Star Wars figures, dominoes in Toy Hall of Fame
The action figures of C-3PO, Darth Vader and others join the Toy Hall of Fame.
Pittsford, N.Y., residents Chase Boss (left), 11, as Luke Skywalker and his twin sister Sydney as Princess Leia hold Star Wars action figures, which were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y., on Thursday.
David Ramsay (left) of Binghamton N.Y., dressed as a Tusken Raider with the 501st Legion: Vader's First, raises his weapon during the induction of two toys, Star Wars action figures and centuries old dominoes, into the National Toy Hall of Fame class of 2012, in Rochester, N.Y., on Thursday.
Star Wars action figures are displayed by the 501st Legion: Vader's First, during the induction of two toys, Star Wars action figures and centuries old dominoes, into the National Toy Hall of Fame class of 2012, in Rochester, N.Y., on Thursday.
A national selection committee chose them from among 12 finalists, plucking the most ancient and most modern toys from the list.
"Star Wars" action figures went on the market in 1978, following the 1977 release of the 20th Century Fox movie. The 3 3/4-inch figures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and company were sold until 1985 and again from the mid-1990s to today.
Museum officials say their phenomenal popularity inspired other toy makers to tie their products to movies and television series and they note the toys' appeal extends to adults who continue to collect them.
Dominoes originated in China in the 1300s and appeared later in Europe in a slightly different form. A standard set of 28 tiles represents all possible results when rolling a pair of six-sided dice, with the addition of two blank sides. Although there's a variety of ways to play with them, the cascading toppling of lined-up tiles put the "domino effect" into the American lexicon.
The toys beat out plastic green army men, the board game Clue, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Lite-Brite, the Magic 8 Ball, the pogo stick, sidewalk chalk, the electronic game Simon, the tea set and Twister.
To date, 49 toys have made the cut. They include from classics, like Play-Doh and Slinky, to the less obvious, like the stick and cardboard box.
Officials at the Toy Hall of Fame say anyone can nominate a toy and thousands of suggestions come in every year. An internal committee of curators, educators and historians chooses the finalists and then a national selection committee votes for the winners.
Longevity is a key criterion for getting into the 14-year-old hall. Each toy must be widely recognized, foster learning, creativity or discovery through play, and endure in popularity over generations.
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