Old School Americana & Nostalgia


National Toy Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Announced, Ken Doll Not Included

National Toy Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Announced, Ken Doll Not Included

Although Ken’s popularity spiked thanks to the Barbie movie, it seems “Keough” was still unable to make the cut as a 2023 inductee into the National Museum of Play’s Toy Hall of Fame. 

According to the museum, four toys were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year. They are baseball cards, Nerf toys, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Fisher-Price Corn Popper. Ken’s latest rejection comes 25 years after Barbie was inducted into the Hall of Fame’s first class. 

In order to be nominated for the Toy Hall of Fame, a toy must follow this criteria:

  1. Icon status: Must be well recognized while also respected and remembered. 
  2. Longevity: Must be more than a “passing fad” and has been enjoyed by multiple generations. 
  3. Discovery: Offers learning, creativity, and discovery while being played with. 
  4. Innovation: Must have changed profoundly over the years in either play or design. 

Speaking about this year’s selected toys, Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections and chief curator of the museum, stated that each inductee represented a “great blend” of types of play for people of all ages. “Baseball cards encourage lifelong playing and collection,” Bensch said. “Cabbage Patch Kids continues to encourage imagination and storytelling for kids. Fisher-Price Corn Popper, which is a forgotten finalist no longer, is a great activity for toddlers. NERF toys are designed for indoor and outdoor activity, and they often find kids and grownups playing together.”

Ken was notably among the nominees for this year’s class. Other toys nominated were Battleship, bingo, Bop It, Choose Your Own Adventure game books, Connect 4, Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, slime, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

Prior to the latest inducted class, 80 other toys have been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame over the years. 

‘Barbie’ & ‘Ken’ Baby Name Searches Soared During the ‘Barbie’ Movie’s Theatrical Run 

TMZ reported in early August that Barbie and Ken baby name searches had soared when the Barbie movie was making its theatrical run during the summer. 

The media outlet was told by BabyNames.com that the website had seen a 300% uptick in searches for Barbie and Ken saw a 200% uptick in July 2023. However, only a handful of those searching the names added the doll names to their “favorite” list. The website noted that Barbie means “stranger’ while Ken means “handsome.”

Along with Barbie and Ken name popularity increases, the Allan doll’s eBay listings increased significantly. However, the Allan name’s popularity didn’t increase. 

TMZ went on to add that the Barbie name had peaked in popularity in 1964. Meanwhile, the Ken name peaked in 1963.