I spent some time shopping over the weekend, and noticed that I was not the only one helping the economy.  Fortunately for me though, I was able to avoid the toy section.  It is a depressing place for me as everything now is in kits and orchestrated fun; so little is left to the imagination.

I wonder what is out there now that will find its way into the Toy Hall of Fame.  Yes, there really is one, and each year they admit a few toys to the shrine that are:  “iconic, ageless, and inspirational.”  Good luck with entries from this season!

But the Hall has plenty of toys from years gone by to add to its collection.  The 2014 inductees:  little green army men, Rubik’s Cube and bubbles.  Finalists that did not make it this year included:  Fisher-Price Little People, Operation, paper airplanes, American Girl dolls and Slip ‘n Slide.

I had fun reading over the whole list of items that were deemed worthy of induction.  Rubber duckies and chess made it last year.  The Hall includes classics like View-Master, Barbie, erector set, marbles, Tinkertoys and Raggedy Ann.  There are some “non-toy” toys such as blanket, stick, cardboard box and a kite.  

I was struck by the simple nature of the toys that made the list.  Few require batteries and some can be homemade.  Instead of trying to out-do the next guy, you may be better served to stick to the basics.  I think this applies to toys as well as to problem solving of all kinds.  Applied imagination can make magic out of anything.  

— beth triplett

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