It’s that time of year again, as 12 iconic toys face off in a battle to score a coveted spot in The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.
This year’s finalists include famous brands and classic items. American Girl Dolls, Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Mahjong, Masters of the Universe, piñata, Risk, sand, The Settlers of Catan, and the toy fire engine were selected from thousands of nominees.
“These 12 toys represent the wide scope of playthings — from one of the most universal playthings in the world like sand to a game-changing board game like Risk to the popular adult game of billiards,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections at The Strong. “Whether old or new, for kids or adults, all 12 of these toy finalists greatly influenced the world of play.”
Notably, this year’s lineup includes some past nominees that haven’t been able to cross the finish line. The Fisher-Price Corn Popper has been vying for entry into the Hall of Fame since at least 2012 while He-Man, Skeletor, and the rest of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe have been slashing their Power Swords at the gates for the past four years.
Public voting is open through Sept. 22 as part of a “Player’s Choice” ballot at toyhalloffame.org. The three toys that receive the most public votes will be submitted and will join the other top-three submissions by members of the National Selection Advisory Committee.
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;
- Innovation: the toy profoundly changed play or toy design.
The final 2021 toy inductees, chosen based on the ballots, will be announced at The Strong museum on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 10:30 a.m.
To date, the following 74 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame: alphabet blocks, Atari 2600 Game System, baby doll, Baby Nancy, ball, Barbie, bicycle, Big Wheel, blanket, bubbles, Candy Land, cardboard box, checkers, chess, Clue, coloring book, Crayola Crayons, dollhouse, dominoes, Duncan Yo-Yo, Dungeons & Dragons, Easy-Bake Oven, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Fisher-Price Little People, Frisbee, G.I. Joe, The Game of Life, Hot Wheels, Hula Hoop, jack-in-the-box, jacks, Jenga, jigsaw puzzle, jump rope, kite, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Lionel Trains, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, Magic: The Gathering, marbles, Matchbox Cars, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Nintendo Game Boy, paper airplane, pinball, Play-Doh, playing cards, puppet, Radio Flyer Wagon, Raggedy Ann and Andy, rocking horse, roller skates, rubber duck, Rubik’s Cube, Scrabble, sidewalk chalk, Silly Putty, skateboard, Slinky, Star Wars action figures, stick, Super Soaker, swing, teddy bear, Tinkertoy, Tonka Trucks, Twister, Uno, View-Master, and Wiffle Ball.