Ken, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles among 12 finalists for National Toy Hall of Fame 2023

The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play has announced its slate of iconic toys that may be inducted into the hall of fame.

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Toys play a big role in childhood and are a huge part of growing up. From Cabbage Patch Kids to Connect 4 to Nerf to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the games and toys you grew up loving have made the cut for the hall of fame for 2023.

The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, announced its 25th anniversary with a few finalists, according to the museum’s vice president for collections, Christopher Bensch, The Associated Press reported.

“This may have been the year of Barbie at the box office, but perhaps Ken will share some of the spotlight by getting inducted,” Bensch said, according to the AP. Barbie was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Take a look at the Toy Hall of Fame nominees and why they were selected. The 2023 honorees will be inducted on Nov. 9 after a selection committee and the public vote, the AP reported.

Baseball Cards

Did you collect baseball cards? Chances are you either did, your parents did or someone else you knew did. Baseball cards of their favorite players have been collected by adults and children for years, if not decades. Some even collected them and bartered with friends.


Battleship has been a game since the end of the 19th century. It started with a pencil and a piece of paper, according to The Strong National Museum of Play. In 1967, the game was made into plastic, and it then became one of the first games to be computerized in 1979. The game has even been made into a movie. Many enjoyed testing out strategies with another person =over the years.


Bingo has become a staple game for many, especially adults who either play for fun or to raise money at fundraisers. There are a ton of different versions of the game as well.

Bop It

Bop It made its debut in 1996, combining free play and physical elements with an electric game. According to the Strong National Museum of Play, the game challenged players with voice-recorded commands and “press the large button, or pull a handle, or twist a lever, depending on the instruction.” Bop It said it helped with “hand-eye coordination, focus and attention, and sensory motor integration.” Numerous varieties also emerged from the iconic game.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Did you own a Cabbage Patch Kid? They launched in 1979, and consumers loved having them because they were soft and a change of pace from other toys on the market at the time. The Strong National Museum of Play said that they became a holiday must-have item in 1983 and paved way for other toys around the holidays, like Furby, Beanie Babies and more.

Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks

One way to make reading fun has been the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks. You choose the path of your story. The books themselves have inspired game designers and sold over 270 million copies, according to The Strong National Museum of Play. They have also become the best-selling childrens’ books series ever. They let you be in charge of your own destiny, or at least the destiny of the books’ characters.

Connect 4

Connect 4 has been a popular game in many households for years. It tests both strategy and mathematics and helps provide problem solving and pattern finding skills. You have to do all that just to be the first one to get four tokens in a row.


Ken was introduced as Barbie’s boyfriend in March 1961, The Strong National Museum of Play said. For decades, he has been at her side. He has been updated over time with new outfits and has led to conversations about “popular culture, sexuality, acceptance, play, and gender roles.”

He also got a recharge after the “Barbie” movie came out over the summer, with Ryan Gosling starring as Ken.

Little Tykes Cozy Coupe

The Little Tykes Cozy Coupe is classic with its red body, yellow roof, trunk and moveable doors, The Strong National Museum of Play said. It became the top selling toy car by 1981 and was made for children between the ages of 18 months to 5 years old.

“Cozy Coupe gave toddlers their first bit of autonomy from their parents, helped to fuel their imaginations, and encouraged development of motor skills—all tools needed to navigate through life,” said The Strong National Museum of Play.

Nerf Toys

Since the 60s, Nerf Toys have evolved from a foam ball to a line of blasters with form darts. The toys, according to The Strong National Museum of Play, help to encourage physical activity and strategy.


Slime has been an appealing playtime toy for kids for generations. It has been produced under a variety of brands, and people can make their own at home. More recently, people began adding sprinkles and other items to slime, which also comes in different colors and scents.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

According to The Strong National Museum of Play, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been made into toys, and featured in shows on television, movies, video games and more for nearly 40 years. They were created to “satirize comic book heroes” and led to a pop cultural phenomenon called “Turtlemania.” You were either a fan or knew someone who was.

Vote for the toy you think should be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame 2023 on the museum’s website. The final inductees will be revealed on Nov. 9.

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