Out of a field that included 12 finalists, Matchbox Cars, Magic the Gathering, and the lowly coloring book have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The other nominees for the honor were Care Bears, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, smartphone, and the top.
According to Chief Curator Christopher Bensch, “Matchbox Cars revolutionized the toy car industry after their introduction, and the name ‘Matchbox’ has become synonymous with miniature cars. It’s only fitting that they join the Toy Hall of Fame to sit in the winner’s circle alongside Hot Wheels, the other titan of the field.”
Perhaps of more interest to boardgamers is the induction of Magic the Gathering, which has now been around for 25+ years now, into the Hall of Fame. Per curator Shannon Symonds, “Magic: The Gathering changed the landscape of collectible card gaming . . . and it’s become a part of pop culture—leading to book series, electronic games, and even a series on Netflix. The fact that it continues to maintain popularity is a testament to its revolutionary gameplay and constant evolution, making it engaging for beginners and experts alike.”
Finally, the coloring book has made it into the Hall of Fame. Whose childhood has been complete without at least one? The coloring book was originally introduced to America due to educational reforms in Europe transitioning over, but McLoughlin Brothers, a New York printing company, is credited as the coloring book’s inventor. To no one’s surprise, coloring books are still in use for educational purposes today.
The National Toy Hall of Fame is part of The Strong National Museum of Play, which encourages “hands on” play in a collections-based museum, focusing on the history and the exploration of play. The museum is located at One Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY, and is open seven days a week.