The coloring book, Matchbox Cars and the card game Magic: The Gathering have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play.
The three were chosen from a field of 12 finalists. Left out of the Class of 2019: Care Bears, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, smartphone and top.
Matchbox Cars, a creation of Lesney Products, debuted in England in 1953. The cars appeared in the United States in 1954 and, by 1960, Matchbox sold more than 100 million units annually. Mattel launched stiff competition in 1968 with Hot Wheels (National Toy Hall of Fame Class of 2011). Mattel bought Matchbox in 1997.
“The name ‘Matchbox’ has become synonymous with miniature cars,” chief curator Christopher Bensch said in a news release.
Wizards of the Coast published Magic: The Gathering in 1993, and popularity of the card game made it difficult for the firm to meet demand.
The game “changed the landscape of collective card gaming with its introduction more than 25 years ago, and it’s become a part of pop culture — leading to book series, electronic games, and even a series on Netflix,” curator Shannon Symonds said.
The coloring book is used by educators to teach such essential and diverse subjects as history, geography and geometry. More complex coloring books aimed at adults became increasingly popular in the 2000s.
“People have expressed their creativity by adding color to shapes and images for much more than 100 years, and coloring books have provided educational and calming benefits to children and adults for more than a century,” curator Nic Ricketts said.
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