US: Game Boy added to National Toy Hall of Fame

The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester has announced new additions to the line-up.
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The list, which includes classic simple toys, like the bicycle, the kite, the jump rope, the teddy bear, the stick and marbles.

This year, the Game Boy has joined the list, along with the Big Wheel tricycle and the ball.

Longevity is a key criterion for getting into the 11 year-old hall of fame, which the museum acquired in 2002. Each toy must be widely recognized; foster learning, creativity or discovery through play; and endure in popularity over generations.

Many judges on the hall's national advisory panel recognized the ball's inclusion was long overdue.

With many other simple, yet timeless pieces already on the list, the judges believed the introduction of the ball was somewhat overdue.

A selection of 25 balls of all sizes and materials were put on display, from table tennis, golf and basket balls, to hyper-bouncing rubber balls, foam-like Nerfs and an old-style leather soccer ball.

Nicolas Ricketts, a curator at the museum commented: "Probably no other plaything is as easily recognized, easily played with and universally enjoyed by people of all cultures, skills and ages.

"The ball is timeless, it will always be here. In the words of American golf great Tiger Woods, 'It will always be the ball and me.'"

Game Boy transformed the electronic games market by popularizing handheld gaming. It was the first portable system to allow multiple players simultaneously and came bundled with the classic puzzle game Tetris.

The Big Wheel was created by Louis Marx & Co, and remained its big seller for a decade. Chief designer Ray Lohr took apart a tricycle, mixed up the parts and reassembled them into an upside-down trike that handled like a race car.

Patricia Hogan, the museum's curator of toys said Patricia Hogan, the museum's curator of toys: "Riding close to the ground heightened the sensation of speed and exaggerated every bump and blip in the pavement.

"Kids who mastered peel-outs, high-speed 180s, doughnuts, skid-outs and screeching stops had the most fun. Who knew that getting around the neighborhood would be such a blast?"

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