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My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles face off against pots and pans for induction into National Toy Hall of Fame

According to a team of researchers at the University of Montreal, the current trend of using playtime to bolster kids’ fitness through structured physical activity is robbing tots of some of the aspects of play they cherish most –including its purposelessness. So, if health advocates and fitness enthusiasts have it wrong, who is doing playtime right? The Strong National Museum of Play has some ideas.

On Monday, the Strong Museum announced the 12 finalists it is considering for the 2014 induction into its National Toy Hall of Fame. The list includes a diverse array of playthings. Some, such as the Slip ‘n’ Slide, encourage physical activity. Others, such as the historically rooted American Girl dolls, with their accompanying book series, are educational in nature. There are a few commercial giants on the list, including My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures, but these Toys “R” Us favorites are counterbalanced by equally formidable homespun opponents such as the paper airplane and pots and pans.

The inductees, chosen by a national selection committee, will be announced Thursday, November 6. A public celebration will be held the following weekend, on November 8 and 9. A press release posted on the Strong Museum website did not specify whether toys will be provided to attendees, or if the celebration is BYOT.

Visit the National Toy Hall of Fame online to view a complete list of the 53 past inductees, and to vote for your favorite of the 2014 finalists.

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