2021 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees announced

The Educational American Girl Dolls, the revolutionary board game Risk, and the Universal Toy Sand have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The winners, unveiled at a special ceremony at the Strong National Museum of Play, were chosen from a group of 12 finalists who also included Battleship, Billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Mahjong, Masters of the Universe, piñata, the settlers of Catan, and toy fire truck.

About American 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 matches her time, like Molly McIntire, who waits for her father to return home after WWII. American Girl launched the Truly Me 18-inch line of contemporary dolls in 1995 (originally as American Girl Today) to help girls express their individuality and build self-confidence.

According to curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer, “Rowland’s formula for combining doll play with history lessons worked, in her words, like“ a chocolate cake with vitamins. ”At a time when some experts in education claimed that school curricula paid little attention to history, this toy may well have filled a void. It now features a line of dolls and stories of girls growing up in America and promoting diversity in the world of dolls.

About the risk: Based on the French game The Conquest of the World, Risk translates the hobby of wargaming with miniature miniatures into a mass-produced war and strategy board game. First published in the United States in 1959, Risk challenges players to control armies and take over the world. The innovative game mechanics sparked a resurgence of interest in strategy games in the 1970s and continue to influence the board game industry.

“Risk has grown into one of the most popular board games of all time, inspiring a new body of passionate gamers and influencing other games that started the wargaming hobby – and by extension Euro-games like The Settlers of Catan that many appreciate today, “said Commissioner Nicolas Ricketts.

About the sand: Sand is perhaps the most universal and oldest toy in the world. Educator Maria Montessori argued that sand “is just a substance that the modern child is allowed to handle quite freely.” Children recognize sand as a suitable creative material for pouring, collecting, sifting, raking and measuring. Wet sand is even better, ready to be built, shaped and sculpted by kids. Sand offers unique opportunities for tactical, physical, cooperative, creative and independent free play.

Chief Curator Christopher Bensch said: “While some toys are only available online or in certain stores, the sand has a global reach that most toy makers would envy. It’s been a play vehicle since prehistoric times, and anyone who’s spent the day at the beach can understand the appeal of this toy.


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