On September 11, The Strong Museum, home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, released the newest list of nominee finalists for the 2019 class of the Toy Hall of Fame.

The 12 finalists named come from a wide range of play from a simple prehistoric spinning device to a complicated piece of computerized technology with toys that have been around for decades or the newest craze around the world.

A panel of toy and educational experts will decide whether the lovable Care Bears, the ever popular coloring book, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the game Jenga, Magic the Gathering, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, the smartphone, or the top will be a part of the Hall of Fame. Currently there are 68 iconic toys that have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame

The three newest members to the Hall of Fame will be announced on November 7 with a big celebration weekend on November 9 and 10.

Inductees to the National Toy Hall of Fame are selected on their longevity, iconic status, popularity, educational value, and effect on popular culture.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998. It is housed on the second floor of The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York.

Meet the 2019 Finalists:
Originally created by the American Greetings Corporation in the 1980’s, the Care Bears went far beyond a collection of plush teddy bears to spawn movies, books, and games.

care bear

The coloring book has pacified millions of children for billions of hours as they strove to stay within the lines. The simple child’s pastime has grown into an adult phenomena.

Coloring Book 2

The Fisher-Price Corn Popper was introduced in 1957 and grew into a device that helped aid in the development of a toddler’s motor skills as they pushed the noise making toy around…much to the chagrin of many a parent.

FP Corn Popper

The game Jenga was created by an Englishwoman Leslie Scott who was inspired by the wooden blocks of her African childhood. Based on the Swahili for “to build” the game challenges players to remove the correct block without causing the construction to tumble.


The card game Magic the Gathering was created in 1993. The fantasy card game became so popular that the makers could not keep the game on the shelves. The game continues to evolve and grow.

Magic the Gathering

The action figures of Masters of the Universe stepped out of the pages of the comic books to become heroes on both the small screen and the big screen. The franchise has gone on to spawn numerous themed products.

Masters of the Universe

Matchbox Cars have gone on to sell over 100 million pieces since they first made their debut in 1952. Millions of children the world over have created numerous fantasies as they have raced their cars over concrete, wood floors, and carpets for generations.

Matchbox car

Another 80’s creation, My Little Pony re-energized children to “play with dolls”. The small toy ponies come in a variety of pastel colours and inspire all manner of fantastical play.

My Little Pony

Mothers the world over have strove to deter their youngsters from playing ball inside the house. With the Nerf ball and subsequent Nerf Blaster those admonishments were no longer needed. The foam toys have inspired and fascinated children for generations.

Nerf Blaster

The strategic board game Risk was based on it French counterpart Le Conquete du Monde and has spawned millions of battles since its inception in 1959 and has since inspired numerous other strategy games.


A product of the modern computer age, the smartphone is new to the toy box but has grabbed the attention of billions of children and adults around the world with its thousands of games, books, music, and access to the world wide web.


A toy nearly as old as time, the Top has been spinning its way through history. More than just a spinning toy, the top can inspire science and math.



All photos courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York