Check it out -- your favorite retro toy has been revamped for today's modern tots.
The Strong National Museum of Play, in Rochester, New York, inducts the original versions of classic toys into its National Hall of Fame. We picked a dozen of the 36 inductees to show here, along with modern, mostly toddler-friendly updates; to see the complete list of toys or to vote for your favorite, visit strongmuseum.org, and, under "Exhibits," click on "National Toy Hall of Fame."
Loved because: Drawing is the ultimate creative outlet for kids, and crayons give them a colorful, nontoxic writing instrument.
The update: Crayola developed these new triangular easy-hold crayons so that even 2-year-olds can draw with ease.
Loved because: Sets of interlocking blocks let kids invent new toys.
The update: The Ultimate Lego Duplo set has new characters and cool, see-through blocks for the toddler crowd.
Loved because: Kids can't get enough of this suspenseful hide-and-seek game.
The update: That original clown is a little spooky. Now you can choose from a bear, a bunny, a pony, a character such as Curious George, and more jumping out of a box.
Radio Flyer Wagon
Radio Flyer Wagon
Loved because: It gives kids a way to pull each other or their toys.
The update: As soon as a baby is upright, she's interested in moving herself and her stuff. This Classic Red Car is a push toy and a ride-on.
Loved because: It's a nontoxic compound that's soft and squishy for easy modeling.
The update: Play-Doh's Super Craft Caddy includes eight colors of clay, lots of tools, and a little dustpan for cleanup.
Loved because: It was a nostalgic toy even when it was created, letting kids imagine building a frontier-worthy cabin.
The update: Look for the classic notched logs in the Conestoga Homestead set, which also comes with plastic parts such as people and horses.
Loved because: Kids adore rocking, not to mention playing cowboy or cowgirl.
The update: Soft plush rockers are more comfy for little kids.
Loved because: Boys dig trucks. Girls do, too!
The update: Tots too small for tiny vehicles can drive the Tonka Scoot 'n Scoop 3-in-1 Ride On dump truck, which is also a push toy.
Loved because: Kids can build wild structures out of their imagination.
The update: The packaging is retro, but some pieces now come in fun plastic shapes that can make curves.
Loved because: Little girls don't have to mother this doll -- she's no baby! -- but can instead project fantasies onto her.
The update: Barbie Easy for Me 1-2-3 comes with a stand and is always clothed.
Loved because: "It's slinky! It's slinky! It's fun; it's a wonderful toy!" Too true.
The update: Plastic versions are a little less likely to get tangled up.
Loved because: You don't have to be able to read to know that a red-dot card means move to the next red space. And you get to think about candy!
The update: The new Candy Land Castle Game loses the board and has kids match shapes and colors.
Copyright © 2007 Meredith Corporation. Used with permission from the September 2007 issue of American Baby magazine.