Toy Hall of Fame inducts Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, top

The Strong National Museum of Play in New York announced the 2022 inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame are Masters of the Universe, Lite-Brite and the top.

The Rochester museum announced the inductees were selected from a field of finalists that also included bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Nerf, pinata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O and Spirograph.

The museum said the spinning top has been a favorite children’s toy since ancient times, with cultures in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia enjoying the spinning toy.

“The top is one of the oldest toys and an integral part of many cultures, where it developed independently as a plaything. With more than 5,000 years of history behind it, it’s about time that the top spun its way into the National Toy Hall of Fame,” Chief Curator Christopher Bensch said.

Masters of the Universe, Mattel’s toy line centering around heroes He-Man and She-Ra, hit shelves in the 1980s and spun off into multiple animated TV series, comic books and a feature film.

“Part of the appeal of Masters of the Universe toys grew out of their being well-suited to the way kids play. The team at Mattel understood that kids spend lots of time in fantasy play and like the opportunity to project themselves into the role of the hero,” Curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer said. “Masters of the Universe characters had the strength, weapons, and power to defeat the villain — and give kids confidence. He-Man, after-all, regularly asserted ‘I have the power!'”

Lite-Brite, a creative toy that made its debut in 1966, allows children to create glowing images against a black background, with children being able to create both stenciled images and images of their own creation.

“Whatever their shape or size, Lite-Brite play sets have encouraged kids to color and draw with light, applying 20th-century technology to ancient mosaic techniques. In 1968 promotional materials, Hasbro declared Lite-Brite a ‘magic light box,’ and that magic continues more than 50 years later,” Curator Nicolas Ricketts said.