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Baseball cards, bingo, Cabbage Patch Kids and Ken among this year's Toy Hall of Fame finalists

The Strong Museum's National Toy Hall of Fame has announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall in 2023.
National Toy Hall of Fame
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The Strong Museum's National Toy Hall of Fame has announced the 12 finalists for induction into the hall in 2023.

It’s time to vote for your favorite toy. The National Toy Hall of Fame, based at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester has announced this year’s finalists for induction.

There are a dozen of them including: baseball cards, Battleship, bingo, Bop It, Cabbage Patch Kids, Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks, Connect 4, Ken, Little Tykes Coupe, Nerf, slime and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Seven of the finalists this year are first-time finalists.

Whether Ken gets to join Barbie, who was inducted into the hall in 1998, will depend on voting by a panel of experts and the general public.

Some of the finalists have been around for a really long time, including baseball cards and bingo.

Ken is certainly an older toy also, he was introduced in 1961, but Chris Bensch, the museum’s Vice President of Collections, said that “This has may have been the year of Barbie at the box office, but perhaps Ken will share some of the spotlight by getting inducted.” In the movie, Ken sings, “I’m Just Ken.”

Bensch said that the annual competition is not just about kids games, it’s about having fun with toys and games at any age.

“Whether you're growing up or you're growing older, having play integrated into your lifespan and into your activities is crucial for personality and mood and general happiness,” said Bensch.

Criteria for selecting the inductees includes ‘icon-status’ (the toy is widely recognized and respected), longevity (the toy has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations) and discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity or discovery through play) and innovation.

This year's honorees will be inducted Nov. 9 following voting by a selection committee and the public. Each member of the 22-person expert committee will cast ballots for the top three. The three toys receiving the most public votes by Sept. 20 will make up a single ballot.

You can cast a ballot at the museum's website.

This story includes reporting by the Associated Press.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.