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Twister, Hand Puppet Make National Toy Hall of Fame

Only 59 toys are in the National Toy Hall of Fame, including the cardboard box.

| BY Kent McDill

The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is sometimes criticized for being too restrictive, requiring 75 percent of a vote of writers and broadcasters for a player to get elected.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is sometimes criticized for selecting too many players for inclusion, taking 15 players each year.

The National Toy Hall of Fame is nearly as restrictive as Baseball’s HOF. Only two or three toys each year are inducted into the National Toy HOF, which is housed at The Strong, a massive museum and toy and play showcase in Rochester, N.Y.

The toys that became the 57th, 58th and 59th toys selected to the Hall in 2015 were the game Twister, the hand puppet, and the Super Soaker water gun.

The National Toy Hall of Fame was created in 1998, when it was housed at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village in Salem, Ore. The Strong acquired the HOF in 2002 and moved it to Rochester, where it sits along with the vast collection of dolls and toys collected by Margaret Woodbury Strong, who founded The Strong in 1958.

Before she died in 1969, Strong bequeathed here estate to help support the museum, which currently sits on 13.5 acres in downtown Rochester with a 285,000-square foot building.

In the early days of the National Toy Hall of Fame, more toys were inducted. For the initial class in 1998, there were 11 toys inducted, including the Barbie doll, Crayola Crayons, Etch a Sketch, and marbles.

The National Toy Hall of Fame includes just about anything a child would enjoy playing with, including such simple objects as a blanket, a ball, and the most basic of all toys, the cardboard box.

The criteria for being selected to the National Toy Hall of Fame include icon-status, longevity, discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity or discovery through play) and innovation, a category which can supersede the other three criteria.

A national selection advisory committee including historians, educations and others chose the inductees from a list of 12. The public can nominate toys online through the National Toy Hall of Fame website, or by email.


About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.