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Honoring Imagination


Honored by the Strong Museum of Play, Rochester, N.Y., and inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, was a singularly imaginative toy, a time-honored plaything that speeds imagination on many flights across the breadth of our known world and beyond. The honoree, one of three carefully selected winners, was the lowly stick.


The stick can be, say the awarding organization, a magic wand, a knight’s sword or a fishing rod. The stick is considered a very special winner because of its all-purpose, all-natural, no-cost qualities. The stick joins two other current inductees, the baby doll and the skateboard, and such other wonderful prior nominees as the bicycle, crayons and the cardboard box.

From the Strong National Museum ( website:

“Toys are among the most important human artifacts. They are learning tools. By guiding play, they foster imagination, creativity, and critical thinking. They socialize us and teach fairness. They reveal what we believed and valued, encouraged and endorsed, dismissed and feared. They remind us of who we were, who we are, and who we hope to become. They help us imagine what’s next.“

The full list of 41 toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame®:
Alphabet Blocks, Atari® 2600 Game System, Baby Doll, Barbie®, Bicycle, Candy Land®, Cardboard Box, Checkers, Crayola® Crayons, Duncan® Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake® Oven, Erector® Set, Etch A Sketch®, Frisbee®, G.I. Joe™, Hula Hoop®, Jack in the Box, Jacks, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jump Rope, Kite, LEGO®, Lincoln Logs®, Lionel® Trains, Marbles, Monopoly®, Mr. Potato Head®, Play-Doh®, Radio Flyer® Wagon, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Rocking Horse, Roller Skates, Scrabble®, Silly Putty®, Skateboard, Slinky®, Stick, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy®, Tonka® Trucks, and View-Master®.

Inducted toys are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Icon-status: The toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered.
2. Longevity: The toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations.
3. Discovery: The toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play.
4. Innovation: The toy profoundly changed play or toy design. A toy may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

The public can nominate toys on site at Strong National Museum of Play, on the museum’s web site, or by U.S. mail.
Learn more at

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