###Contact: Susan Trien, The Strong, 585-410-6359 email@example.com Adrienne Appell, Toy Industry Association, 646-454-4863 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rochester, N.Y. - The Strong and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) are pleased to announce a partnership to house TIA's Toy Industry Hall of Fame alongside The Strong's National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. The two halls of fame-one recognizing classic toys and the other recognizing the individuals who designed, made, and sold them-will share a cutting-edge, $4 million state-of-the-art museum installation, 75 percent of which will be funded by TIA and the toy industry. The confluence of two prestigious halls and their uniquely 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; F.A.O. Schwarz; the founders of Hasbro, LEGO, Mattel, and Radio Flyer; and others. By fall 2015, The Strong's existing 5,000-square-foot National Toy Hall of Fame gallery will be fully transformed and renovated to accommodate the new halls. Positioned alongside a dramatic, winding staircase and within a caterpillar-shaped atrium, the new gallery will feature a programmable 100-foot-long by 20-foot-high LED theatrical screen visible from the street through a circular glass wall. The giant screen will blend stop-motion animated effects, pulsating color, and sound to highlight messages about toys, invention, and play. These dramatic, ever-changing displays will serve as a visual magnet for both guests in the gallery and passersby in downtown Rochester. Additional gallery components will include a second, smaller LED theatrical screen, an orientation theater, and five highly interactive, artifact-rich play environments that feature distinct modes of play-imagine, create, build, move, and compete. Inductees will be recognized on individual etched glass panels mounted on two dramatically lit, 14-foot-high curvilinear glass walls. Artifacts, documents, touch-screen interactivity, and physical play will position the inductees of both halls in the broad cultural context of play and its impact on the social history of everyday life. According to G. Rollie Adams, president and CEO of The Strong, "The New York City-based Toy Industry Association selected Rochester and The Strong for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame's new home over potential venues in New York; Boston; Chicago; Washington, DC; and other cities because The Strong is the only collections-based museum anywhere devoted solely to the study of play, holds the most comprehensive collection of toys and other artifacts of play anywhere, and owns and houses the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame." "TIA is honored to showcase the Toy Industry Hall of Fame alongside its natural counterpart, the National Toy Hall of Fame," said TIA President Carter Keithley. "With its unique emphasis on the power of play, The Strong is an ideal home for this homage to both the toys that have influenced generations of children and the innovative minds that brought them to life." Toys provide a window into history, culture, the people who have played with them, and the individuals and companies that have produced and sold them; and the combined halls will enable guests to explore how such factors as cultural trends, educational philosophies, moral views, gender, and emerging and changing technologies help shape the design, production, and marketing of toys and the play associated with them. For example, guests will learn how the creator of Raggedy Ann pioneered the now pervasive marketing and business technique known as transmedia; how games like Monopoly and The Game of Life reinforced widely held faith in capitalism and pursuit of the American dream; and how found toys such as the stick and blanket highlight why good play is the basis of all good toy design. The Strong and Toy Industry Association view this collaboration as the launch of a long-lasting partnership in promoting the importance of play. About The Strong®: The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. It carries out this mission through five programmatic arms called "Play Partners." These are the National Museum of Play®, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games®, the National Toy Hall of Fame®, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play®, and the American Journal of Play®. Independent and not-for-profit, The Strong is situated in Rochester, New York, where it houses the world's most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play. These enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe. About the Toy Industry Association: Toy Industry AssociationTM, Inc. (TIA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages. TIA's 600 members account for an estimated 85 percent of the annual U.S. domestic toy market of more than $21 billion. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety, including responsibility for the development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard. TIA members and staff continue to work with government officials, consumer groups, and industry leaders on ongoing programs to ensure safe play. TIA serves as the industry's advocate on legislative and trade issues; enhances the image and growth of the industry by promoting toy products at its trade shows and events, in the media, and via other means; and fosters philanthropy to children via the Toy Industry Foundation and its Toy Bank.