American Girl Dolls, Risk and Sand arrive at the Toy Hall of Fame

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ROCHESTER, NY (AP) – American Girl Dolls and strategy game Risk were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday in recognition of their influence on the toy industry. Sand, which the group has called perhaps the world’s most universal and oldest toy, was also inducted.

All three were honored at a ceremony in the hall after seducing a panel of experts who voted for them from a group of 12 finalists.

Four other competitive games were also up for grabs this year: Battleship, The Settlers of Catan, Mahjong and Billiards, as well as Cabbage Patch Kids, Masters of the Universe, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the Toy Fire Truck and the Piñata.


Anyone can submit a toy, but to be considered, it must have withstood the tests of time and memory, changed the design of the game or toy, and fostered learning, creativity or discovery.

American Girl Dolls, the 1986 creation of educator Pleasant Rowland, has been recognized for its exploration of the country’s social and cultural history. The 18-inch historical dolls and accompanying books each offer a glimpse of an era. For example, Molly McIntire waits for her father to return home after WWII.

The line of contemporary Truly Me dolls, with its diversity of skin tones, hair and gender, followed in 1995, allowing children to choose a doll that looks like them.

Rowland, 80, called the inclusion of the American Girl Doll “an incredible honor.”

“I am so proud of the American Girl family, past and present, who have been the staunch steward of this brand for over three decades, helping to capture the hearts of an entire generation of girls,” she said in a commentary. press release sent by email.

“Rowland’s formula for combining doll play with history lessons worked, in her words, like ‘a chocolate cake with vitamins’,” said curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer. “At a time when some education experts claimed that school curricula paid little attention to history, this toy may well have filled a void. “

Risk, based on the French game Le Conquête du Monde, was first released in the United States in 1959 and continues to influence other board games, room officials said. It challenges players to control armies and conquer the world on a game board which is a map of the continents.

“Risk has grown into one of the most popular board games of all time, inspiring a new body of passionate gamers and influencing other games that started the wargaming hobby – and by extension Euro-games like The Settlers of Catan that many enjoy today, ”said curator Nicolas Ricketts.

Sand was honored for his “opportunities for tactical, physical, cooperative, creative and independent free play,” according to the Hall of Fame, which is housed inside the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.

“Children recognize sand as a suitable creative material for pouring, collecting, sifting, raking and measuring,” he said. “Wet sand is even better, ready to be built, shaped and sculpted by children. “

“While some toys can only be found online or in certain stores, the sand has a global reach that most toy makers would envy,” said chief curator Chirstopher Bensch. at the beach can understand the appeal of this toy.

The 2021 promotion joins the 74 previous winners.


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