2012 National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists
Which toys will make it into the hallowed halls of toydom this November? Can Twister tie up a nomination? Or, will “the Force” be with Star Wars Action Figures? Twelve toy nominees are in contention for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Winners will be announced today at 10:30 a.m.
Meet the 2012 Toy Finalists
Clue has remained a top-selling board game since 1947 thanks to the witty way it invites players to deduce, from available evidence, a solution on the murder of the luckless Mr. Boddy, which occurs under different circumstances in each game.
Dominoes originated in China and later appeared in Europe. A standard set of 28 dominoes represents all the possible results from rolling a pair of six-sided dice and allows for many different games. Dominoes also inspire creative construction play, often featuring placement so the dominoes will topple in a wave action.
Fisher-Price Corn Popper
The Fisher-Price Corn Popper push toy teaches toddlers about cause and effect and the predictability of their actions. As kids roll their wheeled poppers along the floor, the Corn Popper makes loud and engaging noises. Introduced in 1957, the Corn Popper has entertained several generations of tots.
Lite-Brite uses backlit plastic pegs on a black paper background for children to create glowing images, either following manufactured designs or on their own. The potential for open-ended creativity has kept Lite-Brite popular since 1967.
Ever since the 1930s, little green army men have occupied territories, lands, and entire make-believe nations. Manufactured by the millions and molded with incredible detail, the plastic toy soldiers fueled kids’ imaginations, prompted their narratives, and encouraged their stories of daring and heroism.
For more than 60 years, Magic 8 Ball has entertained millions by letting them flirt harmlessly with fortune telling. The billiard-ball novelty made its debut in 1946 and has continued offering its standard 20 responses to a wide range of questions.
Patented in 1919, the pogo stick has remained popular because of a challenging design that forces the player to master balance while jumping. Although the pogo stick craze peaked in the 1920s, new technologies and materials have made the latest pogo sticks fun and exciting for today’s kids and adults.
Beginning in the 16th century, itinerant artists in Europe used chalk to decorate public squares as part of town festivals. Since then, children have discovered that sidewalk chalk requires only a sunny day, an expanse of pavement, and an imagination to produce doodles, masterpieces, messages, and games such as hangman, tic-tac-toe, and hopscotch.
Ralph Baer created Simon in 1978. Easy to operate and friendly, Simon stood apart in the days of large and clunky electronic game systems. Even people with no computer experience played and enjoyed it.
The phenomenal success of Star Wars action figures revolutionized the toy industry. Since the late 1970s, toys tied to successful movies, television series, comic books, and other popular entertainments have created a common culture that give kids a departure point for their own stories of make-believe and fantasy.
Tiny tea sets have been part of child’s play for the last three centuries, encouraging children to imitate the adult rituals, manners, and decorum of tea drinking. Along the way, children learn gender roles, poise, and social graces, and start to imagine their futures as adults.
Willpower and good luck accompanied the innovative dexterity game Twister. In 1966, some saw the game’s physical contact as risqué and Sears refused to stock it. However, Milton Bradley’s public relations firm plugged Twister to television giant Johnny Carson who played it on the air with the lovely Eva Gabor to his audience’s delight. Afterwards, stores couldn’t stock enough Twister.