Chris Byrne and I Were There for the Toy Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

On November 4, I was in Rochester, New York, for the Toy Hall of Fame’s new member induction ceremony. I was joined by my co-host for The Playground Podcast, Chris Byrne.

The ceremony took place at The Strong National Museum of Play, home of the National Toy Hall of Fame. To our surprise, Chris and I were, literally, the only people from the toy industry in attendance. The lack of support seems odd when you think that for toys and those who love them, this is a signally important day of the year.

This year’s nominees were (in alphabetical order):

American Girl



Cabbage Patch Dolls

Fisher-Price Corn Popper


Masters of the Universe Toys


Risk Board Game


The Settlers of Catan

Toy Fire Engine

These twelve candidates were culled down from the 55,000 nominations The Toy Hall of Fame committee received. Those of us on the committee were asked to select our top 3 choices.

And the winners were: Risk, American Girl, and Sand. It is evident by the inclusion of sand that a toy is more than a manufactured item. It is anything that can be used as a tool of play.

Not everyone was pleased. Chris and I chanced upon a rather intense look woman wandering the museum holding three Cabbage Patch dolls. She had come to the museum to celebrate what she had anticipated being Cabbage Patch’s induction. Unfortunately, it fell to Chris and me to break the bad news that her favorite did not make it in this year. She was not happy.

Such is life in the world of toys and those who love them.

I do strongly encourage you to visit the Strong National Museum of Play. It is already sizable, and the museum is adding another 90,000 square feet of exhibition space. It will house the world’s largest exhibit of vintage video games and game show artifacts.

While visiting be sure to view the first Monopoly board and the original Edison talking doll. So much to see. Its worth the trip.

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