Raggedy Andy Reunited with Raggedy Ann
in the National Toy Hall of Fame®
in Rochester, New York
November 8, 2007
ROCHESTER, N.Y.— Together at last!
Raggedy Andy’s™ little broken heart was mended today when, after five long years, he was finally reunited with his famous sister Raggedy Ann™ in the National Toy Hall of Fame® at Strong National Museum of Play® in Rochester, New York. (Big sister Raggedy Ann was inducted into the hall in 2002). Two additional toys—the Atari® 2600 game system and the kite—were also admitted into the hall, bringing the total number of current toy inductees to 38.
Christopher Bensch, Vice President for Collections at Strong, says the hall was remiss in separating the rag doll duo: “Some things were just meant to be together—macaroni and cheese; fireworks and the Fourth of July; and, of course, Raggedy Ann & Andy. As of today they will forever be enshrined together in the hall, exactly where they need to be.”
Created by illustrator and author Johnny Gruelle as a rag doll for his daughter Marcella, Raggedy Ann was officially “born” in 1915 and became a children’s book character in 1918. Gruelle created Andy in 1920 to appeal to boys and girls and to bring a central male character into the Raggedy storyline. In the popular books, kindly Raggedy Ann comes to life when humans aren’t looking and embarks on adventures with her brave brother Raggedy Andy.
Says Joni Gruelle, granddaughter and namesake of Johnny Gruelle, “My grandfather was such a special man and I think he would be just so pleased and so happy that his little Raggedy Ann & Andy are still loved after so many, many years. This completes his dream and is a real thrill for me and the family and for those who have loved Raggedy Andy.”
The National Toy Hall of Fame® at Strong National Museum of Play® recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play. Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play); and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design).
To date, the following 38 toys have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame®: Alphabet Blocks, Atari® Game System, Barbie®, Bicycle, Candy Land®, Cardboard Box, Checkers, Crayola® Crayons, Duncan® Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake® Oven, Erector® Set, Etch A Sketch®, Frisbee®, G.I. Joe™, Hula Hoop®, Jack in the Box, Jacks, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jump Rope, Kite, LEGO®, Lincoln Logs®, Lionel® Trains, Marbles, Monopoly®, Mr. Potato Head®, Play-Doh®, Radio Flyer® Wagon, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Rocking Horse, Roller Skates, Scrabble®, Silly Putty®, Slinky®, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy®, Tonka® Trucks, and View-Master®.
Playthings, the leading trade magazine covering the children’s toy industry in the United States, is the national media partner of the National Toy Hall of Fame®. Founded in 1903, Playthings offers the most current and in-depth information and news on toy manufacturers, retailers, licensing, products, and people. Playthings is published by Reed Business Information, the largest business-to-business publisher in the United States.
For more information on the National Toy Hall of Fame® visit www.museumofplay.org
About Raggedy Ann & Andy: Johnny Gruelle’s daughter Marcella brought him an old rag doll one day, and he drew a face on the worn fabric. Pulling a book off the shelf, he noticed two James Witcomb Riley poems, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie.” “Why don’t we call her Raggedy Ann?,” he said. Or so the story goes. Gruelle’s family made the original doll by hand, and he gave Raggedy Ann life in 1915. She became a children’s book character in 1918, and Gruelle’s publisher P .F. Volland arranged to sell Raggedy Ann dolls as well. The tie-in between Gruelle’s Raggedy Ann Stories and the dolls proved a great marketing success. Gruelle averaged one new book a year for twenty years. Reprinted many times, the books renew the character for every generation. In the storiesm kindly Raggedy Ann comes to life when humans aren’t looking and embarks on adventures with her brave brother Andy. Marcella Gruelle tragically died at age 13, just as Raggedy Ann debuted. But she showed up as a tender remembrance in Marcella: A Raggedy Ann Story (1929).
Source: Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum, Arcola, Illinois
Strong National Museum of Play®, located in downtown Rochester, New York, is the only museum in the world devoted to the study of play as it illuminates American popular culture.