Baseball cards, Cabbage Patch Kids and NERF toys were voted in in the usual way from among a field of 12 finalists, with input from a panel of experts. Those finalists included Barbie's boyfriend, Ken, who didn't make the cut despite a big boost in visibility from the summer "Barbie" movie.
“These four deserving inductees represent a great blend of types of play for people of all ages,” Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections and chief curator, said in a statement.
The winners are on permanent display at the National Toy Hall of Fame, which is located inside The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Since 1998, dozens of toys have been inducted, including ones as humble as the cardboard box, as ancient as chess, and as influential on pop culture as the Barbie doll.
Last year's inductees were the spinning top, Masters of the Universe action figures and the Lite-Brite.
Anyone can nominate a toy, but to make it into the Hall of Fame, they have to have inspired creative play and enjoyed long-lasting popularity.
“Baseball cards encourage lifelong playing and collection. Cabbage Patch Kids continue to encourage imagination and storytelling for kids. Fisher-Price Corn Popper, which is a forgotten finalist no longer, is a great activity for toddlers," Bensch said. “NERF toys are designed for indoor and outdoor activity, and they often find kids and grownups playing together.”
This year’s other finalists were: Battleship, bingo, Bop It, Choose Your Own Adventure books, Connect 4, the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, slime and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.