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Baby Nancy, first black doll, enters the Toy Hall of Fame

Baby Nancy was the first doll from Shindana Toys, a California company created in 1968 by Operation Bootstrap Inc. Photo: ap


Baby Nancy, the first black doll who had an afro hairstyle and other authentic features, was incorporated into the National Toy Hall of Fame Thursday along with sidewalk chalk and Jenga wood block set.

The 2020 honorees were recognized for their creativity and popularity over time.

Were selected by a group of experts from among 12 finalists which also included the game Bingo game, Breyer’s miniature horses, Lite-Brite light game, Masters of the Universe toys, My Little Pony, and Risk, Sorry !, Tamagotchi and Yahtzee board games.

Baby Nancy was the Shindana Toys first doll, a California company created in 1968 by Operation Bootstrap Inc., the black community self-help nonprofit that emerged after the Watts riots in Los Angeles in the 1960s.

By Thanksgiving, Baby Nancy was the best-selling black doll in Los Angeles, and before Christmas it was sold all over the United States. The doll exposed the wide demand for black dolls that were ethnically correct, according to the National Toy Hall of Fame, located at The Strong museum in Rochester, New York.

Photo: AP

Shindana Toys closed amid financial troubles in 1983, But Baby Nancy “still stands as a momentous doll who had commercial and cultural achievements,” curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer said in a statement.

Another incorporated into the living room, the Crayola sidewalk chalk, has its roots in Paleolithic rock art found around the world, Hall of Fame officials said.

There are few limits to what children can do with chalk. Every fence, yard and driveway has the potential to make a work of art, a winning game of strategy and creativity, or a display of physical agility, poise and poise, ”said lead curator Christopher Bensch.

Jenga, The brainchild of England’s Leslie Scott, it was honored for its simplicity and ability to be played by almost anyone. Players take turns removing wooden blocks from a rectangular tower until it collapses. Its name comes from the verb “kujenga” in Swahili, which means to build.

It is one of the rare games that is just as fun for two people as it is for a larger group. It’s perfect for a group party or something more intimate, but either way, it always creates instant memories, ”said curator Nicolas Ricketts.

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