Every year, right around Christmastime, some new fad assumes a stranglehold on parents everywhere. They push, pull, stretch, and sometimes even kick and bite their way to the last Dancing Cabbage Patch Elmo Ruxpin doll on the shelf. It makes me wonder who the gift is really for. And I wonder how long it will take for that fad to fade into oblivion.
The best things about Christmas are classic: the aroma of Mom baking cookies, the twinkling lights on the tree, and Bing Crosby crooning in the background. And the best toys? They’re classic, too.
The National Toy Hall of Fame® (yes, there is one, and it’s in Rochester, New York) showcases a collection of some of the best toys ever. How many did you have as a child? The list of 31 is a who’s who and what’s what of the toy landscape.
In case you’re wondering, inducted toys are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Icon-status: The toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered.
2. Longevity: The toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations.
3. Discovery: The toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play.
4. Innovation: The toy profoundly changed play or toy design. A toy may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.
It’s hard to beat a classic. Every toy on the list has stood the test of time and, if I may say, kicks the butt of any fad that finds its way under the tree this year.
Tickle that, Furby.