Dust off those old boxes in the attic and try to unearth that favorite childhood item—The Children Museum’s new interactive project, “100 Toys (& their Stories) that Define Our Childhood,” is taking votes from the public to decide which should earn the title of best plaything of the past 100 years.
Until Aug. 17, voters can go online and not only cast votes for their favorite toys among 100 selected by curators, but also share stories and memories about those beloved childhood games, figurines, and more. All of the toys on the list came from the Children Museum’s own collection, and many can be found in current displays and areas around the museum.
After the initial poll ends, the top 20 toys will be put in a display in the museum, and voters will again be able to go online and rank them, ultimately leading to a singular overall winner.
Because the toys represent a few generations, the project encourages not only children but also adults to get excited about their favorite toys, allowing them to revisit and discuss favorite memories and talk to their kids about how toys have changed (Barbie’s many fashion and career updates) or stayed the same (the classic Slinky, still capable of walking down anyone’s stairs).
“A lot of these toys have staying power,” says curator Andrea Hughes. “They have been popular for a really long time, and we’re hoping that again encourages conversation among families.”
While Barbie currently leads the project’s poll, a brief survey of our office shows what an IM toy collection would contain:
> Daniel S. Comiskey, Deputy Editor: Optimus Prime from Transformers (pictured)
> Megan Fernandez, Executive Editor: Mix-and-match fashion plates
> Evan West, Executive Editor: Indiana Jones figurine
> Julia Spalding, Dining Editor: Fisher Price Little People playsets
> Jonathan Scott, Digital Media Manager: Tenderheart Bear (a Care Bear, pictured)
> Laura Kruty, Special Sections Editor: Mall Madness Game
> Taylor Ellis, Editorial Intern: Easy-Bake Oven (pictured)
> Allison Scarlott, Editorial Intern: Beanie Babies
What tops your own list?
Photos via Children’s Museum of Indianapolis