Fisher-Price’s Little People are becoming the Susan Lucci of the toy world.
For the seventh time, the toy is a finalist to be inducted into the Strong Museum of Play’s National Toy Hall of Fame. Could this be the year it pulls out the big win?
Born in East Aurora in 1950, Little People are still a fan favorite and a top brand at Fisher-Price. It battled thousands upon thousands of other nominations to find itself one of this year’s 12 hall-of-fame finalists, chosen by a committee at the Rochester Museum.
For the final round, the humble toddler toy will go head to head with other such finalists as Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Transformers and Dungeons & Dragons.
Fortunately, it’s not a battle of brawn. Other toys that have made it into the hall of fame in the past include bubbles, Silly Putty and the blanket.
The Fisher-Price campus is rooting for Little People to finally seal the deal.
“We were very excited to see our name on the list once again. We know that Little People has touched many lives across the decades leaving a wonderful childhood memory in its place,” said Brenda Andolina, a Fisher-Price spokeswoman. “It would be great to see the brand receive this wonderful designation.”
The first Little People were designed to go with a toy firetruck. Wooden and muted in color, they resembled a clothespin more than today’s plump, plastic characters.
Patricia Hogan, a curator at the Strong Museum, said she believes Little People keep getting nominated because they fit the criteria for evaluation so well: icon status, ability to foster learning, longevity and innovation.
“They are just such great toys for sparking kids’ imaginations,” she said. “They come in sets that are miniature pieces of a child’s big world and they help kids make sense of that bigger world.”
The other finalists are bubble wrap, Care Bears, the board game Clue, coloring books, Nerf, pinball, swings and card game Uno. The winners – there will be two or three – will be chosen by a national advisory committee of toy experts Nov. 10.
If the Little People make the cut, they’ll join 59 other hall of famers, including Play Doh, Mr. Potato Head and the hula hoop.
The winners – there will be two or three – will be chosen Nov. 10.