National Toy Hall of Fame names 2016 finalists

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Meet the 12 toys that are finalists for 2016 induction into The Strong's National Toy Hall of Fame.

They include such long-time favorites as the swing and coloring book.

But some more recent toys, such as Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots and Nerf, also are finalists.

Two or three of the 12 will be inducted on Nov. 10, said Shane Rhinewald, spokesman for Strong.

"What they really show is the scope of play — from the swing to more modern action figures," he said.

Thousands of toys were nominated. A committee at Strong selected the finalists. That list will now go to a national selection advisory committee, which includes experts from various colleges.

"We are looking for iconic toys — instantly recognizable. And they have longevity," Rhinewald noted.

To date, 59 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

This year's 12 finalists are:

• Bubble Wrap. Created by accident in 1957 by two engineers who were attempting to develop a new kind of wallpaper.

• Care Bears. Began as a line of greeting cards in the early 1980s but evolved into a brand whose bears star in storybooks, television shows and games.

• Coloring Book. New York printer McLoughlin Brothers is credited with inventing the books that have enjoyed renewed popularity lately thanks to adult-oriented versions featuring complex designs.

• Clue. The game that invites players to solve a murder remains a best-seller nearly 70 years after its release.

• Dungeons & Dragons. The 1970s role-playing game featuring imaginary worlds of magic and monsters influenced today’s computer game industry.

• Fisher-Price Little People. A wooden version first rode the Safety School Bus in 1959. The brightly painted figures were given arms and legs in the 1990s.

• Nerf. The foam balls safe enough to throw indoors were first produced in the 1960s.

• Pinball. The machines have long been a mainstay at bars, amusement parks and arcades, with players using flippers to launch steel balls through mazes.

• Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Competitors throw mechanical punches in an effort to knock the block off of their opponent’s boxer.

• Swing. Found in ancient cave drawings in Europe and ceramic vases from Greece — and in playgrounds and backyards everywhere.

• Transformers. Hasbro’s shape-changing action figures are featured in comic books, games, breakfast cereal and movies, the latest of which is due out in June.

• Uno. The 1971 game where players dispose of the cards in their hands has sold steadily for more than four decades.

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