Every year, the National Toy Hall of Fame inducts three new toys. This year, pinball made it onto the list.

The other toys included in the class of 2018 are the Uno card game and the Magic 8 Ball. The three inductees beat off competition from nine other finalists that included chalk, Masters of the Universe, sleds, and the Chutes and Ladders board game.

The National Toy Hall of Fame is in The Strong, the National Museum of Play. It is in Rochester, New York. Pinball will now be on permanent display at the museum.

Getting into the National Toy Hall of Fame

You might be wondering why pinball is not already in the National Toy Hall of Fame. The answer is it is quite difficult to get in. The process starts with toy nominations, that anyone can make. These nominations are then cut to a shortlist of 12 by the museum's advisory committee.

The museum then puts together another committee to decide on the final three.

The Magic 8 Ball has been on the shortlist seven other times but only made it into the Hall of Fame this year. It took until 2010 for playing cards to be inducted, 2012 for dominoes, and 2013 for chess, proving that age has little relevance.

In fact, the museum only admitted the ball into its Hall of Fame in 2009, despite balls being used as toys for millennia.

It's also worth noting the National Toy Hall of Fame doesn’t always make decisions regarding its inductees that make sense to everyone. Just look at the class of 2005 which included the cardboard box, or the class of 2011 which included the blanket (this was something to do with wearing blankets as a cape).

The Hall of Fame is on firm footing with pinball, however, a tried-and-test favorite for generations.

Why Now?

Pinball’s inclusion in the National Toy Hall of Fame’s class of 2018 is not that surprising given the resurgence in popularity that pinball is currently enjoying.

The numbers of people playing pinball and entering tournaments around the country continues to grow. There are also more and more places to play in cities all over the United States. These facts would have been hard for the judging committee to ignore.

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