Rochester, NY (AP) – American Girl dolls and strategy board game Risk were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday in recognition of their impact on the toy industry. Sand, which the group called perhaps the world’s most universal and oldest toy, was also included.
The three were honored during a ceremony in the hall after winning over a panel of experts who voted for them from a group of 12 finalists.
Also running this year were four other competitive games: Battleship, The Settlers of Catan, Mahjong and Billiards, as well as Cabbage Patch Kids, Masters of the Universe, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Toy Fire Engine and Pinata.
Anyone can nominate a toy, but to be considered, they must include time and memory, changed game or toy design and fostered learning, creativity or discovery.
Read more: Cabbage Patch Kids, Catan, Piatas Lead Toy Hall of Fame Finalists
American Girl Dolls, a 1986 work by teacher Pleasant Rowland, was recognized for exploring the country’s social and cultural history. The 18-inch historical doll and accompanying books each provide insight into an era. For example, Molly McIntyre waits for her father to return home from World War II.
The Truly Me Contemporary doll line, with a variety of skin colours, hair and genders, in 1995 lets kids choose dolls that look like them.
Curator Michel Parnett-Dwyer said, “Rowland’s formula for combining doll play with history lessons acted like, in his words, ‘chocolate cake with vitamins’.” “In an era when some education experts claimed that school curricula paid little attention to history, this toy may have filled a void.”
Hall officials said Risk is based on the French game Le Conquet du Monde, first published in the United States in 1959 and continues to influence other board games. It challenges players to control armies and conquer worlds on a game board which is a map of continents.
“Risk has become one of the most popular board games of all time, inspiring a new core of passionate gamers, and influencing other games that started the hobby of war – and by extension Euro-games.” Like The Settlers of Catan that many people enjoy today,” said curator Nicholas Ricketts.
According to the Hall of Fame, located inside The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, Sand was honored for “strategic, physical, cooperative, creative and independent free play opportunities”.
“Children recognize sand as a creative material suitable for pouring, scooping, sieve, raking and measuring,” it said. “Wet sand is even better, ready for kids to build, shape, and sculpt.”
“Although some playthings can only be found online or in certain stores, the sand has a global reach that most toy makers would envy,” said chief curator Christopher Bensch. “It has been a vehicle for play since prehistoric times, and anyone who has spent a day at the beach can understand the allure of this toy.”
The Class 74 of 2021 joins the previous honours.