ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The spinning top, coloring book, Wiffle Ball and puppet are vying for a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame. The simple classics are among 12 finalists for this year’s class.
They are up against the other finalists announced Monday: American Girl dolls, Battleship, Jenga, PLAYMOBIL, scooter, Super Soaker, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Twister.
Two winners will be inducted into the hall at The Strong museum in Rochester in November.
Anyone can nominate a toy. But to earn a place in the hall of fame, toys have to have survived the test of time, be widely recognized and foster learning, creativity or discovery through play.
Last year, little green Army men, the Rubik’s Cube and bubbles were inducted, joining 53 other old favorites, including Barbie, Easy-Bake Oven, G.I. Joe, the Frisbee and View-Master.
This year’s finalists include two toys that date to ancient times, the puppet and the top. At the other end of the timeline is the Super Soaker, which put a tank of water on a squirt gun in 1990.
American Girl dolls, Jenga and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys emerged in the 1980s, while the PLAYMOBIL line of three-inch figures was a product of the 1970s. Twister was introduced in 1966, followed a year later by Battleship. The Wiffle Ball was introduced in 1953.
Scooters have been around since the turn of the 20th century, according to The Strong, along with coloring books, whose popularity soared with the invention of crayons.