Hot Wheels 1966 Batmobile 2008 Inductees to Be Named November 6   Rochester, N.Y. — Which of America’s favorite toys will be enshrined in the National Toy Hall of Fame® this year? Will Rubik’s Cube® be part of the winning combination? Will Wiffle® Ball step up to the plate and hit a home run? Perhaps we should consult the fortunetelling Magic 8 Ball® for the answers!  Strong National Museum of Play® today announced the 12 nominees being considered for 2008 induction into its National Toy Hall of Fame® in Rochester, New York. This year’s toy nominees are: Baby Doll, Clue®, Dollhouse, Flexible Flyer® Sled, The Game of Life®, Hot Wheels®, Magic 8 Ball®, Rubik’s Cube®, Skateboard, Thomas the Tank Engine™, Wiffle Ball®, and Yahtzee®. (Only two of these illustrious twelve will be selected for entry into the hall.)The National Toy Hall of Fame receives thousands of toy nominations via mail and email annually. Among this year’s submissions, an impressive 33,000 Thomas the Tank Engine™ fans at more than 45 heritage railroads in the U.S. and Canada submitted petitions for Thomas’s entry into the hall. “While a nomination is not the same as a vote and won’t necessarily assure entry into the hall,” says Strong’s chief curator Christopher Bensch, “we do appreciate the public’s enthusiasm and encourage toy lovers everywhere to participate in our process each year by visiting our website (www.museumofplay.org) to nominate a toy and share their toy stories.”The final 2008 toy inductees, to be chosen by a National Selection Committee, will be announced at a press conference on Thursday, November 6, and a major weekend public celebration will follow at Strong on Saturday, November 8 and Sunday, November 9. Weekend highlights will include an elaborate new Lionel® Train installation, entertainment by Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy, a Hula Hoop® 50th birthday celebration, and a look at the inner workings of popular toys. National Toy Hall of Fame Nominees The National Toy Hall of Fame® at Strong National Museum of Play® recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play. Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design).To date, the following 38 toys have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame: Alphabet Blocks, Atari® 2600 Game System, Barbie®, Bicycle, Candy Land®, Cardboard Box, Checkers, Crayola® Crayons, Duncan® Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake® Oven, Erector® Set, Etch A Sketch®, Frisbee®, G.I. Joe™, Hula Hoop®, Jack-in-the-Box, Jacks, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jump Rope, Kite, LEGO®, Lincoln Logs®, Lionel® Trains, Marbles, Monopoly®, Mr. Potato Head®, Play-Doh®, Radio Flyer® Wagon, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Rocking Horse, Roller Skates, Scrabble®, Silly Putty®, Slinky®, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy®, Tonka® Trucks, and View-Master®.Playthings, the leading trade magazine covering the children’s toy industry in the United States, is a national media partner of the National Toy Hall of Fame® at Strong National Museum of Play®. Founded in 1903, Playthings offers the most current and in-depth information and news on toy manufacturers, retailers, licensing, products, and people. Playthings is published by Reed Business Information, the largest business-to-business publisher in the United States. Strong National Museum of Play® is the nation’s only museum devoted solely to the study of play as it illuminates American popular culture. Known for its family-friendly, interactive exhibits and world-renowned collections (including the world’s largest collection of toys and dolls), the museum is the second largest children’s museum in the nation and the largest year-round family attraction in Upstate New York. For more information on Strong and the National Toy Hall of Fame® visit www.museumofplay.org.  Strong National Museum of Play®, located in downtown Rochester, New York, is the only museum in the world devoted solely to the study of play as it illuminates American culture.Museum Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission Fees: General Admission (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®): Adults $9.50; Seniors $8.50; Children (2–17) $7.50; Children younger than two free; Strong members free. Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®: General Admission fee plus $3.00 per person for nonmembers and $1.50 per person for members; Children younger than two free. Due to limited capacity, entry to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden® is by timed ticket only. Advance purchase is recommended. Please call 585-263-2700 to reserve and purchase timed tickets.Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359 strien@museumofplay.org