Magic: The Gathering is nominated for this year’s class of entries into The National Toy Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is hosted at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester New York. It “recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period.” Magic: The Gathering is one of 12 finalists for entry into the museum this year. The others include varied entries, both branded and classic toys, and other devices: Care Bears, coloring book, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, smartphone, and top.
“These 12 toys represent the wide scope of play—from the simple, traditional spinning top that has been played with since pre-history to the ultra-modern smartphone which has dramatically changed how people of all ages play and connect,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections in a press release. “Whether old or new, or imaginative or physical, all 12 of these toy finalists share an undeniable ability to inspire people to learn, create, and discover through play.”
Of Magic: The Gathering, the nominee description says, “Wizards of the Coast published Magic the Gathering in 1993, and the uniquely collectible card game became so successful that the firm could not meet demand at first. The game—which draws on popular fantasy themes—requires both chance and skill to defeat opponents in one-on-one battles, encouraging players to collect new cards and to refine their deck and strategies. The game continues to evolve and produce new sets of cards and rules.”
Game designer Richard Garfield created Magic: The Gathering. Wizards of the Coast published the game’s first set in 1993 and it proved an immediate success. In 1999, toy and game manufacturer Hasbro purchased Wizards of the Coast, adding Magic: The Gathering to its sizeable catalog of properties.
Magic: The Gathering has maintained a vibrant competitive player base for decades. The game went digital in 2002 with the launch of Magic: The Gathering Online. In recent years, Wizards of the Coast has positioned Magic: The Gathering as a possible esports game. It developed Magic: The Gathering Arena with esports in mind, making it a free-to-play digital version of the game with more robust visuals for easier spectator viewing. After spending the past year in open beta, Magic: The Gathering Arena will officially launch alongside the release of Magic: The Gathering’s 82nd expansion set, Throne of Eldraine.
What do you think of Magic: The Gathering being nominated for the National Toy Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments. The inductees will be announced on November 7th.