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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press The Magic 8 Ball, Uno and pinball are the latest inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Barbie, Lionel Trains and the cardboard box.

Friday, November 09, 2018 1:00 am

Classic games earn spot in Hall of Fame

Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Magic 8 Ball and Uno fans can count on infinitely more fun, along with pinball players whose quarters have powered the arcade classic through the rise of gaming apps. The three make up the National Toy Hall of Fame's class of 2018, recognized Thursday for their staying power and influence.

The honorees were chosen from a field of 12 finalists included American Girl Dolls, chalk, Chutes and Ladders, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Masters of the Universe, sled, tic-tac-toe, Tickle Me Elmo and Tudor Electric Football.

The latest inductees will be on permanent display at the Hall of Fame, inside The Strong museum in Rochester, alongside 65 previous honorees that include the stick and cardboard box to Barbie and Lionel Trains.

The Magic 8 Ball was a finalist seven times before the judges finally decided “signs point to yes” for the honor. The liquid-filled orb that tells such fortunes by way of a floating 20-sided die was introduced in 1946 and ranks in surveys among the most popular toys of the 20th century, the Hall of Fame said.

The card game Uno was invented by barber Merle Robbins nearly 50 years ago and proved to be simple enough for children and varied enough for adults. Mattel now owns it and has released numerous editions, including Elvis and “Star Trek.”

Coin-operated pinball machines have been around for decades, but the game is in the midst of a revival. The International Flipper Pinball Association says there were 500 players in 50 competitions worldwide in 2006. In 2017, more than 55,000 players competed in 4,500 competitions.

Anyone can nominate a toy for the National Toy Hall of Fame. After a museum advisory committee culls the list to 12, a national panel of historians, educators and others with expertise in learning and creativity make the final selections. The judges consider longevity and popularity, ability to foster creativity or discovery through play and its influence on play or toy design.