Baby Nancy has joined the National Toy Hall of Fame, but other plastic toys — Lite Brite, My Little Pony and Breyer Horses — will have to wait for another year.
The Hall of Fame, housed in the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., announced three new inductees on Nov. 5: Nancy, sidewalk chalk and the wooden block game Jenga.
Nancy was first produced in 1968 when Operation Bootstrap launched Shindana Toys, a community-owned company dedicated to making toys that "reflect Black pride, Black talent and most of all, Black enterprise," the Hall of Fame said in announcing the 2020 inductees.
Baby Nancy was a baby doll with dark complexion and textured hair. Its popularity proved there was a strong demand for ethnically correct Black dolls that the mainstream market had not addressed.
Shindana stopped production in 1983, but Michelle Parnett-Dwyer, a curator at the Strong Museum, said it still stands out as a "landmark doll that made commercial and cultural breakthroughs."
A generic baby doll first entered the Hall of Fame in 2008.