Natonal Toy Hall of Fame News Release

November 15, 2012

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359, strien@thestrong.org
Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@thestrong.org

Star Wars Action Figures and Dominoes

Inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame® at The Strong®

 

ROCHESTER, New York—This year’s toy inductees come from a galaxy far, far away—and from a time long, long ago! Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, and all of the intergalactic Star Wars action figures join the centuries-old game of dominoes as honored toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 toy finalists, which included Clue, Fisher-Price Corn Popper push toy, Lite-Brite, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, pogo stick, sidewalk chalk, Simon, tea set, and Twister.

About Star Wars action figures:  When 20th Century Fox released the first Star Wars movie in May 1977, no one imagined it would change the toy industry and popular entertainment so dramatically. The film spawned five more episodes of a sprawling space opera that also generated sales of millions of action figures of the saga’s characters. The 3.75-inch figures—including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2,

Obi-Wan Kenobi, and more than 100 others—were sold from 1978 to 1985 and again from the mid-1990s to the present day. Their phenomenal popularity with movie fans revolutionized the toy industry, leading other toy makers to tie their toys to movies, television series, and other entertainment properties in hopes the Force would be with them. For more than three decades, kids have used Star Wars action figures—plus accessories, vehicles, and play sets—to tell stories of heroes and villains, of empire and rebellion, and of good triumphing over evil. Adults, too, play when they collect Star Wars action figures.

About Dominoes: Dominoes, cousins of playing cards and dice, are one of the oldest known tools for game play. Originating in China in the 1300s, the game later appeared in Europe in a slightly different form. The earliest official written mention of this game came during the Yuan Dynasty in China, during the reign of Kublai Khan, sometime after 1270 AD. Some believe Italian missionaries to China brought the game back with them to Europe, where it became one of the most popular games of the mid-18th century. The game’s name originates from the French domino, a priest’s winter hood, which was white on the inside and black on the outside. A standard set of 28 dominoes represents all possible results when rolling a pair of six-sided dice—with the addition of two blank sides.  Originally made of bone, ebony, or ivory, today’s domino tiles are typically made of plastic. From professional domino game competition to setting them up and then knocking them over, dominoes allow for a variety of games as well as tests of skill and patience. Domino tiles remain popular because they allow for fun and fast-paced matching games. And once you’ve witnessed a large-scale domino toppling event, you can never forget “the domino effect.”

The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong recognizes toys that have engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover through play. Criteria for induction include: Icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered); Longevity (the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations); Discovery (the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play);  and Innovation (the toy profoundly changed play or toy design.)

To date, the following 51 toys have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame: alphabet blocks, Atari 2600 Game System, baby doll, ball, Barbie, bicycle, Big Wheel, blanket, Candy Land, cardboard box, checkers, Crayola Crayons, dollhouse, dominoes, Duncan Yo-Yo, Easy-Bake Oven, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Frisbee, The Game of Life, G. I. Joe, Hot Wheels, hula hoop, jack-in-the-box, jacks, jigsaw puzzle, jump rope, kite, LEGO, Lincoln Logs, Lionel Trains, marbles, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, Nintendo Game Boy, Play-Doh, playing cards, Radio Flyer Wagon, Raggedy Ann and Andy, rocking horse, roller skates, Scrabble, Silly Putty, skateboard, Slinky, Star Wars action figures, stick, teddy bear, Tinkertoy, Tonka Trucks, and View-Master.

Anyone can nominate a toy for annual induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. An internal museum advisory committee comprised of curators, educators, and historians reviews the submitted nominations and determines which toys meet the criteria for selection. A national selection committee then reviews the list of toy finalists. Each national selection committee member votes for his or her top toy picks for induction. The votes are then tallied, with the toys receiving the most votes making the cut for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. For more information about the hall, visit www.toyhalloffame.org

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