Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The National Toy Hall of
Fame just announced its 2015 inductees.
Out of a field that included toy icons
like the Wiffle Ball, Jenga.
American Girl dolls, and Playmobil people, three
toys were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame: Twister, the puppet,
and the Super Soaker.
According to the National Toy Hall of Fame, puppets have been entertaining
children (and adults) for thousands of years.
Even Plato and Aristotle wrote
about them in their books.
By comparison, Super Soakers are babies.
They came
onto the scene in 1990 from an unlikely source—NASA's Galileo Mission to
Jupiter.
Dr.
Lonnie Johnson was working on a new heat pump for the NASA
mission by day and by night, tinkering with toys.
He soon came up with a
pump-action toy gun that could shoot water across the room.
It was an instant
hit, with 27 million Super Soakers sold in the first three years of
production.
As for Twister, it was invented in 1964 by Reyn Guyer and was initially
called Pretzel.
When the Sears Roebuck catalogue decided the game was too racy
to grace their pages, the Milton Bradley Co.
cancelled production.
Then Johnny
Carson and actress Eva Gabor played the game on The Tonight Show (you thought
Jimmy Fallon invented games in late night?) and Twister became a hit, selling
more than three million copies in 1967.
These three toy legends will join over 50 of their plastic, metal, and
wooden peers in The Strong, the National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY.
The
Strong not only houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, but also the World Video
Game Hall of Fame, as well as a collection of toys with over 72,000 artifacts
from Star Wars to Barbie to Teddy bears and trains, making it one of the most
comprehensive toy collections in the world.
Visitors to the museum can see and play with some of members of the National
Toy Hall of Fame (or nominate their personal favorite).
The Strong also has a
butterfly garden, hosts birthday parties and story times, has a carousel and a
train, and generally is a child's daydream of a day trip.
If you're heading to Rochester for a trip to The Strong, The Eastman
Museum, The Susan B.
Anthony House, or touring the Finger Lakes wine region,
be sure to stop by Highland Park Diner, which has been serving up burgers,
fries, and hot apple pie since 1948.
The National Toy Hall of Fame just announced its 2015
inductees.
See the full class, here.

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