The puppet, the Super Soaker water gun brand, and the board game Twister are the 2015 inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y. 59 toys have now made it into the Hall since inductions began in 1998.
The road to induction in the Toy Hall of Fame isn’t an easy one. Every year, nominations are solicited from the general public via the web or general mail. Impassioned pleas and grassroots campaigns have occurred throughout the years to help spur public support for the nomination of a specific toy. An internal advisory committee at The Strong reviews all nominations and culls them to the top 12 toys that best meet the criteria.
A National Selection Committee then reviews and critiques the top 12 nominees. Authors, educators, historians, scholars, and others who focus on the areas of play, child development, and innovation comprise the selection committee. Each committee member must choose two of the toys and write an essay that supports those choices. Finally, the two or three toys receiving the most committee votes are announced in November for induction into the Hall of Fame.
For more background on this year’s winners, read the official news release.