ROCHESTER, New York—Which toys will make it into the National Toy Hall of Fame this November? Can Battleship sink the competition? Will the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe cross the finish line? Can Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks pick the right path? Will slime ooze its way past the others? Or is this the year that Ken reunites with Barbie in the hall?
The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, today announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall: baseball cards, Battleship, bingo, Bop It, Cabbage Patch Kids, Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks, Connect 4, Ken, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, Nerf, slime, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Seven of the 12 finalists this year are first-time finalists.
“The National Toy Hall of Fame turns 25 this year—and the 12 finalists for 2023 are stronger than ever. There are classic tabletop games, such as Battleship and Connect 4; active toys like the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and the ever-popular Nerf toys; and some icky fun ones like first-time finalist—slime,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections. “And this may have been the year of Barbie at the box office, but perhaps Ken will share some of the spotlight by getting inducted into the hall? Only time will tell!”
The National Toy Hall of Fame receives thousands of nominations annually, and this year, fans may vote for their favorite finalists from September 13 to 20 as part of a “Player’s Choice” ballot at toyhalloffame.org. The three toys that receive the most public votes will be submitted and will join the other top-three submissions by members of the National Selection Advisory Committee. (The public will collectively act as one member of the 23-member committee.) The final 2023 toy inductees, chosen based on the ballots, will be announced by The Strong National Museum of Play on Thursday, November 9, at 10:30 a.m.
The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations. Criteria for induction 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).
To date, the following 80 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame: alphabet blocks, American Girl Doll, Atari 2600 Game System, baby doll, Baby Nancy, ball, Barbie, bicycle, Big Wheel, blanket, bubbles, Candy Land, cardboard box, checkers, chess, Clue, coloring book, Crayola Crayons, dollhouse, dominoes, Duncan Yo-Yo, Dungeons & Dragons, Easy-Bake Oven, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Fisher-Price Little People, Frisbee, G.I. Joe, The Game of Life, Hot Wheels, Hula Hoop, jack-in-the-box, jacks, Jenga, jigsaw puzzle, jump rope, kite, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Lionel Trains, Lite-Brite, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, Magic: The Gathering, marbles, Master’s of the Universe, Matchbox Cars, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Nintendo Game Boy, paper airplane, pinball, Play-Doh, playing cards, puppet, Radio Flyer Wagon, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Risk, rocking horse, roller skates, rubber duck, Rubik’s Cube, sand, Scrabble, sidewalk chalk, Silly Putty, skateboard, Slinky, Star Wars action figures, stick, Super Soaker, swing, teddy bear, Tinkertoy, Tonka Trucks, top, Twister, Uno, View-Master, and Wiffle Ball.
For more information, visit www.toyhalloffame.org.
About the National Toy Hall of Fame
The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame, established in 1998, recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period. Each year, the prestigious hall inducts new honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of classic toys beloved by generations. Anyone can nominate a toy to the National Toy Hall of Fame. Final selections are made on the advice of historians, educators, and other individuals who exemplify learning, creativity, and discovery through their lives and careers.
The classic toys of the National Toy Hall of Fame sit alongside and complement The Strong National Museum of Play collection, the world’s largest and most comprehensive assemblage of toys, dolls, tabletop games, video games, other electronic games, books, photographs, documents, and other historical materials related to play.