Star Wars action figures, dominoes enter Toy Hall of Fame

Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:31pm EST
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By Ben Dobbin

ROCHESTER, NY (Reuters) - Darth Vader has taken up residence at the National Toy Hall of Fame.

The intergalactic action figure and other characters from the "Star Wars" movies, as well as the game of dominoes were chosen on Thursday to be included in the Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong, a children's and cultural history museum in western New York.

The winners muscled out 10 other nominees including the board game Clue and little green army men to take their place alongside Barbie, Mr. Potato Head and the teddy bear in the Toy Hall of Fame.

"Darth Vader is in the house," Patricia Hogan, the museum's curator of toys and dolls, said in an interview. "The characters from Star Wars tie into a story that is as ancient as Greek or Roman mythology. They are a force to be reckoned with."

Dominoes, the other winner, emerged in China in the late 1200s and became the rage in Europe in the 18th century.

"I like to think that what links dominoes and the action figures this year is they're both small but powerful products that create play opportunities," said Christopher Bensch, the museum's chief curator.

"We hold those up against our three big criteria: longevity, recognition, and creative learning-engagement play, not just pushing a button and letting something do its trick."

The winners were chosen from more than 300 toys that are nominated each year. The list is whittled down to 12 by the museum's curators and a national committee of a dozen educators, academics, collectors and toy experts from around the country select the two or three winners.   Continued...