ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — American Girl dolls and the strategy board 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 called perhaps the most universal and oldest toy in the world, was also inducted.
All three were honored during a ceremony at the hall after winning over a panel of experts who voted for them from a group of 12 finalists.
Also in the running this year were four other competitive games: 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 engine and the piñata.
Anyone can nominate a toy but to be considered, they must have withstood tests of time and memory, changed play or toy design and fostered learning, creativity or discovery.
American Girl dolls, the 1986 creation of educator Pleasant Rowland, were recognized for their exploration of the country’s social and cultural history. The 18-inch historical dolls and accompanying books each offer insights into an era. For example, Molly McIntire is waiting for her father to return home from World War II.
The Truly Me contemporary doll line, with its diversity of skin tones, hair and gender, followed in 1995, letting children choose a doll that looks like them.