Iconic toys vie for spot in museum's national Hall of Fame

Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:40pm EDT
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By Gina Cherelus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The pings of pinball machines, squeaks of swings and the smack of punches between fighting robots have occupied arcades, living rooms and playgrounds for decades as toy-lovers devoted hours to battling for the win.

Now a dozen novelties and games including Care Bears, Uno cards and Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots will compete for a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame after organizers unveiled the list of finalists on Tuesday.

After evaluating each on criteria including innovation, longevity, educational qualities and iconic status, judges at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, will announce just two or three toys on Nov. 10 that have been chosen for a place in the hall.

Nominated by people from around the world, this year's list includes toys and pastimes such as Transformers action figures, Nerf products and the murder mystery board game Clue made by Hasbro Inc. HAS.O It also features an unexpected diversion: bubble wrap.

"A toy can be whatever people make of everyday objects," said Shane Rhinewald, a spokesman for the museum. "In the past we've had a cardboard box and it was actually inducted into The Hall of Fame."

According to a poll on the museum's website, Fisher-Price's Little People toys were the most popular with fans as of Tuesday, followed by coloring books in second place and then Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games.

The museum set up the Hall of Fame in 1998 to recognize toys that have garnered popularity over a long period of time while also encouraging creative entertainment.

Among the 59 previous inductees are Barbie dolls, bicycles, Mr. Potato Head, and the Frisbee flying disk.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Daniel Wallis and David Gregorio)

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots boxing games are placed on the tables inside BB Kings night club, before a night of Corporate Challenge Boxing in New York July 20, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson