National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The National Toy Hall of Fame announced this morning it’s 2009 inductees! They are:

The Ball, Big Wheel and the Nintendo Game Boy!

Red rubber ball, big wheel bike, early generation Game Boy

Courtesy of The Strong Museum

The announcement took place at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY and the items were chosen from twelve nominees which also included: Cabbage Patch Kids, Game of Life, Hot Wheels, Paper Airplane, Playing Cards, Rubik’s Cube, Sidewalk Chalk, Toy Tea Set, and Transformers. The Toy Hall of Fame accepts toy and game nominations all year and on November 5th they announced this year’s nominees biased on a four part criteria which includes: icon-status, longevity, discovery and innovation.

Currently forty-one toys have been accepted into the Hall of Fame including:

Alphabet Blocks, Atari 2600 Game System, Barbie, Baby Doll, Bicycle, Candy Land, Cardboard Box, Checkers, Crayola Crayons, Duncan Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake Oven, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, G.I. Joe, Hula Hoop, Jack-in-the-Box, Jacks, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jump Rope, Kite, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Lionel Trains, Marbles, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Play-Doh, Radio Flyer Wagon, Raggedy Ann & Andy, Rocking Horse, Roller Skates, Scrabble, Silly Putty, Skateboard, Slinky, Stick, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy, Tonka Trucks, and View-Master.

As my own personal commentary here, I agree with most of their past selections and I think that there are plenty more that deserve a spot, but I am disappointed at the low number – and quality of – games within the bunch.  Including today’s inductees, there are only 3 games and 2 electronic gaming systems.  And while I know the history, longevity and icon status of Candy Land, Monopoly and Checkers I would never put them in my own “hall of favorites.” In fact, I can’t say that I’ve played any of them recently – with the exception of Checkers when I played King Me by Winning Moves and thoroughly enjoyed the instant crowing feature.

Games and playthings have been around since the dawn of time.  There are games that have been found in tombs of ancient pharaohs and played by both royalty and peasants throughout the ages.  Maybe that’s part of the problem, it’s hard to see the “innovation” when games like Chess, Dominoes and Mahjong have been the gold standard for so long.

For more information on the Strong National Museum of Play or the National Toy Hall of Fame visit