The Fascinating Histories of Barbie, LEGO, Monopoly and More

By Carrie McBride, Communications
September 15, 2023

The National Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998 and now resides at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. Seventeen toys were in the inaugural group and a few more are voted on and added each year. The twelve 2023 finalists include Cabbage Patch Kids, Connect Four, the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, and Barbie's boyfriend, Ken. (You can cast a ballot for your favorite in the Players Choice vote now through September 20—will Ken be Kenough?) In honor of Ken and other memorable toys, we've put together some reading suggestions to learn more about the history and lasting impact of some iconic toys and games from the past. 

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.