2010 Annual Report Highlights

The Strong

Like kids at play, the museum continues to grow and change. In 2010, it reintroduced itself as The Strong, a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. The Strong carries out its mission through five programmatic arms called “Play Partners.” Each Play Partner provides a unique framework through which The Strong develops, organizes, and delivers educational services.

National Museum of Play
International Center for the History of Electronic Games
National Toy Hall of Fame
Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play
American Journal of Play

  • Served an expanded audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others

  • Introduced a series of 6 interlocking websites making The Strong, its Play Partners, and its collections accessible worldwide

  • Welcomed more than 580,000 guests on site from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, Canada, Europe, Southern and Central America, Asia, Africa, and Australia

  • Delighted 18,500 member households

  • Added nearly 13,000 objects to its world-class collections of dolls, toys, games, and electronic games

  • Designed, developed, and opened eGameRevolution, the world’s first (and largest) permanent museum exhibit on video game history

The Jolly Game of Goose
The Jolly Game of Goose

Grants of Note

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services, $149,500, to enhance access to collections including the growth of online collections, and for planning changes to the museum’s second floor to accommodate a new interpretive exhibit chronicling play in America

  • Time Warner Cable, $15,000, to sponsor the eGameRevolution exhibit

  • Greater Hudson Heritage Network, $1,921, for the preservation of two 19th-century board games—The Jolly Game of Goose and The Mansion of Happiness

  • CVS Caremark, $1,500, to support the National Museum of Play’s Therapy Access program

See also Grants and Gifts

National Acclaim

Throughout 2010, news of The Strong and its Play Partners reached local, regional, and national audiences:

  • Television networks such as CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, and NBC

  • National Public Radio

  • National newspapers including Business Week, Los Angeles TimesNew York PostNew York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post

  • Local market newspapers such as Arizona RepublicAtlanta Journal-ConstitutionBoston GlobeBoston HeraldCleveland Plain DealerChicago TribuneDenver PostHonolulu Star-AdvertiserKansas City StarMiami HeraldMilwaukee Journal SentinelNewsdayPittsburgh Post GazetteSacramento BeeSt. Louis Post Dispatch, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury NewsSeattle Post IntelligencerSeattle Times, and Washington Times

  • Video game industry publications and websites such as IGN.com, GameDAILY, IndustryGamers, Game Career Guide News, EvilAvatar, Game Set Watch, Computer Graphics World, Gamespot News Blogs, GoNintendo, Escapist, Gamers Daily News, Wired, Gamasutra, Gamespy, and Kotaku

National Museum of Play

The National Museum of Play is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to play. Blending the best features of both history museums (extensive collections) and children’s museums (high interactivity), it serves diverse audiences including families, children, adults, students, teachers, scholars, and collectors through a multitude of offerings.

Charles Darrow Monopoly
Charles Darrow Monopoly

Key Acquisitions

  • The oldest Monopoly set associated with Charles Darrow—the only one of its kind known to exist

  • An early folk art version of Monopoly from Pennsylvania

  • An extremely rare 1851 Game of Goose from Germany

  • An important collection of more than 100 early-20th-century building blocks, many inspired by Frederick Froebel

  • Louis Marx toys from a donor in California


  • Voted “Readers’ Choice” for best museum—for the 9th consecutive year—by readers of the Democrat & Chronicle

  • Ranked the number one public attraction in the Rochester region by TripAdvisor.com

  • Named “Best of Rochester” for kids’ entertainment by CITY Newspaper readers




  • eGameRevolution, an original, permanent exhibit where guests can play their way through the history of electronic games. (Produced in conjunction with The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games, opened November 20, 2010)


  • Art of the Brick, sculptures by LEGO-brick artist Nathan Sawaya (December 9, 2009–March 14, 2010)

  • LEGO Castle Adventure, produced by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in cooperation with LEGO Systems, Inc. (January 23–May 9, 2010)

  • Mindbender Mansion, created and toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (May 29–September 6, 2010)

  • National Geographic Maps, created by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in cooperation with National Geographic Society (October 2–January 9, 2011)

Raggedy Ann's 95th birthday celebration
Raggedy Ann's 95thBirthday Celebration at The Strong

Public Program Highlights

  • Presented nearly 100 public programs
    2010 Winter calendar
    2010 Spring calendar
    2010 Summer calendar
    2010 Fall calendar

  • Celebrated the 95th birthday of Raggedy Ann with Peanuts Worldwide, Simon & Schuster, and the family of author Johnny Gruelle (July)

  • Hosted Rochester Garden Club’s Garden Club of America flower show (September)

  • Premiered the newest installment of Shalom Sesame at the National Museum of Play with the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester and Sesame Workshop (December)

  • Provided more than 1,100 Boy and Girl Scouts from the region with patch and badge activities

