Children's Museum Names Top 100 Toys of Past Century

And the Favorite Toy is G.I. Joe®!

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Visitors and Fans Choose their Favorite Toy from the '100 Toys (& their Stories) that Define Our Childhood'

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 11, 2012 -- After eight weeks of voting, more than 24,000 votes, and 600 stories shared, the final results are in and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis online visitors and fans have determined their favorite toy from the past century. The top toy is G.I. Joe®!

On July 16, the public was asked to weigh in on the '100 Toys (& their Stories) that Define Our Childhood'. The goal was to determine favorites from a list of 100 toys iconic of childhood as chosen by curators of The Children's Museum's collection. After the initial five weeks of public voting, the list of 100 Toys was narrowed down to the top 20 from which the public was again asked to rank favorites. The results of this last vote determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.

The final order for the top 20 toys is:

Gold: G.I. Joe®
Silver: Transformers®
Bronze: LEGO® Toys
4. Barbie®
5. View-Master®
6. Bicycle
7. Cabbage Patch Kids®
8. Crayons
9. Play-Doh®
11. Raggedy Ann®
12. Spirograph™
13. Etch A Sketch®
14. Little Golden Books®
15. Hot Wheels®
16. Lincoln Logs®
17. Candy Land®
18. Roller Skates
19. Silly® Putty
20. Mr. Potato Head®

"The feedback and support from the public for this initiative has been extraordinary," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president & CEO, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. "The stories people have shared about intergenerational learning, family traditions and memories has been heartwarming and life changing in some cases. Toys are a powerful tool for exploration and imagination as we learn and grow. They foster many shared memories across generations and, as was represented in the voting and story sharing for 100 Toys, across cultures as we read stories submitted from Germany, Canada, Australia and Israel."

The 100 Toys project included iconic toys from the past century (1910-present) that were representative of childhood. As one of the few children's museums that is also an artifact collections museum, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has more than 120,000 objects in its collection. Museum curators took great care in considering which 100 toys to choose that would represent a wide variety of experiences.

"Each of the toys the public chose for the top 20 has been produced for 25 years or more, which is not surprising considering their cross-generational appeal," said Patchen. "Objects such as crayons and bicycles have been around for decades - evoking strong emotions and fond memories with children, parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. These toys give us common ground and are good conversation starters involving the entire family."

Several generations of enjoyment were evident in the stories submitted to the museum website including a gentleman who shared multiple incidents in his own childhood growing up in Indianapolis during the 1950s. Like many of his generation, he played with trains, toy soldiers, and a Yo-Yo. Memories were also shared on toys popular in the last few years such as Beanie Babies® and Tickle Me Elmo, although many of the toys included are timeless such as toy tools, dress-up clothes, toy trucks and baby dolls, which alone received 31 story submissions!

Beginning on Sept. 11, the final 20 toys will be on display at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis for the public to view through the end of the year. Although voting has ended, the public is still encouraged to share their own memories of each of the 100 toys on The Children's Museum website at

About The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families across the arts, sciences and humanities. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, and