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Finalists Named For The 2019 National Toy Hall of Fame

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) - Twelve finalists have been announced for the National Toy Hall of Fame this year.

Christopher Bensch is chief curator at The Strong National Museum of Play, which houses the Hall of Fame.

He says the finalists range from the top and the coloring book to Matchbox cars and the smartphone.

“So, modern technology, something that's really only been around for a little more than 10 years with the smartphone, and then the oldest toy in the list goes back into prehistory -- the top -- which has been around since ancient times," he said.

Bensch said we do many playful things with our phones.

“Whether that's an actual game we play on them to kill some time, or distract ourselves,” he said. “But we also do inherently playful things, whether that's funny texts or videos that we share or the types of emoticons that we attach to even a more serious message.

“We do lots of playful things with phones whether we're toddlers or senior citizens," he said.

The 12 finalists are: Care Bears, the coloring book, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Magic the Gathering, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox cars, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, the smartphone, and the top.

Bensch said the Hall of Fame gets thousands of nominations each year. This year, there were over 4,700 nominations for more than 600 different toys.

He said people are passionate about this and often recruit their friends and neighbors to rally for a favorite toy.

Three winners will be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Nov. 7.