Woodbury school students
Woodbury School Students

School Program Highlights

  • Delivered school lessons to nearly 20,000 Western New York students, including new offerings on or related to maps, the Berenstain Bears, careers, and debate

  • Provided professional development experiences to more than 470 pre-service and in-service teachers

  • Welcomed 58 three- and four-year-olds to the museum's Reggio Emilia-inspired Woodbury Preschool

  • Furnished free classroom space for Rochester City School District World of Inquiry School 58’s grades K–6 for one month during the summer while their building was renovated

  • Hosted 450 visits from college students that worked on curriculum-related assignments

Community outreach

  • The Summer SUN (Strong Urban Neighborhoods) program provided facilitated museum experiences free of charge for 1,000 urban youth from more than 30 different community organizations

  • In cooperation with more than 60 different agencies, Passport to Family Fun made the museum accessible to hundreds of financially challenged families

  • The Foster Family Admissions program provided museum experiences for 1,200 foster families (in collaboration with 18 agencies in 11 counties)

  • Early Intervention Play Therapy Access and Pediatric Residency Play Observation programs served hundreds of families with special needs

  • In November, in association with National Adoption Month, the museum hosted a Children Awaiting Parents exhibit featuring photographs of children eligible for adoption

International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG)

On March 5, 2010, The Strong converted its National Center for the History of Electronic Games to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games in order to reflect both the international relationships in game design and production and the ways in which game play is increasingly connecting people across the world. At 25,000 artifacts and growing, ICHEG’s collection is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive public collection of video games and other electronic games.

Will Wright notebooks
Will Wright Notebooks

Key Acquisitions

  • Video game pioneer Don Daglow’s personal papers reveal the creative process behind Neverwinter Nights, Utopia, and other early games

  • A collection of 9 design notebooks from Will Wright, creator of The Sims and other classic video games

  • Papers and historical artifacts documenting the life and career of Daniel Bunten (Dani Bunten Berry), one of the most important video game developers of all time

  • “Archives” of Computer Gaming World magazine

Additional Highlights

  • Opening of ICHEG’s eGameRevolution, a highly interactive and artifact-rich exhibit on the history of video games and the first of its kind in the country (November 20)

  • Steve Jacobs, associate professor of interactive games and media in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) named visiting scholar (June)

  • ICHEG’s white paper “Concentric Circles: A Lens for Exploring the History of Electronic Games” referenced in a brief prepared for a Supreme Court case regarding the sale of video games to minors (September)

National Toy Hall of Fame

The National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period. In 2010, the prestigious hall welcomed two new toy inductees.

Playing cards
2012 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductee—Playing Cards
The Game of Life
2012 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductee—The Game of Life

2010 Induction

  • Celebrated playing cards and The Game of Life as 2010 inductees (November 4)

  • Welcomed Hasbro Games’ vice president for global integration and director of global marketing for family games to the induction ceremony

  • Generated national news coverage including reports on 403 times on local newscasts yielding a Nielsen audience exceeding 11.3 million, and 690 print and online news stories for a combined readership of 300 million

  • Recognized other toy finalists under consideration for 2010: Cabbage Patch Kids, chess, dollhouse, dominoes, Dungeons & Dragons, Hot Wheels, Lite-Brite, Magic 8 Ball, pogo stick, and Rubik’s Cube

  • Hosted National Toy Hall of Fame activities at the National Museum of Play at The Strong on November 6 and 7

Additional Highlights

  • The Strong’s exhibits team created a whimsical playroom featuring the 44 National Toy Hall of Fame inducted toys for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s 6th Symphony Showhouse

  • A production team for the Travel Channel series Mysteries of the Museum spent 2 days at the museum shooting footage about hall of fame toys Slinky and Silly Putty

Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play

The Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play is the only library and archives devoted solely to collecting and preserving materials that illustrate and document the role of play in learning and human development, and the ways in which it illuminates cultural history. In 2010, this Strong Play Partner was made accessible to a global audience.

Playthings magazine
Playthings Magazines

Key Acquisitions

  • A complete run of Playthings magazine, chronicling 100 years of toy manufacturing and play in America

  • A donation of materials documenting the career of renowned early childhood educator Vivian Gussin Paley

  • Some 65 hours of filmed interviews with legendary toy and game inventors donated by filmmakers Tim Walsh and Ken Sons

  • More than 2,300 vintage Little Golden Books

Additional Highlights

  • Hosted researchers including those from University of Georgia, University of Texas, University of Chicago, Onondaga Community College, and CUNY Brooklyn

  • Launched www.libraryandarchivesofplay.org and making accessible information on the 130,000 books and trade publications through the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC)

American Journal of Play

The American Journal of Play is a forum for discussing the history, science, and culture of play.

American Journal of Play cover
American Journal of Play Volume 2 Number 3



Journal issues contained articles by authors or coauthors from the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Turkey; book reviews by two scholars in Great Britain; and reviews of books by scholars from Great Britain and the Netherlands.