Rochester, New York | August 13, 2015—A cutting-edge, $4 million state-of-the-art Toy Halls of Fame exhibit at The Strong museum will be unveiled during a special ceremony on Thursday, September 17 at 10:30 a.m. The exhibit houses The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame—which recognizes classic toys—alongside the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Toy Industry Hall of Fame—which recognizes the outstanding individuals who design, make, and sell them.
The two prestigious halls and their unique, high-tech housing is expected to draw regional and national attention as America’s most beloved toys are recognized together with toy industry luminaries such as Walt Disney; George Lucas; Jim Henson; the founders of Hasbro, LEGO, Mattel, Radio Flyer, and Toys“R”Us; and others. The unveiling will be followed by an invitation-only dinner honoring the luminaries and celebrating TIA’s 100th anniversary on the evening of Thursday, September 17. A public weekend celebration will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20.
“The Strong and Toy Industry Association formed this partnership more than two years ago and are delighted with the result—a dynamic, one-of-a-kind, nationally significant interpretive exhibit and tourist attraction that will appeal to people of all ages across the world,” says G. Rollie Adams, president and CEO of The Strong. “The exhibit is expected to draw an additional 40,000 more visitors to The Strong; bring significant national and international attention to the region; and add to quality of life in the Finger Lakes.”
The Toy Halls of Fame exhibit includes five themed areas—imagine, create, build, move, and compete—where guests can learn about the toys beloved by generations. Displays featuring The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame inductees pair with displays featuring toy industry luminaries recognized by the TIA’s Toy Industry Hall of Fame. A dramatic exhibit staircase leads past a gallery of animated portraits of classic toys and into a more than 5,000-square foot space that includes such interactives as a 20-foot virtual bubble machine, a 24-foot virtual playroom using Kinect technology, a 20-foot mobile featuring toy images, and a giant kinetic sculpture made of building blocks, balls, a toy car race track, and other toys. Touch-screen kiosks in the space will allow guests to learn about the toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame and luminaries in the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
“TIA is proud to have the Toy Industry Hall of Fame housed alongside the National Toy Hall of Fame in this state-of-the-art exhibit,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of TIA. “The nation’s museum of play is an extraordinary treasure and provides the perfect home for the Toy Halls of Fame exhibit, which celebrates the toys that have defined play for generations of children, and the industry trailblazers who created them.”
The Toy Halls of Fame exhibit is produced by The Strong in cooperation with the Toy Industry Association. The project is supported by New York State's Empire State Development and the I ♥ NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. Additional grant funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project is also made possible in part by Neil B. Friedman, Funrise Toy Corporation, Hasbro Children’s Fund, Inc., The Hassenfeld Foundation, Tom & Karen Kalinske, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., LEGO Systems, Inc., Pressman Toy Corporation, Radio Flyer Inc., and Toys “R” Us, Inc.
The exhibit will be included with general museum admission fees.
About The Strong
The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, World Video Game Hall of Fame, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. Known widely as the nation’s museum of play, The Strong blends the best features of both history museums (extensive collections) and children’s museums (high interactivity) to explore the ways in which play encourages learning, creativity, and discovery and illuminates cultural history.
About the Toy Industry Association
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is the not-for-profit trade association promoting healthy play for children and representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. TIA’s 750+ members account for an estimated 90% of the annual $22 billion U.S. domestic toy market. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard nearly 40 years ago. TIA continues to work with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.