Discuss as:

Toy Hall of Fame elevates blanket, Hot Wheels

Charles M. Schultz / AP

The lowly blanket has been used as a plaything in hundreds of ways by Linus and other children.

Linus would be pleased.

The National Toy Hall of Fame, which previously has recognized such classic "toys" as the stick and the ball, has added the blanket to its list of immortals enshrined in Rochester, N.Y.

The toy hall, which has been shining the spotlight on America’s favorite childhood playthings since the 1998, also recognized Hot Wheels and the dollhouse as classics worthy of induction.

Courtesy National Toy Hall of Fame

Some Hot Wheels cars were so fast they required a drag chute.

The winners were selected from a list of 12 finalists, which included items as diverse as Dungeons & Dragons, the Pogo Stick, the Rubik’s Cube, Jenga, Simon, "Star Wars" action figures, Transformers, Twister, the puppet, and radio-controlled vehicles.

But those contenders were edged out in a vote of educators and historians who selected Hot Wheels, the miniature-sized toy cars made by Mattel, which has produced over 3 billion of them in some 800 models and 11,000 variations, according to the toy hall, part of The Strong, which also operates the National Museum of Play in Rochester.

The toy hall also recognized the dollhouse, which was traced to “baby houses” in which wealthy European women would display miniature furnishings as far back as the 16th century. German toymakers began making dollhouses in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they were mass-produced by the 19th century.

And of course, who could forget the blanket? The NTHF pointed out its uses a superhero’s cape or a bride’s veil in “imaginative play,” in addition to its well-known utility for building tents and forts. “The blanket joins the cardboard box, inducted in 2005, and the stick, inducted in 2008, as honored toys of the imagination,” the hall said in a statement.

Hot Wheels, the dollhouse and the blanket are inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.