In 1989, Christopher Bensch became one of the curators at The Strong in Rochester, New York, with responsibility for a wide array of items—furniture and cast iron cookware, record albums and televisions, Big Mac boxes and Halloween costumes—among the 400,000 objects in the museum’s collection. Today, Chris serves as Vice President for Collections with oversight of the museum’s curatorial, conservation, and library functions.

At The Strong, Chris has acted as project director for numerous exhibits, most recently Game Time!, an exhibit about the history of games and puzzles that opened in April 2013, and the new Toy Hall of Fame gallery that opens in September 2015. He also serves as the primary spokesperson for the National Toy Hall of Fame which, every November, selects two or three classic toys deserving that special honor. Representing the Hall of Fame, Chris has hula hooped on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” recounted the history of Slinky and Silly Putty on the Travel Channel, and appeared live on ABC’s “Good Morning America Sunday.”

At FANDEMICON, Chris will present
Dolls, Deals, and Darth Vader: The Latest from the National Toy Hall of Fame
What connects a baby doll, a deck of playing cards, and a skateboard? They’re all recent inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Each of the 56 classic toys and games holds its own stories and surprises. You’ll learn some of those tales in this fun and fascinating hands-on presentation. Find out more about what made Hot Wheels so hot and the Game of Life the life of the party. You’re guaranteed to never look at a stick or a blanket quite the same way again.

The Strong National Museum of Play