Can you believe bubbles made Toy Hall of Fame?
Can you believe bubbles made Toy Hall of Fame? (ThinkStock)
Can you believe bubbles made Toy Hall of Fame?
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It's mission accomplished for little green army men.

The plastic pretend soldiers have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame along with the 1980s stumper Rubik's Cube, and soap bubbles.

The trio of toys takes its place alongside other classics including Barbie, G.I. Joe, Scrabble and the hula hoop. They beat out nine other finalists including Fisher-Price Little People, American Girl dolls and My Little Pony.

The tiny green army pieces have been around since 1938. Their popularity waned during the Vietnam War. But they became big-screen stars with the 1995 Pixar movie "Toy Story." Several manufacturers continue to produce millions of them every year.

"Over the years, these toys have remained popular because they are lightweight, simple to transport in buckets or pails, fun to blow up, easy to replace," said curator Patricia Hogan. She noted how some were inevitably melted under a magnifying glass in the sun. "But most of all because they inspire open-ended play."

The army men were finalists two other years before making the cut this time around. That should offer hope to this year's runners-up. Those include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slip 'N Slide, the skill game Operation, paper airplanes, pots and pans, and the toy trucks sold annually since 1964 by the Hess gas station chain.

The brain-teasing Rubik's Cube was invented by Hungarian architect Erno Rubik in the 1970s. It became popular in the United States in 1980 after being imported by Ideal Toy Corp. More than 100 million of the six-color cubes were sold between 1980 and 1982.

The cubes, with nine colored squares on each side, can be arranged 43 quintillion ways, according to the Toy Hall of Fame. They have inspired organized competitions in more than 50 countries. There are also contests to solve it blindfolded, one-handed and under water. Mats Valk of the Netherlands holds the speed record for re-aligning the colors in 5.55 seconds.

Children have played with soap bubbles since at least the 17th century, according to the toy hall, when paintings depicting the play appeared in what is now modern-day Belgium. Now, more than 200 million bottles of bubble liquid are sold annually.

Bubbles got the nod as a toy of the imagination, spokesman Shane Rhinewald said. It's listed alongside similar previous inductees including the stick and blanket.

Hogan, who curates the toy hall inside The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, noted the staying power of the decidedly low-tech toys in this year's class. The simpler the toy, the more ways children find to use them.

"The toys that do all the laughing or singing or moving for you don't offer the child as much room to use his imagination," she said.

A national selection committee made up of 24 experts vote the winners in to the hall each year. The experts include toy collectors, designers and psychologists. Anyone can nominate a toy. But to make it through the preliminary selection process and become a finalist a toy must have achieved icon status. That means it has survived through generations, foster learning, creativity or discovery and have profoundly changed play or toy design.

"All kinds of stuff gets nominated," curator Nicolas Ricketts said. "People have nominated dirt, sofa cushions. Anything that someone has played with and had a good time with might end up being nominated."

Critical thinking challenge: If you were to submit a toy to the Toy Hall of Fame what would you choose and why?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/can-you-believe-bubbles-made-toy-hall-fame/

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COMMENTS (140)
  • sassysue10
    11/13/2014 - 10:52 a.m.

    I think it is very neat that bubbles made the Toy Hall of Fame. Bubbles can be very fun when it comes to playing outside. When you're babysitting your cousins it can distract them so you can do what you want. Bubbles are fun to pop, play with, and to blow. But be careful when popping a bubble you just might get soap in your eyes. So have fun playing with bubbles. I have an adorable Yorkie who tries to eat bubbles. But we need to watch her because after she eats the bubbles she foams at the mouth.

  • markro-Kin
    11/13/2014 - 10:52 a.m.

    The type of toy that I would choose to be put in the Toy Hall of Fame is a Nerf gun because if you want to have a gun battle with your friends without getting hurt, Nerf guns will be perfect because the bullets that the gun uses is made out of foam.

  • Daniely-bra
    11/13/2014 - 11:28 a.m.

    I would put Lego becouse out of it you could make any construction piece. For smaller children they can use bigger size Lego. Even out of bigger size Legos you could make almost sny construction piece too .

  • Hugh12345678901234567890123456
    11/13/2014 - 12:07 p.m.

    I imagine that you could do a lot with some army men. You could even mold it into different shapes, if you can afford it. But no, I cannot believe that bubbles made toy hall of fame.

  • JackR-5
    11/13/2014 - 12:17 p.m.

    Tried several toys were nominated into the toy Hall of Fame. Some of these toys include bubbles little green army men and register Rubiks cube. The most surprising was bubbles because they have been around for over 400 years. Runner-up through the slip inside, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and couch pillow.
    Almost anything that people play with can be nominated. Green army soldiers were popular around Vietnam War. The soldiers got even more popular one toy story came out. I think it is fun to have a choice Hall of Fame. I am glad that bubbles got nominated because they are very iconic and popular.

  • Wilfreda-OBr
    11/13/2014 - 01:43 p.m.

    That is cool that bubble made it in the hall of fame. I'v been playing with bubbles since I was in preschool. I still blow bubbles with my family. Thats a lot of bubble that have been bot two hundred million things of bubbles. Also that they have been here since the 1700s!

  • BranagenBBlue
    11/13/2014 - 02:37 p.m.

    That is really weird that the little army men got in to the hall of fame. I'm not surprised the Rubik's cube got in and I play with both of them and i'm and i'm a teenager.

  • erinb2014
    11/13/2014 - 04:34 p.m.

    I can belive bubbles made the Toy Hall of Fame a bunch of kids love to blow and watch bubbles. I still play with bubbles myself.

  • MGallagher
    11/13/2014 - 06:02 p.m.

    Plastic Soldiers, Rubik's Cube, And Soap Bubbles have been added to the toy hall of fame. They beat out nine other finalists including Fisher-Price Little People, American Girl dolls and My Little Pony. The cubes, with nine colored squares on each side, can be arranged 43 quintillion ways, according to the Toy Hall of Fame and they have inspired organized competitions in more than 50 countries. "Over the years, these toys have remained popular because they are lightweight, simple to transport in buckets or pails, fun to blow up, easy to replace. But most of all because they inspire open-ended play." said toy-expert Patricia Hogan.

  • ZachCa-Wil
    11/13/2014 - 06:26 p.m.

    I don't think the Rubik's Cube should be in the toy hall of fame. I remember the Rubik's Cube as the toy your grandparents bought you, and you played with it for about ten minutes. First you would start mixing it up, then you would start trying to get it back to the original figure, and finally you would give up in frustration. I don't know if anyone else had the same experience, but the Rubik's Cube wasn't really that fun.

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