Care Bears and Transformers snubbed: film at eleven.
The 2016 National Toy Hall Of Fame inductees have been announced: Little People, Dungeons & Dragons, and the good old fashioned swing are the latest honorees.
Fisher-Price first produced Little People in 1959, and the diminuitive characters have retained their sought-after status. Dungeons & Dragons drew praise for creating a system of imaginative play which has appealed to kids and adults. The humble swing, whose origins go back hundreds of years, remains a playground favorite to this day.
Members of the public can nominate toys for the Hall Of Fame, but in order to make the cut, a toy must be approved by “historians, educators, and other individuals who exemplify learning, creativity, and discovery through their lives and careers,” according to its host, The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester New York (Why Jerry Seinfeld is is not on the list of those who hand out approvals is beyond me).
The Q’s webmeister Bud will be no doubt be thrilled aplenty to hear that the list of this year’s nominees also included bubble wrap, along with Care Bears, Clue, Uno, the humble coloring book, Nerf ball, pinball, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and Transformers. Previous winners include Twister and the puppet last year, and green army men, the Rubik’s Cube and bubbles in 2014.
Dungeons & Dragons was groundbreaking when it appeared in 1974, according to curator Nic Ricketts. As well as holding its own, the game set up a pattern for the way similar RPGs might work, on tabletops and eventually on PCs and other newfangled gadgets.
Ricketts says the game’s mechanics “lent themselves to computer applications, and it had a direct impact on hugely successful electronic games like World of Warcraft.”
The swing has been spotted among ancient Greek and other artifacts. It was picked for its combination of joy and the physical learning it embodies. “Though the equipment has evolved with the centuries, the pleasure children and adults find in swinging has hardly changed at all,” curator Patricia Hogan says. “Swinging requires physical exertion, muscle coordination, and a rudimentary instinct for, if not understanding of, kinetic energy, inertia, and gravity. It’s the perfect vehicle for outdoor play.”
As for Little People, Strong vice president for collections Chris Bensch says, “Little People have been a fixture—albeit a small one—in many American playrooms for more than 50 years. More than two billion Little People have been sold since 1959, and they have helped generations of small children imagine big adventures in play sets representing farms, schools, airports, and other fascinating places in their worlds.”
Here’s a list of toys inducted into the Hall Of Fame, by year.