Masters of the Universe in National Toy Hall of Fame Inductee Lists Top, Lite-Brite,
ROCHESTER, NY – New National Toy Hall of Fame honorees include an object from ancient times, a line of muscle action figures and an iconic art set supported by colored pegs. The hall announced the top, Masters of the Universe and Lite-Brite as this year’s inductees on Thursday.
The trio were chosen from a field of 12 finalists which also included bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Nerf, the piñata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O and Spirograph.
The Toy Hall of Fame inducts a new class of toys each year in a ceremony at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, where the hall is located.
The top has earned a place as a staple of cultures in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia, according to Hall, who noted that ancient Greek pottery shows people playing with the spinning objects there. over 2000 years ago.
« The spinning top is one of the oldest toys and an integral part of many cultures, where it developed independently as a toy, » said chief curator Christopher Bensch in a press release. « With over 5,000 years of history behind it, it’s time for the spinning top to enter the National Toy Hall of Fame! »
The room recognizes toys that have inspired creativity and endured over time.
Hasbro’s Lite-Brite has maintained its popularity for over 50 years, having been introduced in 1966. Marketed in 1968 as a « magic light box », the toy encourages children to create light-up pictures by pushing pegs colors on an illuminated black background.
Masters of the Universe gained popularity in the 1980s, when the « He-Man and the Masters of the Universe » cartoon series allowed Mattel to introduce new characters and toys to the line, said Hall of Fame experts. A 2021 Netflix series underscored the franchise’s staying power.
« The Mattel team understands that children spend a lot of time in fantastic games and love having the opportunity to project themselves into the role of the hero, » said curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer. « The Masters of the Universe characters had the strength, the weapons, and the power to defeat the villain and instill confidence in the children. »
The honor comes as Mattel celebrates the 40th anniversary of the franchise, which includes action figures like He-Man and Skeletor, movies and video games, said PJ Lewis, the toymaker’s vice president and chief world of action figures.
« We can’t think of a better way to commemorate this historic milestone for Masters of the Universe than to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, » Lewis said in a statement.
New inductees will be displayed alongside past honorees ranging from everyday items like the Stick and Cardboard Box to tech entries like Nintendo’s Game Boy. American Girl Dolls, Risk and Sand were inducted last year.
Anyone can submit a toy. A panel of experts votes the winners.
The Strong Museum is also home to the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play.