Established in 1998, the National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes the contributions of toys and games that have sustained their popularity for many years. Criteria for induction include: icon status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); longevity (more than a passing fad); discovery (fosters learning, creativity, or discovery); and innovation (profoundly changed play or toy design).
This year, three toys met all those qualities according to the Strong Museum which houses the exhibit. Clue, the Wiffle Ball and paper airplanes are this year’s inductees and can now stand alongside the 60+ other toys previously inducted like Barbie, Monopoly, LEGO, Dungeons & Dragons, Hot Wheels and Frisbee to name a few.
The whodunit board game was chosen because it’s remained an “icon of pop culture” for decades, while the Wiffle Ball “changed the outdoor play landscape.” As for the paper airplane, the organization explained, “Where some toys require financial investment, paper airplanes start with a simple sheet of paper, coupled with creativity and dexterity, to produce a toy with infinite aeronautical possibilities.”
The trio of toys beat out nine other finalists. The toys that just missed the cut were Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers, and Uno. Better luck next year.
The Strong is also home to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Halo: Combat Evolved and Street Fighter II were among the 2017 inductees. For more information head over to The Strong’s website.