ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Fans have pushed the Fisher-Price Corn Popper into the National Toy Hall of Fame, elevating it from perpetual finalist to 2023 inductee, alongside baseball cards, Cabbage Patch Kids and NERF foam toys, the Hall of Fame announced Friday.
The Fisher-Price push toy that encourages babies to walk was chosen by fans, who were invited to celebrate the Toy Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary by voting for one of five toys that had made it to the finals more than once but were passed over. The rest of the so-called “Forgotten Five” included the pogo stick, My Little Pony, PEZ dispensers and Transformers.
Baseball cards, Cabbage Patch Kids and NERF toys were voted in in the usual way from among a field of 12 finalists, with input from a panel of experts. Those finalists included Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, who didn’t make the cut despite a big boost in visibility from the summer “Barbie” movie.
“These four deserving inductees represent a great blend of types of play for people of all ages,” Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections and chief curator, said in a statement.
The winners are on permanent display at the National Toy Hall of Fame, which is located inside The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Since 1998, dozens of toys have been inducted, including ones as humble as the cardboard box, as ancient as chess, and as influential on pop culture as the Barbie doll.
Last year’s inductees were the spinning top, Masters of the Universe action figures and the Lite-Brite.
Anyone can nominate a toy, but to make it into the Hall of Fame, they have to have inspired creative play and enjoyed long-lasting popularity.
“Baseball cards encourage lifelong playing and collection. Cabbage Patch Kids continue to encourage imagination and storytelling for kids. Fisher-Price Corn Popper, which is a forgotten finalist no longer, is a great activity for toddlers,” Bensch said. “NERF toys are designed for indoor and outdoor activity, and they often find kids and grownups playing together.”
This year’s other finalists were: Battleship, bingo, Bop It, Choose Your Own Adventure books, Connect 4, the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, slime and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.