We all grew up playing with toys. Some were probably more elaborate than others. I had the privilege of growing up in the video game age where once my hand eye coordination fully developed, I was playing Tecmo Bowl and Top Gun (though I still wasn't any good, even with Bo Jackson).
I'm not sure when it is, but there comes a point in time when playing with toys becomes "uncool" by normal standards. We lose our imaginations when life starts happening. Our days as kids usually filled with hours and hours of helping the Ninja Turtles solve the latest crime quickly turn to homework, friends, significant others, college, debt, jobs and careers. But if you're like me, your toys will always hold a special place in your heart.
I still like to reminisce by taking a stroll through current toy aisles to see what I'm missing out on these days. Though I can't complain. We had some great toys when I was a kid.
"Back in my day, we played with a stick," I can hear my Grandpa say.
But whether a stick or a video game or an action figure, they are all toys, and for the past several years, the National Toy Hall of Fame has been making sure the most iconic toys get their shot at immortality.
Last year they inducted the Rubik's Cube, Little Green Army Men and Bubbles. Past inductees include the Rubber Duck, Candyland, and yes Grandpa, a stick.
This year, they will induct more toys, but they need your help deciding which ones.
This year's nominees are:
American Girl Dolls: I never played with these, but I can tell you American Girls dress a little bit differently now.
Battleship: I hadn't played this game in a long time (but when I did I always cheated, but also always got caught because eventually, your lie is smoked out), however I found it in a downtown bar one afternoon (it was late afternoon, don't worry), sat down and played it. It never gets old! Fun game!
Coloring book: While I still enjoy coloring, even at 32, I can't stay inside the lines.
Jenga: It was fun as a kid, but then some genius figured out that you can also have fun playing it as an adult (read: At college parties) by writing ridiculous actions to perform on the back of every piece. A multi-generational favorite for sure!
PLAYMOBIL: I never played with these as kid. In all honesty, I don't recall ever even hearing about them. Are they basically LEGOs?
Puppet: Puppets are fun! They sing you songs, they teach you lessons. They be your friend on the playground when no other kids will play with you because maybe it was experimental Scandinavian Seafood Night at your house and the stench firmly embedded it's way into your clothes (that didn't happen to me. A friend of mine. Yeah.).
Scooter: The scooter! For when you're like me and aren't cool enough to learn how to ride a skateboard.
Super Soaker: Another toy that managed to stay in rotation all the way from my childhood to adulthood. Obviously as a kid, we had epic wars with these on hot summer days, in college we used them for... different things that need not be mentioned here, and as an adult it makes for a wonderful tool for when my bloodhound is misbehaving.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ken Griffey Jr. is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer, and I hold the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the same regard. Put them through immediately!
Top: Top. You spin it. It spins for a minute. Then stops. That's it. I don't get it.
Twister: I'm certainly not the most flexible of gentlemen, but I also couldn't talk to girls very well, so this was always a great way to do both!
Wiffle Ball: For when you don't exactly want to play tee ball (because there are rules about adults playing I guess), but also don't want to play slow-pitch softball, then the classic game of wiffle ball is for you!
To vote for your favorite, simply go to the voting page on the Toy Hall of Fame's website.
And if you read this entire article, went through the slideshow and didn't see your favorite toy in the Hall of Fame, and are thinking, "There is no greater tragedy in this world," and would like to nominate a toy, CLICK HERE.