The Toy Hall of Fame



The National Toy Hall of Fame is in the city of Rochester, New York. Beginning in 1998, the Hall of Fame began accepting nominations from “anyone” for its HOF of toys. The Hall recognizes the contributions of toys and games that have sustained their popularity for many years.   If you go to the Hall’s Website   a nomination form is available, PLUS much information on the toys that are in the Hall.


To give you an idea of the type of toys that have been inducted from 1998 to 2017, here are the 11 initially inducted toys in 1998: Barbie, Crayola Crayons, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, LEGO, Marbles, Monopoly, Play-Doh, Teddy bear, and Tinkertoys. (Whoa, my childhood just flashed before me!)


In the years from 1999 to 2017, the number of inductees varied. In 1999 and 2000, six and five more toys gained entrance to the hall. For example, Roller Skates and Radio Flyer Wagon were among the arrivals in 1999. Bicycle and Mr. Potato Head (and other toys) came in 2000. In the years of 2001 to 2017, two or three toys were admitted every year. Such childhood favorites included (check your pulse periodically as memories return): Tonka Trucks,   Raggedy Ann, Checkers, Scrabble, Rocking Horse (what color was yours?), Candy Land, Lionel Trains, Easy-Bake Oven, Atari 2600 Game System, Stick (the first toy?), Ball (the second or most numerous toy?), The Game of Life (the board game, not what begins the hour after your graduation), Dollhouse, Star Wars Action Figures, Rubber Duck, Rubik’s Cube, Puppet, and Swing.


Before I forget: at the website, you will find a list of every toy in the Hall of Fame, when they were chosen, and the history of each toy. Last year (2017), three more toys gained entrance: Clue, the Wiffle Ball, and Paper Airplanes. (Yes, you read that correctly.)


Here are 2 more toys and some of the information about each. Remember Stick? The Hall of Fame had these comments about the toy. “The stick may be the world’s oldest toy. Animals and children play with sticks. Sticks can turn into swords and magic wands. Sticks are not only possibly the oldest toys, they’re possibly the best!” People are serious about these toys.


And I must mention MY favorite toy: Ball, inducted 2009. “Rolling, throwing, kicking, catching, bouncing, and batting. The Ball is nearly as old as civilization itself. Ancient Greek legends referred to ball play in Odysseus. Like few other playthings, the Ball facilitates and promotes free play among people of all ages.”


As of this moment, there are 66 toys in the Hall of Fame (if you count Raggedy Ann and Andy as two. They were inducted separately in 2002 and 2007). Will I live to see some of my favorites gain entrance (eg, Nerf Ball, Pick-Up-Sticks, Tiddledy Winks, Jack-in-the-Box, Sock Monkey, Clown Bop Bag)?


What other toys from YOUR childhood would you hope to see gain entrance to their Hall of Fame?



About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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1 Response to The Toy Hall of Fame

  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    you didn’t mention anything muppets…unless I missed it. Surly Kermit or Miss Piggy must be on the list? And as far as you and I go, the “street balls” most of us used were either a “pimple” or “pinky” — in fact we played half-ball (slicing a pimple ball in half) and using a broom stick for a bat…what about bottle caps–we drew the “board” with chalk on the street. HulaHoop too? And Ant Farm, And And….


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