The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Jinkies, it’s a Mystery Scoob!

The beloved Mystery Inc. gang comes to life in this new exhibit at the Mayborn Museum Complex

1 year ago

By Skylla Mumana

“Ruh-Roh!” A new mystery has made its way to Waco. The Mayborn Museum Complex has opened a new Scooby-Doo™ themed exhibit for the summer. Scooby-Doo™ Mansion Mayhem is an immersive experience that invites meddling kids of all ages to join and work alongside the members of Mystery Inc. to find clues and solve the case of the ghostly jewel thief.

The exhibit is based on an episode from the original show “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” that was first released in 1969. The show is a widely popular animated cartoon series that is centered around the adventures of Scooby-Doo, a talking Great Dane dog, and a group of teenage detectives — Velma, Shaggy, Fred and Daphne —  who call themselves Mystery Inc. The group rides around in a van called the Mystery Machine in search of weird, unexplainable mysteries to solve. Since its first airing, the show has continued to run for over five decades, having been made into spin-offs, movies, comic books, games and much more.

As a natural science and cultural history museum, the Mayborn often features exhibits that are centered around such topics and include exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology and natural history. The Mayborn also features special exhibits like Scooby-Doo™ Mansion Mayhem that allow visitors to collaborate and learn together. Sam Rieta, an exhibit maintenance coordinator at the Mayborn, is often in charge of setting up the specialty exhibits. As a Scooby-Doo™ fan himself, Rieta was excited for Mansion Mayhem.

“It’s nice to bring in themed exhibits like Scooby-Doo™,” Rieta said. “I think exhibits like this one, that are oriented towards kids, are really nice because it can hit not just kids but adults who grew up with Scooby which is really cool.”

The exhibit is on loan from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and was created in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment. It’s split into six main areas for visitors to go through, and features games and riddles for them to solve in order to unmask the thief. Putting together such an exhibit was no easy task, and, according to Rebecca Nall, assistant director of communications at the Mayborn, it was a week-long process. Though daunting, Nall and her team were up to the challenge.

“We rented this exhibit from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; they’re a really great partner with us and we get a lot of temporary exhibits from them,” Nall said. “As far as setup goes, each exhibit is different, but this one arrived on two eighteen-wheelers. It was originally at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan before it came to us. Luckily, we have a very competent crew that sets up all of our exhibits, so they got straight to work. A representative from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis came to help set the exhibit up as well.”

Once the exhibit was ready, many like Marian Cortinas, an event coordinator at the Mayborn, were excited to see it. The interactive stations and hands-on activities were something that Cortinas was especially enthusiastic about.

“ Most of the exhibit is very interactive, which I know is going to get the kids so excited because that’s what they look for, hands-on activities,” Cortinas said. “So the fact that the exhibit is almost 100% interactive, it’s definitely going to be a big hit. I know that kids are going to love getting to grab a magnifying glass and go around and figure out how to solve the mystery.”

With a little bit of bravery, some sleuthing and the help of a Scooby snack, visitors can help these beloved characters catch the jewel-thieving ghost, all while sharing some quality time with each other along the way.

Scooby-Doo™ Mansion Mayhem is set to run until August 20th of this year, and tickets can be found online at the Mayborn Museum website.