#TOYS: The TOY HALL of FAME is about to dedicate new toys today! | 97.1 WASH-FM


Toys. We had them all and we love them all. Well, maybe we didn’t have ALL the toys we wanted, but, there is one place where toys are in the spotlight … the TOY HALL OF FAME. And today they are dedicating new members! And the nominees are …

The following 12 toys are finalists for The Strong’s 2021 National Toy Hall of Fame induction. Only three will take their places of honor in the hall this year when announced by The Strong on Thursday, November 4 at 10:30 a.m.

American Girl Dolls

Created in 1986 by educator and presenter Pleasant Rowland, the 18-inch American Girl Dolls (and accompanying books) explore America’s social and cultural history. Each doll comes with a unique narrative that matches her time, like Molly McIntire, who waits for her father to return home after WWII. The Pleasant Company launched the My American Girl line of dolls in 1995 (originally as the American Girl Dolls of Today) and designed them to look like their owners.


Originally a pencil-and-paper game, inspiration for Battleship began with similar two-person strategy games in the late 19th century. Various manufacturers printed paper versions from the 1930s onwards, and Milton Bradley’s 1967 plastic adaptation became successful. The game was among the first board games to be computerized in 1979, and there are countless electronic versions available today.


Billiards is an umbrella term for many different cue sports, but billiards (or pocket billiards) is the most common term in the United States. The game evolved from the first European outdoor games, such as croquet in the 14th and 15th centuries, and became extremely popular in the 1800s. While the dedicated pool halls of yesteryear may have died out for the better. Most, billiards remain a popular form of adult game in arcades, restaurants, bars, and entertainment centers.

Cabbage Patch Kids

When Cabbage Patch Kids launched in 1979, they gave American children a soft, cuddly playmate in a world of hard toys and cold electronics. Consumers couldn’t get enough of the dolls, each with their own name, unique, bumpy rounded face, and adoption papers. They became the go-to holiday toy of 1983 and generated massive demand, paving the way for subsequent holiday splurges around Tickle Elmo, Beanie Babies, and Furby. For more than 40 years, these dolls have broadened children’s notions of play and fantasy, of beauty and of belonging.

Fisher-Price Corn Popper

Fisher-Price introduced the Corn Popper in 1957, calling it a fun device for young children. Parents quickly discovered that by pushing the device, children could strengthen gross motor skills, and it has since become a staple toy for toddlers. The shiny, flying balls and popping sound also help stimulate the senses, promoting curiosity and discovery.


Mahjong (also known as Mah-Jongg) evolved from 18th and 19th century playing card games in China. Variations spread to Korea, Japan and other parts of Asia before becoming popular in the United States in the 1920s. Standard Chinese Mah-Jongg played like American gin rummy, but was modified in the 1930s when the Mah Jongg National League established more formal and limited rules. According to the 2021 book Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture, the game appealed to Hollywood starlets, high society, middle-class housewives, and immigrants and “meant both belonging. and distinction in American culture ”.

Masters of the Universe

The Master of the Universe line of action figures, which includes the iconic He-Man and She-Ra, derives its popularity from maker Mattel’s use of comics, television, and the big screen. The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series, which ran from 1983 to 1985, created a cohesive fantasy world that allowed Mattel to introduce new characters and toys to the game. range. Over the years, Mattel has associated the brand with everything from toothbrushes to sleeping bags.


As the centerpiece of a board game, a piñata is a papier-mâché object filled with small toys, confetti, fruit, candy, or coins and raised with a rope. Children and adults can play; blindfolded, the players swing a stick and attempt to open the piñata and shower the guests with the treats inside. Commonly associated with Mexican culture, the object can date back to early 13th century China. Although there is an inherent impermanence in the piñata as a toy, it has been and continues to be used in religious and secular celebrations all over the world.


Based on the French game Le Conquete du Monde, Risk translates the hobby of wargaming with miniature miniatures into a mass-produced war and strategy board game. First published in the United States in 1959, Risk challenges players to control armies and take over the world. The innovative game mechanics sparked a resurgence of interest in strategy games in the 1970s and continue to influence the board game industry.


Sand is perhaps the most universal and oldest toy in the world. Educator Maria Montessori argued that sand “is just a substance that the modern child is allowed to handle quite freely.” Children recognize sand as a suitable creative material for pouring, collecting, sifting, raking and measuring. Wet sand is even better, ready to be built, shaped and sculpted by kids. Sand offers unique opportunities for tactical, physical, cooperative, creative and independent free play.

The settlers of Catania

The Settlers of Catan, now called “Catan”, was first published by Kosmos in Germany. It is one of the first German-style board games to find great popularity outside of Europe. It is a cooperative game in which players representing settlers establish a colony on an island by spending resources, which are earned through trading and rolling the dice. It has been called the “Game of Our Time” by the Washington Post, is sold in over 30 languages, and has won numerous international game design awards.

Toy firefighter

Although toy fire vehicles have evolved in materials, design, and technology over time, the benefits of playing with these vehicles remain the same. A child can use a toy fire truck to explore role play assuming the position of a firefighter or person in danger. A child can spin the wheels or extend the ladder to test the abilities of a toy fire truck. This variety of possibilities allows a child to practice communication skills, cognitive flexibility and explore risk, technical skills and emotional strength.

ED NOTE – Thanks to MUSEUM OF PLAY for the above press announcement. You can read more about the museum and the Toy Hall of Fame here.

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