A toy dating back to ancient times, a line of muscle-bound toys, and an iconic art set made of colorful pegs are among the new honorees in the National Toy Hall of Fame. On Thursday, the hall inducted the top two, Masters of the Universe and Lite-Brite.
There were 12 finalists, including bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Nerf, the piñata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O and Spirograph. An annual The Strong museum in Rochester ceremony inducts a new class of toys into the Toy Hall of Fame.
The twirling object has been a childhood staple in Asia, Europe, the American continent, and Australia for more than 2,000 years, according to the hall.
Chief Curator Christopher Bensch said, “The top is one of the oldest toys and an integral part of many cultures, where it developed independently as a plaything. With more than 5,000 years of history behind it, it’s about time that the top spun its way into the National Toy Hall of Fame!”
Throughout history, these toys have inspired creativity and endured. Hasbro’s Lite-Brite has been a popular toy for more than 50 years. To create glowing pictures, kids push colorful pegs into a black background to create the ‘magic light box’ from 1968.
In the 1980s, Mattel introduced new characters and toys to its Masters of the Universe line following the cartoon series “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.”
Past honorees, including everyday objects such as the stick and cardboard box, as well as technological contributions like Nintendo’s Game Boy, will be displayed alongside the new inductees. Last year, American Girl Dolls, Risk, and sand were inducted.
It is possible to nominate a toy to anyone. There is a panel of experts that votes on the winners. Additionally, you will find at the Strong museum the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play.