Ball Finally Makes The National Toy Hall of Fame

Filed under: In The News, Toys



The Big Wheel and the ball have made it to the big time. Credit: Getty Images


The ball (yes, the ball) finally made the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Hard to believe it took this long. Barbie, G.I. Joe and Raggedy Ann already made the Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y. Even the stick made it in a year earlier.

Yet the ball has been around thousands of years. Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian drawings show children playing with a ball. You don't see them baking brownies with an Easy-Bake Oven (another inductee that got to the Hall of Fame ahead of the ball).

Perhaps so obvious that it got overlooked, the ball finally made the cut this year -- along with the Big Wheel and Nintendo Game Boy (another toy that rarely pops up in ancient Roman artwork).

Officials at the Strong National Museum of Play announced the new inductees on Nov. 5. The ball, Big Wheel and Game Boy aced out such other nominees as Cabbage Patch Kids, Hot Wheels, playing cards, paper airplanes and the Transformers. (Don't tell Megatron. He has a temper.)

However, robots in disguise can wait. This is the ball's moment in the sun.

"Roll it, throw it, kick it, catch it, bounce it or bat at it, the ball is as old as civilization," beamed the museum's press release.

This is not to take anything away from the Big Wheel.

Debuting in 1969, the souped-up plastic tricycle was designed by Ray Lohr, head designer for Louis Marx & Co. The press release notes that Big Wheels "had a low-slung design that made for superior handling, giving kids a sense of independence and control that tippy old trikes could never deliver."

The Nintendo Game Boy was honored for taking electronic games away from computer screens and video arcades and introducing a mustachioed Italian-American plumber named Mario and his adventures to summer camps, family car trips and countless classrooms. ("You can get your video game back after class, young man.")

The ball, Big Wheel and Nintendo Game Boy join 42 other other toys in the Hall of Fame. Toys are selected based on their iconic status, historical staying power and how well they promote learning and creativity.

Maybe next year, Megatron. Maybe next year.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.