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WOLF: Which toys would make the cut for induction into your own Hall of Fame?

COLUMN: Table hockey, Intellivision, Hot Wheels and Nerf balls stir memories
This photo, provided by National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong museum, in Rochester, N.Y., shows the class of 2022 finalists for induction, announced Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. Bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Lite-Brite, Nerf Toys, Masters of the Universe, pinata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O, Spirograph, and the top. (National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong museum via AP)

NEWS: Bingo, Lite-Brite, Nerf among Toy Hall of Fame finalists.

VIEWS: Who knew there was a Toy Hall of Fame?

If you were scanning through our website ( last week, you may have spotted a wire story on something near and dear to the inner child in all of us… toys.

The Associated Press reported that voting opened last Wednesday on which toys should go into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year. The class of 2022 finalists are: bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Lite-Brite, Nerf Toys, Masters of the Universe, piñata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O, Spirograph, and the top.

“These 12 toys span the history of play. The top is as old as civilization itself and bingo has been played in some form for hundreds of years,” said Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections at The Strong museum in Rochester, where the hall of fame is housed.

The three toys that receive the most public votes will make up a single ‘Player’s Choice’ ballot.

The inductees will be announced Nov. 10.

Apparently, anyone can nominate a toy for the annual honour, but to be recognized by the hall of fame, toys have to have achieved ‘icon status, longevity and foster learning or discovery. They also must have changed play or toy design.”

So far, according to the AP, 77 toys have been inducted, including paper airplane, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, the stick and the cardboard box.

READ MORE: Bingo, Lite-Brite, Nerf among Toy Hall of Fame finalists

Last year’s honorees were American Girl Dolls, Risk and sand.

Sand? Really? I guess sandcastles remain fun at any age. I’ll allow it.

This got me thinking.

What toys would I nominate?

I took a scan of the organization’s website, and here’s some more today that have already been inducted:

The rubber ducky. Chess. Teddy Bear. Atari 2600 game system (first ballot in my book). The blanket. The Big Wheel. Hot Wheels (also first ballot for me). Raggedy Ann and Andy. Tonka trucks. Lincoln Logs.

The jump rope. Crayola crayons (remember how you felt like a billionaire if you had the 64 pack with the pencil sharpener?). Erector sets. Jacks. The yo-yo. Silly Putty. Marbles. Bubbles. Barbie. Mr. Potato Head. Monopoly. Etch a Sketch. View-Master. Fisher-Price Little People (remember the castle?). A Slinky. Twister. Little green army men. The Magic 8-ball.

And more.

How many of those did you have as a youngster?

If I had to go with my own inner circle Hall of Fame, I’d start with table hockey (Montreal versus Toronto). The simple orange Nerf ball. Endless hours of basement baseball (with a badminton racquet as a bat) with those beauties. Also numerous slam dunk contests on the above-the-closet Nerf hoop.

The Atari 2600 and Intellivision are both still better than any video game today. Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.

Hot Wheels, of course. And the frozen tennis ball (of street hockey fame).

For board games, I’d go Monopoly, Clue and the underrated Stratego, with a nod toward backgammon.

And a quick shout-out to Wonderful Waterfuls basketball and ring toss. If you know, you know. A must on any long road trip back in the day.

What are your all-time favourite toys?

Let’s hear your own personal Hall of Fame lists.

PQB News/Vancouver Island Free Daily editor Philip Wolf can be reached at, 250-905-0029 or @philipwolf13 on Twitter.

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Philip Wolf

About the Author: Philip Wolf

I’ve been involved with journalism on Vancouver Island for more than 30 years, beginning as a teenage holiday fill-in at the old Cowichan News Leader.
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