Which toys will make it into the hallowed halls of the National Toy Hall of Fame this November? Will My Little Pony gallop away with the honor? Will Pac-Man gobble up his opponents? Or, will rubber duck squeak by the competition?
The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester has announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall:
• Fisher-Price Little People
• Little green army men
• Magic 8 Ball
• My Little Pony
• Nerf toys
• Rubber duck
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Only two of these 12 finalists will make it into the prestigious hall, joining such toy luminaries as Barbie, Mr. Potato Head, Star Wars action figures, and Monopoly.
The National Toy Hall of Fame receives thousands of nominations via mail and email annually. The final 2013 toy inductees, chosen by a national selection committee, will be announced at the National Toy Hall of Fame on Nov. 7 and a major weekend public celebration will follow at the National Museum of Play at The Strong on Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10. This year’s induction ceremony includes a special guest appearance by nationally-syndicated cartoonist (Rubes) who will unveil two custom cartoons featuring the newest toy inductees. Rubin will also participate in the museum’s weekend celebration, sharing insights on his visually quirky outlook on life at special 40-minute presentations in the museum theater.
The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play. 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 51 toys have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame: alphabet blocks, Atari 2600 Game System, baby doll, ball, Barbie, bicycle, Big Wheel, blanket, Candy Land, cardboard box, checkers, Crayola Crayons, dollhouse, dominoes, Duncan Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake Oven, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, G.I. Joe, The Game of Life, Hot Wheels, hula hoop, jack-in-the-box, jacks, jigsaw puzzle, jump rope, kite, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Lionel Trains, marbles, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Nintendo Game Boy, Play-Doh, playing cards, Radio Flyer Wagon, Raggedy Ann and Andy, rocking horse, roller skates, Scrabble, Silly Putty, skateboard, Slinky, Star Wars action figures, stick, teddy bear, Tinkertoy, Tonka Trucks, and View-Master.
Anyone can nominate a toy for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. An internal museum advisory committee comprised of curators, educators, and historians reviews the submitted nominations and determines which toys meet the criteria for selection. A national selection committee then reviews the list of toy finalists. Each national selection committee member votes for his or her top toy picks for induction. The votes are then tallied, with the toys receiving the most votes making the cut for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame.