12 Top Toys Vying for 2014 Induction to Rochester’s National Toy Hall of Fame

One of the things I love about the National Toy Hall of Fame housed in Rochester, NY’s The Strong National Museum of Playis that they not only celebrate the pop-culture phenoms, but also recognize those simple objects that inspire a child’s imagination.  Previous Toy Hall of Fame inductees include the blanket, cardboard box, and stick –  all things I remember using as a kid for a superhero cape, a fort, or pirate sword.  Similarly, one of this year’s finalists for the Toy Hall of Fame are pots & pans.  Sure they can be used for cooking, but pots & pans also make great cymbals, drums, or a Knight’s helmet.  Continue reading for all of the 2014 finalists for the Toy Hall of Fame – with the winners selected for induction on November 6, 2014.

Update November 6, 2014

Today, in a shocking upset, Little Green Army Men stormed in and took the toy world by storm.  They laid waste to Fisher Price Little People (who waved their hands in the air in great despair), and thwarted a late rally from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Little Griffin made a strong case for the Army Men when he said in his nomination letter, “you can use your imagination when you play with them. They fit in a bag so you can take them in a car.”  And that’s all it took… it’s hard to beat a toy that stimulates creativity and is so portable at the same time.

The Strong National Toy Hall of Fame

Joining Little Green Army Men as 2014 inductees in the National Toy Hall of Fame are bubbles and Rubik’s Cube.

The Strong National Toy Hall of FameThe Strong National Toy Hall of FameThe Strong National Toy Hall of Fame

The National Toy Hall of Fame Weekend Celebration takes place at The Strong November 8 and 9, and, in addition to honoring the newly inducted toys, will feature THE BOXTROLLS.  The cardboard box was inducted into the Hall in 2005, and original puppets and props from the stop-motion animated film will be on display.  LAIKA’s Mark Shapiro will also be on hand to talk about how the creative team brought these cardboard-clad characters to life.

Original post from September 23, follows below…

2014 Nominees National Toy Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy of The Strong

From the Strong National Museum of Play’s Press Release

Which toys will make it into the hallowed halls of the National Toy Hall of Fame this November? Will this be the year My Little Pony gallops across the finish line? Can Hess Toy Trucks permanently park themselves next to the other inductees? Or, will the paper airplane soar past the competition?

The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, today announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall:

American Girl dolls, bubbles, Fisher-Price Little People, Hess Toy Trucks, little green army men, My Little Pony, Operation Skill Game, paper airplane, pots and pans, Rubik’s Cube, Slip’N Slide, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Only two of these finalists will join other luminaries in the prestigious hall and sit alongside past inductees such as Barbie, Monopoly, Star Wars action figures, and Mr. Potato Head.

National Toy Hall of Fame, The Strong Museum of Play, Rochester, NY

The National Toy Hall of Fame receives thousands of nominations via mail and email annually. The final 2014 toy inductees, chosen by a national selection committee, will be announced at The Strong museum on Thursday, November 6, at 10:30 a.m. and a weekend public celebration will follow on Saturday, November 8 and Sunday, November 9.

The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play.

Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design).

To date, the following 53 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame: alphabet blocks, Atari 2600 Game System, baby doll, ball, Barbie, bicycle, Big Wheel, blanket, Candy Land, cardboard box, checkers, chess, Crayola Crayons, dollhouse, dominoes, Duncan Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake Oven, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, G. I. Joe, The Game of Life, Hot Wheels, hula hoop, jack-in-the-box, jacks, jigsaw puzzle, jump rope, kite, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Lionel Trains, marbles, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Nintendo Game Boy, Play-Doh, playing cards, Radio Flyer Wagon, Raggedy Ann and Andy, rocking horse, roller skates, rubber duck, Scrabble, Silly Putty, skateboard, Slinky, Star Wars action figures, stick, teddy bear, Tinkertoy, Tonka Trucks, and View-Master.

Star Wars Action Figures, Finalists for the National Toy Hall of Fame, Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY

Star Wars Action Figures, National Toy Hall of Fame inductees; photo courtesy of The Strong


Anyone can nominate a toy for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. An internal museum advisory committee comprised of curators, educators, and historians reviews the submitted nominations and determines which toys meet the criteria for selection. A national selection committee then reviews the list of toy finalists. Each national selection committee member votes for his or her top toy picks for induction. The votes are then tallied, with the toys receiving the most votes making the cut for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

So are any of your favorite toys on this year’s list?  Which of the 12 nominees would you like to see in the National Toy Hall of Fame?  For more family entertainment news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.