The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York announced the 2023 inductees to its National Toy Hall of Fame during a live broadcast on Good Morning America on Friday, November 10. Three objects of play received the honour: Nerf toys, baseball cards, and Cabbage Patch Kids.
Established by The Strong in 1998, the National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes childhood objects that have influenced play over generations. Held annually, the hall selects finalists based on the guidance of a committee of historians, educators, and other individuals with subject matter expertise. This year, over 300 toys were nominated for consideration.
In addition to the toys officially inducted, other Toy Hall of Fame finalists included Battleship, Bingo, Bop It, Choose Your Own Adventure Gamebooks, Connect 4, Ken, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, Slime, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame join past inductees, including Lite-Brite (2022), American Girl Dolls (2021), Fisher-Price Little People (2016), Easy-Bake Oven (2006), View-Master (1999), and Barbie (1998).
The National Toy Hall of Fame also welcomed a special inductee in 2023. To mark the occasion of the hall’s 25th anniversary, the Forgotten Five fan vote sought the public’s input to induct a toy that was eliminated in previous years. The five toys up for reconsideration were My Little Pony, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the pogo stick, PEZ, and Transformers. Fans voted to induct the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, a toy that was initially considered in 2012.
Is a deserving classic toy or game missing from the National Toy Hall of Fame? You can advocate for an object of play to be considered for 2024 induction using the nomination form on The Strong’s website. The four major criteria for nomination outlined by The Strong include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design).
Learn more about the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong.