National Toy Hall of Fame Welcomes American Girl, Risk, Sand Dolls as 2021 Inductees

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2021 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees

Earlier today, the Strong National Museum of Play announced the 2021 inductees into its Toy Hall of Fame: American Girl, Risk and Sand dolls.

Like other toys that have been commemorated in the museum, the American Girl, Risk and Sand dolls have a special distinction this year. Strong’s chief curator Christopher Bensch told Rochester’s News 8 reporter Dan Gross that the three toys share “imaginative qualities.” Toys have become icons, according to Bensch, for how they foster creativity and lend themselves to dynamic play.

What you need to know about the National Toy Hall of Fame

What is the Strong National Museum of Play?

The Strong National Museum of Play is located in Rochester, NY. The museum invites visitors to explore exhibits celebrating toys, children’s literature, video games, and classic board games.

What is the National Toy Hall of Fame?

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established by the Strong in 1998 to recognize and celebrate inspiring and iconic toys. Toys are nominated by the general public, including children, and finalists are selected by Strong’s team of educators, historians and toy industry experts. In 2021, the Strong received more than 55,000 toy nominations, according to Dan Gross.

Any toy is eligible for nomination, provided it meets the following criteria: icon status, longevity, discovery and innovation. Winners from previous years include the Teddy Bear in 1998, Tonka Trucks in 2001, and Sidewalk Chalk in 2020. After the toys are inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Strong unveils a new exhibit showcasing its status. newly acquired icon.

What’s special about this year’s National Toy Hall of Fame inductees?

American Girl, Risk and Sand dolls made a special contribution to the world of imaginative play. All three toys are considered uniquely accessible, such as the American Girl dolls that represent women and provide historical context. Toys are widely regarded as vibrant and memorable with great sentimental value.

What you need to know about this year’s National Toy Hall of Fame inductees

American Girl Dolls

The American Girl Dolls, which debuted in 1986 in the Pleasant Company Color Catalog, originally featured historic 18-inch dolls of young girls depicted in the American Girl books. The dolls invite children to role-play, use their imaginations, and find new ways to explore history.

Each American Girl’s story is set in a different historical period, such as that of Samantha Parkington, who grew up in 1904. The American Girl doll collection has expanded to a diverse line of dolls with books and accessories, including 14.5 inch WellieWishers and 18 inch Real Me Dolls. The American Girl brand continues to grow, with stores in the United States and Canada.


Risk debuted in its original version in 1957, although it was later purchased by Parker Brothers and relaunched in 1986. A strategy and decision-making game, it is considered one of the most popular board games. most engaging and addicting ever.

Risk, now a Hasbro game, invites players to conquer the territories of others by building and moving armies into favorable – or enviable positions. Players can betray each other or form alliances, and the dice and cards only introduce more complicated situations as the games progress. There are now several editions of Risk available, including Star Wars and Game of Thrones themed games.


Sand, while it may seem like an unusual choice, deserves a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame for its accessibility. Not only is it a substance found in countless places ranging from sandboxes to beaches, it can also be manipulated in countless ways for imaginative play.

There is no shortage of sand toys on the market, including many low-tech and high-tech options. Among the most popular are sandcastle building accessories, such as shovels, buckets and rakes. Kinetic sand has become a popular sensory toy in recent years. Sand is considered a perfect “space” for children to enjoy open play, outdoor play, remote control cars, or STEM learning.

Top 6 Toys to Celebrate 2021 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees

American doll WellieWishers Kendall

American doll WellieWishers Kendall

Kendall is presented as a creative and artistic character with big dreams and a big heart. Her doll wears an intricately detailed outfit with wellie rubber boots and a fancy tulle skirt.

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“Joss” by Erin Falligant

Joss was American Girl’s 2019 Girl of the Year. This first book in its series explains Joss’s life as a young girl with a hearing aid who is about to enter a surf video contest in her hometown.

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60th anniversary edition of risk

60th anniversary edition of risk

The iconic game’s 60th anniversary edition includes premium game pieces and packaging. The collectible edition includes a return board and offers five ways to play the game.

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Junior risk

Junior risk

Ideal for ages 5 and up, this introductory risk game from Hasbro teaches young players basic strategy as they battle it out for control of the islands on the board.

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Kinetic Sand Collapsible Construction Site Sandbox Playset

Kinetic Sand Construction Site Folding Sandbox Playset

This kinetic sand kit comes with building themed props so kids can develop their building skills with tiny molded bricks. It comes with a working crane and wrecking ball with realistic details.

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Create a sandcastle kit

Create a sandcastle kit

The six-piece sandcastle kit includes everything kids need to create the castle of their dreams. The kit can be used alone or in conjunction with other Create A Castle sets.

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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