Back in September, the National Toy Hall of Fame announced 12 finalists up for nomination this year.

Care Bears, the coloring book, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Magic the Gathering, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, the Nerf Blaster, Risk, the smartphone, and the top were all considered for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

This year's winning toys have been announced, and they are: Matchbox Cars, coloring books and Magic the Gathering cards.

I have fond memories of playing with Matchbox cars as a boy. I remember getting a race track for Christmas one year, and I would see how far I could make my tracks. I'd start in my closet (which was an exceptionally long closet), and make my way out into the bedroom, creating loops and turns for the cars to speed along. I remember having the Hotwheels Matchbox carrying case for my cars so I could transport them around easily. Matchbox cars were such a classic pastime of my childhood, and I'm thrilled to see them make this year's National Toy Hall of Fame.

Coloring books, of course, are another nostalgic childhood "game" and were probably one of my earliest forms of entertainment. Besides the educational value of coloring (learning colors, discipline and art), coloring books are convenient and appropriate for most social settings my parents wanted to keep me quiet and pacified. Of course, my parents reaped the added benefit of hanging and collecting my countless works of "art."

Of the three toys inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year, Magic the Gathering is the one I'm least familiar with. In fact, I really know next to nothing, though I'm less upset that it was nominated than I am that the smartphone was nominated.

To be considered for induction, toys must fit four qualifying criteria:  Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design). Last year's inductees were the Magic 8 Ball, the pinball machine, and Uno.

According to musesumofplay.org, "the National Toy Hall of Fame receives thousands of nominations annually." Fans can vote for their favorite online, and the three toys with the most votes join three toys also sbumitted for consideration by National Selection Advisory CommitteeTo date, 68 toys have been inducted  into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

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