National Toy Hall of Fame

The Strong National Museum of Play, home to all things toy, has announced the nominees for the 2018 National Toy Hall of Fame. The eventual winner will shared these hallowed grounds with the like of last years Whiffle Ball, Clue, and Paper Airplanes, as well as some pretty strange winners, such as my personal favorite, the STICK (really, it won in 2008). This year’s nominees are no less eclectic, and include board games UNO, Chutes and Ladders, and Tudor’s Electronic Football – remember the vibrating football game from the 1960s? Also included are Chalk, American Girls Dolls, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the Magic 8-Ball, Tic-Tac-Toe, Sleds, Pinball, Tickle Me Elmo, and … Masters Of The Universe! For the full list, check out the website here. Set your alarms, the new inductees will be announced on Thursday, November 8 at 10:30am.


The latest inductees into the Toy Hall of Fame have been announced, and alongside the Little People toys and the swing, Dungeons and Dragons was selected.  That means the RPG that has been capturing people’s imagination, and attention, for the past couple decades is taking it’s rightful place.  The controversy that started when D&D first came out has died down, and it can still be a divisive subject among religious circles, but there can be no doubt of it’s impact on gaming and culture.  So congrats to the winners, and maybe next year we can get some more board games in there.


The nominees for induction into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame were released, and 3 iconic board games (4 depending on which side you are on) made the cut.  They are as follows:

  • Bubble Wrap. Created by accident in 1957 by two engineers who were attempting to develop a new kind of wallpaper.  (given that a previous winner was blankets, this makes sense)
  • Care Bears. Began as a line of greeting cards in the early 1980s but evolved into a brand whose bears star in storybooks, television shows and games.
  • Coloring Book. New York printer McLoughlin Brothers is credited with inventing the books that have enjoyed renewed popularity lately thanks to adult-oriented versions featuring complex designs.
  • Clue. The game that invites players to solve a murder remains a best-seller nearly 70 years after its release.
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The 1970s role-playing game featuring imaginary worlds of magic and monsters influenced today’s computer game industry.
  • Fisher-Price Little People. A wooden version first rode the Safety School Bus in 1959. The brightly painted figures were given arms and legs in the 1990s.
  • Nerf. The foam balls safe enough to throw indoors were first produced in the 1960s.
  • Pinball. The machines have long been a mainstay at bars, amusement parks and arcades, with players using flippers to launch steel balls through mazes.
  • Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Competitors throw mechanical punches in an effort to knock the block off of their opponent’s boxer.
  • Swing. Found in ancient cave drawings in Europe and ceramic vases from Greece — and in playgrounds and backyards everywhere.
  • Transformers. Hasbro’s shape-changing action figures are featured in comic books, games, breakfast cereal and movies, the latest of which is due out in June.
  • Uno. The 1971 game where players dispose of the cards in their hands has sold steadily for more than four decades.

Two out of these 12 nominees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on November 10th and reside alongside toys like the Legos, Barbie, and Chess.  You can see the list and previous winners on the Hall of Fame website.

twister banner

This year in the National Toy Hall of Fame, a board game was selected as one of the three inductees! Twister, Puppet, and Super Soaker were the three selections from the twelve finalists, which also included another board game – Battleship.

The National Toy Hall of Fame® at The Strong, established in 1998, recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period. Each year, the prestigious hall inducts new honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of classic toys beloved by generations.

Other board games have also been included over the years – Chess, Candy Land, and Scrabble to name a few. It’s nice to see board games included in the list of ‘classic toys beloved by generations,’ and hopefully the board games we have now will have the same lasting popularity as the older board games have seen.

To learn more about the three inductees (apparently Twister was originally invented as a shoe polish promotion), check out the article from The Game Aisle here.

old games

The National Toy Hall of Fame has announced their 10 nominees for 2014.  With 9 of the 10 nominees not being games, the sole game will have a real rough go of it.  (Operation being the sole game that is nominated this year)  It does fulfill all of the criteria for the award so hopefully it is able to eek out a win.  But like many toys, it might be destined to have to spend year and year on the list waiting for its final moment in the sun.

To read the full story head over to the Game Aisle here.