And the Inductees To The Toy Hall Of Fame Are…
A few weeks ago the No Sweat News reported on the nominees for induction in the Toy Hall of Fame. Today we bring you the toys that made the cut! The National Toy Hall of Fame has announced their induction class for 2023. Every year the hall honors toys that “have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period.”
The Toy Hall of Fame nominated but didn’t induct the following toys this year: Battleship, Bingo, Bop-It, slime, Choose Your Own Adventure, Connect 4 and the Little Tikes red car. Plus Ken dolls and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That’s a pretty strong list of toys that didn’t make the cut.
I love it when they nominate stuff like, “slime” because it’s a simple thing that is totally non-commercial. Heck, you can make it at home. Already enshrined in the National Toy Hall of Fame are similar non-commercial entities like “the cardboard box”, “sand”, “the stick”, and “paper airplane”. These simple inductees are cool because it shows that the hall of fame recognizes that a child’s imagination is the most important thing when it comes to play time.
The National Toy Hall of Fame is a creation of The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
This year the hall has inducted four toys. One of the toys wasn’t actually nominated, it was included as a bonus in honor of the Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary. Here’s the toys that made it in:
Baseball cards were a right of passage for so many kids. Granted, mostly an interest of young boys, baseball cards were a pretty epic thing to collect. Buying a pack of baseball cards was always a hit-and-miss affair. Sometimes you’d get a player you actually liked. Sometimes you’d get someone who was actually on your favorite team. But with so many players in the Major League Baseball universe, chances are that you’d end up feeling a little disappointed about whose baseball card you got in your package. And, let’s not forget that piece of gum that came in every package. Quite possibly the absolute worst chewing gum in the history of the candy business. The first baseball cards can be dates back to the 1860’s. They’ve had quite a run!
Cabbage Patch Kids
Cabbage Patch Kid dolls were so popular that parents waited in long lines just to get an opportunity to buy one. In fact, the stories from the mid 1980’s of parents getting in fist fights are true. Parents went through hell to put one of these dolls under their Christmas tree. The Cabbage Patch kid started out as a pretty ugly duckling type doll. With it’s fat, pudgy cheeks it broke all the “cute” doll conventions. Plus, let’s not forget that Cabbage Patch Kid dolls were “adopted” not purchased. The combination of the non-traditional looks and backstory of being born in a cabbage patch created huge demand. They were everywhere. And now, they’re in the Toy Hall of Fame.
When Nerf first came on the toy scene, it was just a ball. A four-inch foam ball that was marketed as “the world’s first official INDOOR ball”. Soon after the Nerf football was launched and quickly turned into a dog chew toy (LOL). If I put a penny in my piggy bank for every Nerf football my dog chewed up when I was a kid, I’d seriously have a few bucks saved up. When they first debuted, the Nerf ball sold really well: four million Nerf balls sold in the first year. These days, the Nerf line of toys has expanded well beyond playing ball indoors. Hasbro bought the rights and now the Nerf guns and blasters are giant sellers for the Nerf brand. There’s not a parent in America that hasn’t found one of those Nerf blasters stuck behind a couch or under a shed.
25th Anniversary Inductee: The Fisher Price Corn Popper
Pop Pop… Pop, pop, pop. The Fisher Price Corn Popper is pretty much the grand poohbah of the Child Industrial Complex. You can’t raise a kid in modern American society without this piece of plastic; and all the little popping pieces of plastic inside of it. This toy resembles more of a kid’s toy lawnmower, but it does make a cool popping noise that lets you know what part of the house your kid is in. The Corn Popper wasn’t nominated along with the other toys this year. It was in a throwback group of “forgotten” toys and made it in because the Toy Hall of Fame is celebrating it’s 25th year.
Congrats to all the toys that made it this year and we wish the losers a more successful year in 2024.