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People have questions about this finalist for the National Toy Hall of Fame

This year's list of 12 finalists includes '80s favorites like He-Man and My Little Pony, as well as one surprisingly modern entry.
/ Source: TODAY

One of this year's 12 finalists for the National Toy Hall of Fame made it by the power of Mattel's "Masters of the Universe," and another by the power of a lithium ion battery.

Amid ultimate '80s toys like He-Man and My Little Pony, there is a more modern gadget vying for a coveted place inside The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, that has raised some eyebrows over whether it's actually a toy.

One of the nominees is the smartphone.

Will kids wistfully remember the times they played Candy Crush on mom's iPhone the way older generations have nostalgia for fellow finalists like Jenga, Risk, Care Bears, Nerf blasters and Matchbox cars?

National Toy Hall of Fame finalists
By the power of Grayskull, He-Man has made the list as a finalist for the National Toy Hall of Fame. Getty Images

"I just don't think it should be classified as a toy,'' a customer outside a toy store told Joe Fryer on TODAY Thursday. "It's more like a tool."

The National Toy Hall of Fame believes the smartphone fits the category.

Ask any parents who have handed over the phone to pacify fussy children at the supermarket and they might agree. However, there also have been plenty of parents pushing to delay smartphone use by children and studies showing how too much screen time impacts kids' sleep.

"Since Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, the smartphone has become not only a platform for millions of mobile games but also a plaything that makes possible an endless variety of playful interactions, from sending emojis and GIFs to creating silly videos and altering snapshots,'' the National Toy Hall of Fame wrote in a release. "It has transcended its original intended use and revolutionized the way that people across the globe interact with the world and each other in playful ways."

National Toy Hall of Fame finalists
This bear cares if it gets inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. @carebears/Instagram

Other finalists include some of the oldest of old-school toys: a coloring book and a top.

The Fisher Price Corn Popper — the toy that taught millions of children about vacuuming — was also nominated along with a '90s favorite, Magic the Gathering cards.

National Toy Hall of Fame finalists
My Little Pony is another '80s favorite that made the list of finalists. @mylittlepony/Instagram

Only two or three toys from the list will make the final cut for induction in November. They are being judged on four criteria: innovation, longevity, icon status and discovery, meaning they foster learning and creativity.

This year's group is hoping to join the 68 toys already inducted, including last year's class of Magic 8 Ball, pinball and Uno.