National Toy Hall of Fame Releases 2018 Finalists

ROCHESTER – The National Toy Hall of Fame has released its 12 final candidates for induction in 2018.
This year’s grouping is a list of classic toys from early America, anceint Egypt, such as sleds, and more recent classics such as He Man and The Masters of The Universe.
The finalists include Tickle Me Elmo, which dominated the 1996 Christmas shopping season and found its way under many Christmas Trees. It was invented by Ron Dubren and Greg Hyman. Tickle Me Elmo would laugh when tickled and was the top-selling toy of 1996 overall.
The classic children’s board game Chutes and Ladders has also made the final list. Based an a 19th Century game, Chutes and Ladders was first produced and sold by Milton Bradley in 1943.
Also on the list are He Man and The Masters of the Universe action figures. The toys are based on the comic books, movie and the very popular cartoon which aired from 1983 through 1985. The brand has expanded to include clothing, pillows, sleeping bags and more.
Fisher-Price Corn Popper, a noisy classic since 1957, is also listed as a finalist. The Fisher-Price product helped younger children develop gross motor skills and the noisy bouncing “popcorn” stimulated vision and hearing senses.
Tudor Electric Football, which was copied by other companies as it gained popularity, is a finalist and is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The classic football game reached its popularity peak in the 1960s but still has a strong following to this day. Tudor was able to dominate the electric football market by landing an official licensing agreement with NFL teams.
Perhaps the most simple and basic toy on the list is chalk. Chalk became popular for street art in Europe in the 1500s and this lead to the marketing of sidewalk chalk.
American Girl dolls are a more recent classic, created in 1986, and cross-marketed with a popular series of books. Each doll has its own story and fits into a distinct time period in American History.
Perhaps the oldest toy to make the list, rivaled for age by the chalk entry, is the sled. Sleds were first designed as tools, but people discovered the fun of cruising downhill on a steel runner sled and the sales boom was on. Perhaps the most famous sleds, the Flexible Flyer, were marketed in the early 1900s and can still be seen gliding down hills every winter.
Uno, a card game created in 1971, remains a top seller, especially with the marketing of such variants as Elvis Uno and Dr. Who Uno. Another reason for the continued popularity, officials noted, is the easy rules and quick action of the game.
Next on the list is a 72-year-old fortune-teller the Magic 8 Ball. Introduced in 1946, the Magic 8 Ball offers 20 answers to basic questions and has sold in the millions.
Pinball machines, which date back to 18th Century France in one form or another, grew in popularity across the nation until they were considered a staple of bars, pubs, restaurants, barber shops and gas stations. As technology expanded, the pin ball machine became even more popular with offerings of sounds and lights.
Maybe the most classic toy included this year is the ancient Tic-Tac-Toe which was the one of the first games ever programmed into a computer, making it a grandparent of the modern video game. In various forms, the game dates back to ancient Egypt.