The Strong Museum National Museum of Play in Rochester is known as the "ultimate play destination". These guys know their toys and have announced the Strong Museum’s 2020 National Hall of Fame! For some it’s all fun and games, while others are left still waiting to be selected as one of the most coveted toys in the box.

Toys from our childhood, quite literally toys in the attic, are often treasured because they bring to mind fond memories. The list of winners as well as some toys that just missed the mark this year might be cause for debate so put on your WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists (even though those are on the 2020 list of worst toys according to World Against Toys Causing Harm or WATCH) and blow your Kazoo for the winners: Baby Nancy, Sidewalk Chalk and Jenga.

Nobody would argue that Baby Nancy was an icon in her own right and deserves the appointment, but Sidewalk Chalk? It’s just chalk. Dust in the wind if you will. While many of the other twelve finalists including such favorites as Yahtzee, Risk, Sorry, and My Little Pony may have been more deserving in your book.

Another finalist Lite-Brite, was considered one of the most magical toys of my youth because of how children like you and I could create a Christmas like piece of artwork to light up a room in any season. Sadly, Lite-Brite is left another year - in the dark.

The voters got it right, however, with the third winner this year, Jenga, who they cited as having a resurgence of popularity during the pandemic as families looked for ways to best each other while confined, and maybe bond during the time as well. Jenga is definitely a favorite in our circle. We carry it to every family function, just waiting for the moment where I can defend and retain my title as Jenga champion. We also play it on the road in places such as the go kart tract in Uncasville, or the Country Store in Vermont, where I’m certain my girlfriend placed an 8 year old Heckler to rattle my nerves in an attempt to unseat me but I retained my title that day.

In addition to the WWE fists here a few toys that ranked amongst the worst of 2020 by WATCH. In no particular order, Calico Critters Nursery Friends, Gloria Owl and Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber. These and others made the list dues to potential injury to the eye, choking hazards, impact injuries and more.


So if you venture out on Black Friday or just shop from your couch consider gifting the Strong Museum’s 2020 Hall of Fame toys and plan in the future to visit the Museum in Rochester to see all the other toys from Christmas Past that hold a place in the museum as well as your heart.



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