Tools

National Toy Hall of Fame a hit not just at Christmas

By KEITH HUNT

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State is dotted with Halls of Fame. We've got one for runners here, baseball in Cooperstown, Boxing in Canasota and yes, toys in Rochester.

Buying just the right toy for Christmas can be a tough job;

"Play is huge and some of the toys today, don't stimulate enough and I think being able to pretend makes you grow," said Hall of Fame visitor Debbie Rondo. "We still need to play and pretend."

Debbie is spending the day with family, touring Rochester's National Toy Hall of Fame which is located inside the Strong National Museum of Play which..

"Recognizes classic toys that have stood the test of time," said Christopher Bensch, Chief Curator of the National Museum of Play. "These are toys that met our three top criteria. They have to have longevity having been on the market for at least twenty years, they have to have a recognition factor and they have to have incredible play value."

This year's inductees feature a 700 year old game - Dominoes.

"They let you have play, lots of different numerical games but they're also a construction toy," Bensch said.

Along side that are the Star Wars action figures, which have made more money than the movie series - $20 billion worth.

"More than the gross national product of the country of Panama," Bensch said. "Part of that is adults recapturing their childhood or collecting, but it's also kids who play with them in imaginary stories and creative play "

The Museum is filled with history. Silly putty sits along side a Radio Flyer. A Lionel train shoots past a unsuspecting toddler.

Older kids find our old Atari games and dive in. View Master, Legos and even cardboard boxes?

"Imagination gets sparked by cardboard boxes," Bensch said. "They look empty to us but kids see that they'll full of possibilities."

And that's what you'll find throughout this complex. Maybe next year, the future inductee will find a place here first.

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