You've probably heard about the Baseball or the Rock-n-Roll Halls of Fame. But did you know there's a holy grail for toys?
The National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, just announced
this year's inductees. Though, you might be surprised which games got the nod.
Candy Land, Jack-in-the-box and cardboard boxes made the cut this year. But, childhood favorites like the wiffle ball and Easy Bake Oven got snubbed from the museum.
Christopher Bench, curator at the Strong Museum, home of the National Toy Hall of Fame, unveiled all the winners on Wednesday to MSNBC-TV's Tucker Carlson.
Allure of the cardboard box
CHRISTOPHER BENSCH, STRONG MUSEUM: That's our little curve ball in there. Maybe not a wiffle ball, but a curveball, nonetheless. Because cardboard boxes weren't created as toys, but they have become incredible toys, and they have cultivated the kind of creativity and imagination that we hope that all the classic toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame promote.
TUCKER CARLSON, SITUATION HOST: That is clever. I am surprised you didn't have dry cleaning bags, and whip cream canisters on there too.
Raises a question, though, of the toys now that just were inducted, how many of them are still popular or are kids now on to Xboxes and things that are far more complicated?
BENSCH: I think kids are on to those Xboxes, but one of the occasions for Halls of Fame is to think of the ones that aren't just of the moment, that are toys that have persisted. And that have ongoing interests.
Pity the poor jack-in-the box. It's been around more than 500 years, waiting for its turn in the sun. Now it has its time, and maybe it helps people recognize that everything doesn't have to have batteries in it, to be a great toy this year.
Big Wheels forgotten?
CARLSON: That's for sure. Which leads me to the list of toys snubbed by the hall of fame. And I say that with real vehemence, because this is upsetting. Let's put it on the screen here.
Wiffle ball, Hotwheels, the Big Wheel, the magic 8 ball and the Easy Bake Oven. Now, these are such obvious — these are the Babe Ruths of toys, and they didn't make the list, for induction. How can that be?
BENSCH: They didn't make it this year. And this isn't like the Baseball Hall of Fame, where you only have a limited window of opportunity to get into the National Toy Hall of Fame. I have every confidence that these classic toys that are surrounding me here, I bet that eventually all of them are going to get in at the rate of two or three toys a year.
Wiffle ball advocates and Pezophiles
CARLSON: Yes, I would. Are there pressure groups, are there lobby groups pushing, agitating, for say the Easy Bake Oven or wiffle ball?
BENSCH: You know, I heard from wiffle ball advocates last year, I haven't heard a peep from them this year. What we have heard a lot from are the Hotwheels collectors and fans and recently a huge influx of e-mails from Pez fans. Maybe they should be called Pezophiles.
CARLSON: Pez heads. Now what about Max Kellerman who is very involved in toys, wanted me to ask you about migo action figures, Batman, Robin, Superman. Any move afoot to get those on the list?
BENSCH: I am not sure they have required longevity yet. That's one of the requirements to be in the National Toy Hall of Fame.
Iconic status of Barbie and Legos
CARLSON: What are the criteria?
BENSCH: Longevity, a boy that parents and kids have grown up loving. Maybe even grandparents.
You also have to be a toy that is an icon, one that is unmistakable. No one would ever mistake Barbie for frisbee, for a hula hoop, for a Lego block. Those are all iconic toys. Recognizable.
And finally, these are toys that cultivate creativity, imagination, learning, socialization, these aren't the toys that you put a battery in, press a button. It does the rest, and you sit back.
CARLSON: Now, finally, and I want you to be honest here, Mr. Bench, what is your favorite? When the lights go down and the tourists go home. And there's no one else around the toy hall of fame, what do you play with?
BENSCH: You know, this is my delayed gratification. Strong Museum is filled with great toys, and this is my chance to get all those toys that were on my birthday and holiday wish lists and my parents and grandparents never coughed up with, so, you know, it's the array of them that thrills me the most, but I am still pushing for Hotwheels.
CARLSON: You are? Good. Good. I pegged you for a Hotwheels guy the second I met you.
BENSCH: Absolutely. Matchbox too. It's time will come as well.