The Complete List of Toys in the Toy Hall of Fame, Including the Latest Inductees

This post is only about seven weeks late, but I guess with it being Christmas time, I’ve been thinking about toys.

On November 4, the Strong National Museum of Play announced the most recent inductees into the toy hall of fame: American Girl Dolls, the board game Risk, and Sand.

From the Museum’s web site:

About American Girl Dolls: Created in 1986 by educator Pleasant Rowland, the 18-inch American Girl dolls—and their accompanying books—explore America’s social and cultural history. Each historical doll comes with a unique narrative that fits her era, such as Molly McIntire, who is waiting for her father to return home from World War II. American Girl released the Truly Me 18-inch contemporary doll line in 1995 (originally under the name American Girl Today) to help girls express their individuality and build confidence.

About Risk: Based on the French game Le Conquete du Monde, Risk translates the hobby of wargaming with miniature figures into a mass-produced war and strategy board game. First published in the United States in 1959, Risk challenges players to control armies and conquer the world. The game’s innovative mechanics ignited renewed interest in strategy games in the 1970s and continues to influence the board game industry.

About Sand: Sand may be the most universal and oldest toy in the world. Educator Maria Montessori has argued that sand “is only one substance that the modern child is allowed to handle quite freely.” Children recognize sand as a creative material suitable for pouring, scooping, sieving, raking, and measuring. Wet sand is even better, ready for kids to construct, shape, and sculpt. Sand provides unique opportunities for tactical, physical, cooperative, creative, and independent free play.

Of those three, Sand is my top choice. I don’t think I’ve ever held an American Girl Doll, and I may have played Risk once. But sand, as the blurb notes above, is as universal a toy as one can find.

I wonder if sales of any of these three items spiked as a result of their induction.

And in case you are curious, here are all the members of the Toy Hall of Fame. I have indicated if it is a toy I have ever played with, with a (y).

1999:

  1. Barbie
  2. Crayola Crayon (y) 
  3. Erector Set (y)
  4. Etch A Sketch (y)
  5. Frisbee (y)
  6. Hula hoop (y)
  7. Lego (y)
  8. Lincoln Logs (y)
  9. Marbles (y)
  10. Monopoly (y)
  11. Play-Doh (y)
  12. Radio Flyer wagon (y)
  13. Roller Skates (y)
  14. Teddy Bear (y)
  15. Tinkertoy (y)
  16. View-Master (y)
  17. Duncan Yo-Yo (y)

2000:

  1. Bicycle (y – but I was a late bloomer; I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was about 12 or 13 years old)
  2. Jacks (y)
  3. Jump rope (y)
  4. Mr. Potato Head (y)
  5. Slinky (y)

2001:

  1. Silly Putty (y)
  2. Tonka Trucks (y)

2002:

  1. Jigsaw puzzle (y)
  2. Raggedy Ann

2003:

  1. Alphabet Blocks (y)
  2. Checkers (y)

2004:

  1. G.I. Joe (y)
  2. Rocking horse (y – Marvel the Mustang!)
  3. Scrabble (y)

2005:

  1. Candy Land (y)
  2. Cardboard box (y)
  3. Jack-in-the-box (y)

2006:

  1. Easy-Bake Oven
  2. Lionel Trains (y)

2007:

  1. Atari 2600 (y)
  2. Kite (y)
  3. Raggedy Andy

2008:

  1. The Stick (y)
  2. The Baby Doll
  3. The Skateboard

2009:

  1. The ball (y – all types. and why was this not part of the first year of inductees?)
  2. Game Boy (y)
  3. Big Wheel (y – well my kids did…)

2010:

  1. The Game of Life (y)
  2. Playing cards (y)

2011:

  1. Hot Wheels (y – but I was more of a Matchbox guy)
  2. Dollhouse
  3. Blanket (y)

2012:

  1. Star Wars action figures
  2. Dominoes (y)

2013:

  1. Chess (y)
  2. Rubber duck (y – again, at least my kids did)

2014:

  1. Little green army men (y)
  2. Bubbles (y)
  3. Rubik’s Cube (y)

2015:

  1. Puppet (y)
  2. Twister (y)
  3. Super Soaker (y)

2016:

  1. Dungeons and Dragons
  2. Little People (y)
  3. Swing (y)

2017:

2018:

  1. Magic 8-Ball (y)
  2. Pinball (y)
  3. Uno (y)

2019:

  1. Coloring book (y)
  2. Magic: The Gathering
  3. Matchbox cars (y – see note above; I don’t know how Hot Wheels got in before Matchbox…)

2020:

  1. Baby Nancy (never heard of it)
  2. Sidewalk chalk (y)
  3. Jenga (y)

2021:

  1. American Girl dolls
  2. Risk (y)
  3. Sand (y)

If I counted correctly, there are 78 toys in the Hall of Fame, and of those, I have played with 66 (or at least my children did and I participated with them).

That sounds like a pretty good childhood, and it was.

If I had my top ten, it would be the following (in no particular order):

Ball, Frisbee, Lego, Playing Cards, Rubik’s Cube, Jigsaw Puzzle, Matchbox, Super Soaker, Paper Airplane, Sand.

Congrats to the latest inductees. My plan moving forward is to make this an annual post, just adding the latest inductees to the post each year…

source: Wikipedia

*image from Democrat & Chronicle

72 thoughts on “The Complete List of Toys in the Toy Hall of Fame, Including the Latest Inductees

  1. That list makes for some good Christmas gift ideas, at least for all the toys still in production. I used to sneak-play with my sisters’ Barbies. That was a forbidden toy for me, because it was common knowledge in those days that if a boy played with a barbie doll, he was certain to grow up gay. But not so with me I guess. Maybe because I wanted to undress those barbie dolls and see what was underneath.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having been born and grown up about 20 yards from a beach, sand was part of my life. Not sure I ever saw it as a toy though, it got everywhere when you didn’t want it to especially when the wind was blowing into the village from the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was a boy my mother was quite the gardener. Once in a while she would have a dump truck drop off a load of dirt out back and within minutes that mound of dirt would be covered with boys and toys. It would keep us occupied for hours every day. I think that might be the main reason she ordered the dirt.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t count but I’ve played with nearly all of these toys including some for girls like the Easy Bake Oven and dollhouse but not dolls. If sand is on the list, then snow better make it next year. Also nerf toys, in addition to balls, should be on the list. One toy I don’t expect to see – BB gun. “Ralphie, you’ll shoot your eye out.” 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is wonderful, Jim. Last year I voted for Sand. Thank goodness it made it to the museum this year! With all the technology today, I wish children could play with these toys or at least visit the museum. I still have my Raggedy Ann doll from the 50’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charlotte just got an etch-a-sketch for Christmas! It’s so wonderful to see working at it trial and error. She’s been trying to “teach” my husband lately but she thinks he’s a “slow learner!” 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A fun post, brought back memories of a lot of those toys! I remember playing with Lincoln Logs every time we visited my Aunt and Uncle. It was special, for I didn’t have them at home to play with. Twister always brought laughs and my sister and I played Life a lot! You sure get lots of money in that game, much easier than in real Life! Of course you can lose it pretty easily too.
    My niece loved everything American Girl, she had lots of them, and now she is Sweet 16, oh how they grow!
    Yay for sand, but Nay on Risk. I never liked that game, too much thinking involved, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s