Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

July 21, 2013

HOPKINS: Playing into the hall of fame

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

Then there’s the stick, something that’s been used as a toy since man began to walk upright. Inducted in 2008, sticks have been used in several methods. It’s been used as a weapon in play-battles, as a rocket ship, a baton and in some cases larger ones have been used to substitute for a baseball bat or hockey stick.

Of course, there are many traditional toys that have brought endless amounts of joy, wonderment and imagination to children around the world. The Barbie doll, G.I. Joe, the yo-yo and hula hoop, Raggedy Ann, the Easy-Bake Oven, LEGO, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Crayola Crayons, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head are among the 51 toys inducted. The list goes on.

Still, there are many items that belong in the hall. And that’s where you come in.

According to the National Toy Hall of Fame, anyone can nominate a toy. A news release states that “An internal museum advisory committee comprised of curators, educators, and historians reviews the submitted nominations and determines which toys meet the criteria for selection.”

For me, a couple of toys stick out.

Hot Wheels are in, but somehow Matchbox cars haven’t been granted similar status. I don’t think it’s Mattel’s power over its British counterpart, Lesney. But, at least for me, Matchbox cars were more fun.

Sure, Hot Wheels has their tracks and the cars are super-fast, but Matchbox had a broader appeal. Hot Wheels were made for speed, and the cars — hot rods, dragsters, race cars and sports cars — confirmed it. Matchbox brought appeal to all vehicles: the family sedan, sports cars, police and fire, military, construction, you name it.

When I was young, my friends and I would play “Matchbox cars,” not “Hot Wheels,” even though there were Hot Wheels thrown in along with the occasional Corgi Juniors. And Hot Wheels, to my knowledge, don’t have any songs written about them by rock bands. Matchbox cars have “Mach 5,” a 1996 song by The Presidents of the United States.

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