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Toy Hall of Fame

Toy Hall of Fame

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The Toy Hall of Fame was created in 1998 by The Strong in Rochester, New York, United States. It is co-sponsored by the toy industry trade magazine Playthings and acknowledges toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period. To be inducted, nominees must have existed for at least 100 years and must have demonstrated longevity, innovative design, international appeal, and have “stood the test of time”.

The Process

In order to be inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame, a nominee must receive nominations from the public. Once a nominee’s name is put forth, a committee of historians, educators, and other individuals with knowledge and expertise in toys meets to deliberate. The committee narrows the field down to the top choices which are then voted on by the public. The final decision is made by a vote of the National Selection Committee, which is composed of leaders in the fields of play, education, child development, and history.

The Criteria

To be inducted into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame, toys must:

  • Achieve popularity over a sustained period of time
  • Be more than a fad
  • Possess durability
  • Must appeal to children of all ages (not just adults)
  • Still, retains its popularity
  • Be original (not a copy)
  • Be widely available

The Nominees

In mid-October, the public will be invited to vote online for their favorite toys from among the 12 finalists. The results of the public vote, combined with the opinions of the Curatorial Committee, will be considered when selecting this year’s inductees.

Nominees for the 2022 class must have been widely recognized as toys for at least 25 years and have greatly influenced play or toy design. In addition, nominees must still be widely available for purchase.

The nominees for the Toy Hall of Fame Class of 2022 are:

  • Beat Bugs: a music-themed animated series featuring insect characters that sing and dance to songs by The Beatles
  • Bliss where sold as a physical game in which players use specially designed cards to achieve a state of happiness
  • Breyer Horses: model horses first introduced in 1950 that are handcrafted in Ohio from live horse hair
  • Clickables: a line of miniature plastic animals with moving parts that snap together
  • CryptoKitties: digital cats that can be collected, traded, and bred using Ethereum blockchain technology
  • Jenga: a wooden block stacking game first introduced in 1983
  • LEGO Bricks: colorful plastic building blocks first introduced in 1949
  • My Little Pony: brightly colored toy ponies first introduced in 1982 by Hasbro
  • Ouija Board: a board used to communicate with spirits, first patented in 1891
  • Risk: a board game of strategic conquest first introduced by Parker Brothers in 1957
  • Snap Circuits: an electronic circuit-building toy first introduced in 1992

The Results

And the winners are…

The National Toy Hall of Fame Class of 2022 is:

These toys were selected based on the following criteria: they inspire invention and play; they are widely recognized and have enduring popularity; they help teach valuable skills; and they satisfy a childhood need or desire.

Since its establishment in 1998, the Toy Hall of Fame has inducted 62 toys into its ranks, including Barbie, the Crayola Crayon, and the dedication to Mr. Potato Head as an “honorary” member in 2020. The National Toy Hall of Fame is administered by The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York.

In order to be eligible for induction into the Toy Hall of Fame, a toy must have met or exceeded the following criteria:

  • Aged two or more years old
  • Have enjoyed popularity over multiple generations
  • Be widely recognized as representing an enduring icon within the toy industry and culture
  • Have inspired creative play across a broad range of cultures

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