimizu creates a childlike fantasy as the famed Grand Central Terminal zodiac symbols come alive and children float to the sky to catch a ride in Starbright, a 500 piece puzzle. Harlem Serenade by Yohey Horishita, brings history to life as landmarks, musical instruments are intertwined with subway imagery, reflecting the music, people, and culture of the vibrant Harlem community. For the kids, this 24-piece Locomotive Train Puzzle & Vehicle Play Set doubles as a train with rolling wheels and Velcro closure. Included are unique figures including a conductor and traveler that are ready to board the train and set off on their next adventure!


The beloved wooden Munipals once started as a young boy’s dinner-time idea and have returned with two brand new trains to add to the collection – the NYC Subway Wooden 7 Train Express and NYC Subway Wooden F Train Express. These solidly-made wood toy trains that both children and adults will enjoy can play on the standard wooden tracks you may already own. 

Daron MTA Buses

The new Daron MTA 11” Blue Bus is officially licensed by the MTA. With fully functional wheels, open and close doors, and updated blue and yellow markings, kids can enjoy navigating their imaginary city. 


The city’s famed James “Smelly” Kelly used his super-senses and intelligence to make sure that the New York City subway in the 1930s ran safely throughout his lifetime and beyond. “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly’s Nose Saved the New York City Subway shares how he smelled everything: rats in the shed; circus elephants a mile away; tomorrow’s rain. Armed with his super-sniffer and the tools he invented, he tracked down leaks from the dangerous to the disgusting, from the comical to the bizarre. Then, he sprang into action to prevent cave-ins and explosions in the tunnels beneath the city. Each book comes with the author’s signature inside. 

Limited Edition Signed Vignelli 

Hand-signed by Massimo Vignelli, Beatriz Cifuentes, and Yoshiki Waterhouse; this iconic 2012 NYC Subway Diagram is slated to be included in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. With only a certain amount of them available, it’s truly a rare, one-of-a-kind piece of New York to give that special art-enthusiast or New Yorker who already has everything. Also available this holiday season is the limited edition reissue of the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual, by Unimark’s Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda. Officially licensed by the MTA and originally only available through the Kickstarter campaign, The New York Transit Museum has a very small quantity for purchase! 

Authentic Subway Grab Holds

Grab hold of New York City subway history! This authentic stainless-steel “Redbird” subway grab holds are sure to spark a conversation. In urban public transit standing passengers, sometimes called straphangers, held on to these grab holds on many subway cars between 1959 and 2003, to provide extra capacity during rush hour. It can be used to hang towels or clothes or displayed as a collectible in garages, rec rooms, and man-caves.

Model Trains and Buses

For the transit buffs and collectors, the new MTA M15 Flxible 53102 Bus Diecast Model will get the holiday shopping wheels in motion. This bus will go perfect with your existing HO Scale layout as well as your 1:87 Scale bus collection, but get one fast as they’re a limited quantity! The Lionel Train GCT Express Set celebrates Grand Central’s 2013 Centennial and features a locomotive, two coach cars, and an observation car. You’ll have everything you need to build and operate your set, with track and a transformer included.


Fashionable enough for even Isaac Mizrahi, who was spotted wearing one on his social media, the New York Transit Museum Store’s masks mke for a fun and safety-forward stocking stuffer and are available in both adult and kid sizes. Three designs are available: How to Wear a Face Mask Thumbs Up Figure, which was created for the Operation Respect campaign in 2020 to promote safe travel, including wearing a mask and social distancing, on public transportation; the Subway Map Mask; and Subway Route Mask.

T-Shirts For Everyone

Whether it’s a shirt celebrating your favorite subway line or station, or a map of the entire subway system, there is a t-shirt option for everyone on your gift list. The top seller this year is the How to Wear a Face Mask Tee, which was created to promote safe travel in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Beautifully Designed Socks

Everyone looks up when entering Grand Central Terminal to view its iconic astronomical ceiling. These Grand Central Terminal Knee-High Socks, available both in the iconic teal/gold and black/gold, will have you staring down at your feet instead! For the kids, Massimo Vignelli’s subway diagram is a hallmark of modernist elegance, distilling New York’s huge, complicated transit system into a sequence of straight lines, rainbow colors and black dots and kids can enjoy this historic diagram on these Subway Vignelli Socks.

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