Watching the Emmy Awards recently turned my thoughts to the upcoming 2012 induction of new toys into the National Toy Hall of Fame on November 15. Although our induction ceremony doesn’t boast television stars, glittery evening gowns, or tearful acceptance speeches, it nevertheless offers suspense leading up to bestowing a significant honor on two (or sometimes three) deserving winners. No one goes away with an impressive trophy for their mantel, but classic toys receive their moment in the spotlight.
This year’s slate of 12 finalists includes memorable playthings that stretch across the decades and hold special places in the hearts of almost everyone. If you’re a fan of games, you’ve probably played your share of Clue, dominoes, Simon, or Twister through the years. Have an artistic bent? Then maybe you’re rooting for Lite-Brite or sidewalk chalk to earn a spot in the Hall. Having witnessed an acrobatic performance recently featuring pogo sticks, I have a new appreciation for the athletic possibilities of that plaything. Plenty of toddlers learning to walk have enhanced their own skills of balance and agility as they pushed their Fisher-Price corn popper across the floor. (Maybe that toy helps lay the groundwork for them to master the pogo stick later.) And if your play inclines you to make up stories and imagine, then little green army men, Star Wars action figures, or tea sets might stand above the other contenders.
Each of these toys possesses the qualities shared by the 49 toys and games already inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame: longevity, recognition factor, and play value. Any of them would make fitting additions to the elite of the toy world as we celebrate them at The Strong. I may not need a tuxedo or a limo to attend the awards ceremony, but the National Toy Hall of Fame induction always ranks as one of the high points of my year. I hope you’ll join us the morning of November 15 at 10:30 a.m. for the event, and I urge you to watch for the results as they’re announced afterwards on the National Toy Hall of Fame website and through print, radio, television, and online media. Until then, keep your fingers crossed for your favorite!