2022 National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists Announced : NPR


The 12 finalists for this year’s induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame: bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, Nerf toys, piñatas, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O, Spirograph and the spinning High.

The National Toy Hall of Fame / The Strong


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The National Toy Hall of Fame / The Strong


The 12 finalists for this year’s induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame: bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, Nerf toys, piñatas, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O, Spirograph and the spinning High.

The National Toy Hall of Fame / The Strong

It’s a crowded field this year for Hall of Fame candidates.

Some are expensive. Some are cheap. The youngest is only 27 years old. The oldest, well – it’s hard to know exactly how long spinning tops have been around, but suffice it to say that they appear on some ancient Greek pottery.

There’s bingo, the classic lottery game that dates back to the 1500s. There’s Nerf. There’s the humble piñata.

All are vying for a handful of coveted spots in the National Toy Hall of Fame, a long-running exhibit housed at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY.

“These 12 toys have what it takes to be contenders for the Class of 2022,” Christopher Bensch, the museum’s vice president for collections, said in a statement.

Since the Hall’s founding in 1998, 77 different toys have become Hall of Famers. About half are branded toys, like the Radio Flyer Wagon, Lego and the Rubik’s Cube. The rest are beloved generic toys, from the teddy bear to the paper airplane to the cardboard box.

In potential Hall of Fame inductees, the Strong looks for four qualities, museum officials said: iconic status, longevity long enough to be enjoyed by several different generations, a sense that the toy promotes “learning, creativity or discovery” and a kind of innovation. in the design of games or toys.

This year’s 12 finalists also include Rack-O, Spirograph and Breyer model horses. Another contender is Catan – the German board game first released in 1995 as The Settlers of Catan – which has sold 32 million copies worldwide and helped introduce Americans to the style Eurogame board game that has since gone mainstream.

The most common golden age for this series of nominees was the 1980s: Pound Puppies, Masters of the Universe (including He-Man and She-Ra), Phase 10 Card Game, and Light Toy electric Lite-Brite, whose bid for the Hall of Fame follows a notable appearance in the new season of Netflix’s hit stranger things.

“These 12 toys span the history of the game. The spinning top is as old as civilization itself and bingo has been played in one form or another for hundreds of years. Masters of the Universe and Pound Puppies have become classics in the 1980s, but they too greatly influenced the gaming world,” Bensch said.

Last year the three inductees were American Girl Dolls, the board game Risk and that “dry, gritty material made up of small pieces of rock, earth, minerals and gemstones” more commonly known as sand.

The public can vote until September 21 via the “Player’s Choice” ballot. An advisory committee will make the final decisions. Selections will be announced in November.


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