What toy left an indelible mark on your childhood? That’s the question that faced the good folk of the National Museum of Play in New York recently as they hotly debated which toys and board games to induct into their Toy Hall of Fame for 2018. Board games Risk and Clue faced off against the Pez dispenser, the Magic 8 Ball, '80s Transformers and the humble paper plane.
Strict selection criteria applied to the decision-making, including ‘icon-status’, longevity, discovery and innovation. According to their website, the toy must have ‘profoundly changed play or toy design’. The winners, announced next month, will join the current Hall-dwelling ranks of the Atari 2600, the Super Soaker, Etch-A-Sketch and, er, the cardboard box.
Some of the classics that – outrageously – did not find their way onto the Hall of Fame shortlist include the slap-band (“Ouch-my-wrist”) of the '90s, the pop-ball (“Ouch-my-eye”) of the '80s and the pogo stick (“Ouch-my-broken-leg”) of the '70s. Given that 'health and safety' is not a listed selection criteria, we fail to see how these classics could possibly have been overlooked.
See all the playthings vying for this year’s honours here, and if you’re feeling it, you can ride the wave of nostalgia a little further; check out this video of a souped-up Hills Hoist waterslide innovated by a couple of overgrown kids. Not sure if it ‘profoundly changed play or toy design’, but it looks like it profoundly enriched their backyard barbeque on Australia Day.