On November 10, The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York revealed the newest inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame.  The newest members to the Hall of Fame – Top, Masters of the Universe, and Lite Brite – were selected from a list of 12 finalists by a panel of experts. 

Inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame are selected for their longevity in society and the cultures of the world, their influence on culture, and the creative influences.

This year’s inductees were selected over bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Nerf, piñata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O, and Spirograph. 

The top has been around in a variety of forms for thousands of years in a variety of cultures around the world.  The top has been a fascination for children and adults alike; whether it be a pastime of seeing how long and fast a top will spin or playing a game like dreidel that includes placing bets on which of the four Hebrew characters – shin, hay, num, and gimmel – will show on top and acting on that letter.

The rubbery muscled super hero figures known as the Masters of the Universe have sparked the imagination of many a young child.  He-Man, She-Ra, and the rest of the collection can be found in comic books, on television, in films, and on all manner of popular itmes from bedding to clothing.

Created in 1966, Lite Brite is a collection of plastic coloured light emitting pieces that are placed in a black background of paper.  The designs and creations that can be made using the lighted pieces of plastic is limited only by the imagination of the player.  Lite Brite has evolved with technology over the past 50 years.

Created in 1998, The National Toy Hall of Fame is located on the second floor of the Strong Museum of Play situated in Manhattan Square in Rochester, New York.

A museum filled with interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to spend time to play, The Strong includes the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, a butterfly garden, and an impressive collection of dolls and dollhouses. The Strong even has a small “grocery store” where children can shop, play cashier, and even stock the shelves.

feature photo credit: courtesy of The Strong Museum