Pioneering Black doll Baby Nancy enters Toy Hall of Fame

This photo, provided by the National Toy Hall of Fame, shows Baby Nancy, by Shindana Toys; Sidewalk Chalk, by Crayola; and Jenga, by Parker Brothers, left to right, that were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov, 5, 2020. The honorees were chosen by a panel of experts from among 12 finalists and will be on permanent display inside The Strong National Museum of Play, in Rochester, New York. (Victoria Gray/National Toy Hall of Fame via AP)
This photo, provided by the National Toy Hall of Fame, shows Baby Nancy, by Shindana Toys; Sidewalk Chalk, by Crayola; and Jenga, by Parker Brothers, left to right, that were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov, 5, 2020. The honorees were chosen by a panel of experts from among 12 finalists and will be on permanent display inside The Strong National Museum of Play, in Rochester, New York. (Victoria Gray/National Toy Hall of Fame via AP) (National Toy Hall of Fame)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Baby Nancy, the first Black baby doll to have an Afro and other authentic features, was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday, along with sidewalk chalk and the wooden block game Jenga.

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

They were chosen by a panel of experts from among 12 finalists that also included bingo, Breyer Horses, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Risk, Sorry!, Tamagotchi, and Yahtzee.

Baby Nancy was the inaugural doll for Shindana Toys, a California company launched in 1968 by Operation Bootstrap Inc., the not-for-profit Black community self-help organization that emerged in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles.

By Thanksgiving, Baby Nancy was the bestselling Black doll in Los Angeles, and before Christmas, she was selling nationwide. The toy exposed a long-standing demand for ethnically correct Black dolls, according to the National Toy Hall of Fame, located in The Strong museum in Rochester, New York.

Shindana Toys folded amid financial problems in 1983, but Baby Nancy “still stands as a landmark doll that made commercial and cultural breakthoughs,” curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer said in a news release.

Another inductee, sidewalk chalk, traces its roots all the way back to Paleolithic cave art found throughout the world, hall officials said.

“There are few limits to what kids can do with chalk. Every sidewalk square, patio, and driveway holds the potential for a work of art, a winning game of strategy and cleverness, or a demonstration of physical agility, poise, and balance," chief curator Christopher Bensch said.