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12 toy finalists announced for National Toy Hall of Fame

Do you long for the days of your favorite childhood toy? Perhaps it's made this year's cut to compete for The Strong National Museum of Play's...

Posted: Sep 13, 2020 3:15 PM

Do you long for the days of your favorite childhood toy? Perhaps it's made this year's cut to compete for The Strong National Museum of Play's National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.

Twelve toy finalists were announced by the National Toy Hall of Fame on September 9, all of which will be duking it out for the top echelons of toy greatness.

This year's finalists include: Baby Nancy, bingo, Breyer Horses, Jenga, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Risk, sidewalk chalk, Sorry!, Tamagotchi, and Yahtzee, according to the announcement.

"Whether old or new, or simple of high-tech, all 12 of these toy finalists greatly influenced the world of play," Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections said in the statement.

National Toy Hall of Fame finalists are selected based on four criteria: Icon-status, Longevity, Discovery and Innovation.

According to the announcement, to have Icon-status, the toy must be "widely recognized, respected, and remembered." For Longevity, it needs to be "more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations." Discovery means that it fosters "learning, creativity, or discovery through play." Innovation is determined if "the toy profoundly changed play or toy design."

"These 12 toys represent the wide scope of playthings -- from simple sidewalk chalk that has its roots in ancient times, to Baby Nancy, which proved a turning point in the representation of race in dolls, to the more-recent, highly innovative Tamagotchi," Bensch said.

The winners are determined by a 23-member National Selection Advisory Committee that submits their top three choices for induction. Included this year is "Player's Choice," where the public can vote for their top three favorite finalists.

"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," the statement read. "The public will collectively act as one member of the 23-member committee."

The public already began casting their ballots at toyhalloffame.org on September 9. Voting will conclude on September 16 and the final inductees are set to be announced on November 5, The Strong Museum said.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998 as part of The Strong National Museum of Play to recognize "toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period."

Since its founding, over 71 iconic toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, including Crayola Crayons, alphabet blocks, Mr. Potato Head, Atari 2600 Game System, and Raggedy Ann -- just to name a few.

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