Did your favorite childhood toy make it as a finalist? Check out the full list.
Halls of fame honor outstanding athletes, musicians, artists, pasttimes, and even automobiles. Toys are no different. The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong was established in 1998 with strict criteria for exceptional toys. In order to make it into the Toy Hall of Fame, toys must be more than just enjoyable. They need to have inspired and even transformed play.
Drum roll, please. Here are the 12 finalists for the 2020 Toy Hall of Fame. Final winners will be announced by The Strong on Thursday, November 5, at 10:30 a.m.
Created in 1968, Baby Nancy was cherished by countless children and addressed the need for ethnically correct Black dolls.
Steming from a lottery game played in Italy, American bingo was created in the 1920s and has sustained popularity as a game-of-chance.
In 1950, the Breyer Molding Company created realistic Breyer Horses which have been popular with children, collectors, and equestrians.
Leslie Scott created Jenga out of wooden blocks from her African childhood. "Jenga" is Swahili and means "to build." Players compete by removing blocks from a tower without making it tumble.
This classic toy, created in 1966, produced hours of play in the dark. A lightbulb illuminated colored pegs with which children created artistic designs and masterpieces.
Masters of the Universe Toys
The Masters of the Universe action figures of the 80s produced hours of imaginative play including shouts of "By the power of Grayskull ... I have the power!"
My Little Pony
Children enjoyed doll play (fantasy, hair grooming, collecting) with these small ponies from the 80s. The ponies came in 600 varieties and inspired music, clothing, and a cartoon show.
Risk was first published in 1959 and gained popularity in the 70s as a highly-strategic, military-based board game. It is said to be a pivotal game in board gaming history.
Colorful creations have lined the neighborhood sidewalks for decades. This favorite toy and pasttime dates back to the 16th century.
This classic board game has brought children of all ages together for an evening of fun, laughter, and randomness.
Tamagotchi transformed digital gaming while kids enjoyed caring for a pocket-sized, digital pet in the late 90s.
This classic dice game took a game-of-chance to a whole new level. Players take turns rolling dice to match a predetermined combination and score points.
The toys that have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of fame can be found among The Strong toy museum collection, "the world's largest and most comprehensive assemblage of toys, dolls, board games, video games, other electronic games, books, photographs, documents, and other historical materials related to play." The Strong is dedicated to play, discovery, and innovation for children of all ages. Also housed at The Strong, the Woodbury School offers preschool and early kindergarten classes focused on the students' discovery through play.
Want to check what other toys have been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame? View the 71 toys inducted since 1998. Or maybe you'd like to take a walk down memory lane and peruse a list of popular toys from the year you were born.
Did your favorite childhood toy not make the list? You can nominate a toy. The criteria is simple. Each toy is judged on icon-status, longevity, discovery, and innovation. Innovation is so key that a toy might be inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame on innovation alone (without meeting the other three criteria). The final decisions are not taken lightly as historians, educators, and individuals are consulted for expert advice.
What childhood toy would you nominate? Do you still own the toy? Tell us in the comments below.