Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

September 30, 2012

HOPKINS: Toy nominees recall memories of childhood

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I’ve never been to Rochester’s National Museum of Play or its National Toy Hall of Fame, but I’m sure if I did, I’d be there for hours.

That’s because I suspect you’d have to drag me out; I’d be having too much fun rediscovering my youth. Pulling the wagon around the house, playing with Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks. Board games with my siblings.

Every day I receive close to 200 e-mails, most of which are press releases from various organizations. Most don’t pertain to Lockport, so I don’t even bother opening them.

Occasionally I’ll take a look at something that isn’t Lockport-specific, just because the topic seems interesting. That’s where the Museum of Play and the Toy Hall of Fame come in.

Among the litany of junk was this enticing subject line: “Announcing 2012 National Toy Hall Finalists.” That was all I needed to open that baby up.

“The 12 finalists for 2012 induction have been officially announced!” was the greeting I received. “Which toys will make it into the hallowed halls of the National Toy Hall of Fame this November? Is the Force with Star Wars action figures? Does the Magic 8 Ball say it will be so? Will the pogo stick bounce in?”

There’s a page at http://www.thestrong.org that lists the 12 finalists and includes a brief biography of the toy. I won’t rehash all of them, but I learned a few things while rediscovering my youth through nostalgia.

Although I’m definitely a “Star Wars” child — I was six when the first movie came out in 1977 — I never played with the action figures. The pogo stick? Yeah, we had one at home, but I was never very good on it. It’s one of the oldest toys on the list, patented in 1919.

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