Etch A Sketch Turns 55

Edited.OhioArtEtch A Sketch, which turns 55 this year, was first introduced in the U.S. by The Ohio Art Company as a mechanical drawing toy. Since debuting at the American International Toy Fair in New York City in 1960 (It became the No. 1 selling toy for Christmas of 1960), it has sold more than 175 million units. [Read more...]

Bubbles, Little Green Army Men, and Rubik’s Cube Inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame

NationalToyHallofFameInducteesThe 2014 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees are bubbles, little green army men, and Rubik’s Cube. The inductees were revealed at a public ceremony, which took place at the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play this morning.

The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that also included American Girl dolls, Fisher-Price Little People, Hess Toy Trucks, My Little Pony, Operation Skill Game, paper airplanes, pots and pans, Slip-N-Slide, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

2014 National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists Revealed

American-girlThe 12 finalists for induction into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame this year include American Girl dolls, My Little Pony, Rubik’s Cube, and more.

Here is the full list of finalists:

The Hall of Fame at The Strong museum in Rochester, N.Y., announced the finalists on Monday. A ceremony at The Strong on November 6 will reveal this year’s inductees.

Nominations Being Accepted for The Strong Museum

The Strong Museum’s National Toy Hall of Fame is taking nominations for favorite classic toys and games to be inducted this summer. Submissions are being accepted through July 31.

Since 1998, 53 classic toys and games have been inducted, including the game of chess and the rubber duck. The submissions are sifted through by an internal museum advisory committee made up of curators, educators, and historians. They discuss and decide which toys meet the criteria for induction. The traits they are looking for include icon status, longevity, discovery, and innovation.

The selected toys will be inducted on November 6 at a weekend long celebration at The Strong’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.

National Toy Hall of Fame Nominations Deadline July 31

nthofDo you have a favorite toy that deserves to join the ranks of Star Wars action figures, Tonka Trucks, Slinky, and other classic playthings in the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong? To nominate a classic toy, visit or mail your selection to: National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong, One Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY 14607.  Submissions for nominations must be received by the museum by July 31.

On November 7, the National Toy Hall of Fame will reveal the identity of the newest toy inductees. The induction will be followed by a public weekend celebration November 9 and 10.

The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play. Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design). A toy may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three. [Read more...]

The Strong Announces National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

After reviewing thousands of nominations submitted this year by toy lovers of all ages, The Strong in Rochester, Ny., has announced the 12 nominees for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Two finalists will be inducted on Thursday, November 15.

The finalists for 2012 are: Clue, dominoes, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Lite-Brite, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, pogo stick, sidewalk chalk, Simon, Star Wars action figures, tea set, and Twister. The selected winners will join the ranks of 49 toy luminaries already in the Hall of Fame, including Candy Land, cardboard box, Crayola Crayons, Duncan Yo-Yo, Mr. Potato Head, Radio Flyer Wagon, and Tinkertoy.

The 2011 Inductees for the National Toy Hall of Fame are…

Last week, The Strong announced the 2011 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees: the dollhouse, Hot Wheels, and the blanket. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 toy finalists, including Dungeons & Dragons, Jenga, the pogo stick, the puppet, R/C vehicles, Rubik’s Cube, Simon, Star Wars action figures, Transformers, and Twister.

[Read more...]

The Strong Announces 2010 Toy Hall of Fame Nominees

The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong has announced the 12 final nominees for the 2010 Toy Hall of Fame. The nominees are Cabbage Patch Kids, chess, the dollhouse, dominoes, Dungeons & Dragons, The Game of Life, Hot Wheels, Lite Brite, Magic 8 Ball, playing cards, pogo stick, and the Rubik’s Cube.

Criteria for induction include: icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered), longevity, discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play), and innovation. The 2010 toy inductees, to be chosen by a national selection committee, will be announced at the National Toy Hall of Fame on November 4 at 10:30 a.m. Last year’s inductees were the ball, the Big Wheel tricycle, and the Game Boy. The Strong, located in Rochester, N.Y., recently changed and shortened its name from Strong Museum of National Play.

Video: New Toy Documentary to Show at Ninth Film Festival

Toyland, a new documentary that takes an in-depth look at how toys and games are invented, was just accepted into the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the longest-running documentary film festival in the U.S. This is the film’s ninth festival. The documentary is also being supported by the National Toy Hall of Fame, housed at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y.

Toyland was directed by Ken Sons (Knuckleball, Special O’Laughics), and Tim Walsh, author of Timeless Toys and designer of the game Blurt!, served as creative consultant for the film. For more information, visit and check out the trailer above.

Strong Museum of Play Acquires Second-Oldest Known Monopoly Game

Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., home of the National Toy Hall of Fame, has acquired an early version of Monopoly that was used as evidence in a 10-year legal copyright battle regarding the actual inventor of the game.

The folk-art Monopoly board game, created by a member of the Heap family between 1910 and 1917 in Pennsylvania, is the second-oldest known version of the game, and the oldest version with all of its pieces intact. This version was one of the games used in the defense of Ralph Anspach in a trademark infringement case that went to the Supreme Court. Anspach challenged the lawsuit brought against him by General Mills Fun Group by producing early versions of the game that proved that Charles Darrow, the credited inventor who originally sold the rights to the game, was not the actual inventor. Anspach won the case on this evidence.

Strong Museum of Play owns 65 Monopoly sets and related games, including an additional early version of the game by Charles Darrow. The museum is considering a special display of both the Heap and Darrow games during the National Toy Hall of Fame induction on November 4.