Yes, There’s A Toy Hall Of Fame And Here’s Who Made This Year’s Cut

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Announced recently, the 3 winners emerged from a class of 12 finalists that included the Paper Airplane, the Slip’N Slide, Operation, and My Little Pony. They got the nod by fulfilling 4 key criteria: icon status, longevity, fostering discovery, and innovation.

Yes, there is a National Toy Hall Of Fame; it’s at a museum in Rochester, NY called The Strong, which is devoted to “the history and exploration of play. Since 1998, they’ve curated a collection of inductees that includes everything from Play-Doh to the game of Chess. In a nice populist touch, anyone can nominate a toy for consideration, but the inductees are ultimately determined by an advisory board of curators, educators, and historians. You can question their taste (no Paper Airplane?!), but not their impartial bearing: This year’s corporate-backed effort to enshrine the Hess Oil Truck was summarily rebuked.

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There are currently 56 toys in the collection, and all but 2 are available through the Amazon or Ebay links below. As for the exceptions, you can probably find your kid a stick (2008) and the cardboard box (2005) without too much trouble.

2014: Rubik’s Cube, Bubbles, Little Green Army Men

2013: Rubber Duck, Chess

2012: Dominoes, Star Wars Action Figures

2011: Blanket, Dollhouse, Hot Wheels

2010: Playing Cards, The Game of Life

2009: Ball, Big Wheel, Nintendo Game Boy

2008: Baby Doll, Skateboard, Stick

2007: Atari 2600, Kite, Raggedy Andy

2006: Easy-Bake Oven, Lionel Trains

2005: Candy Land, Cardboard box, Jack-In-The-Box

2004: G.I. Joe, Rocking Horse, Scrabble

2003: Alphabet Blocks, Checkers

2002: Jigsaw Puzzle, Raggedy Ann

2001: Silly Putty, Tonka trucks

2000: Bicycle, Jacks, Jump Rope, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky

1999: Duncan Yo-Yo, Hula Hoop, Lincoln Logs, Radio Flyer Wagon, Roller Skates, View-Master

1998: Barbie, Crayola Crayons, Erector Set, Etch-A-Sketch, Frisbee, LEGO, Marbles, Monopoly, Play-Doh, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy

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