Every year the National Toy Hall of Fame throws open its doors to allow a handful of classic toys to be honored as inductees. Out of more than 500 nominations this year, which were whittled down to 12 finalists, three were given the nod: puppets, Twister, and the Super Soaker.
Puppets seems like one of those toys that should have been in the hall of fame since day one. They date back to when man first learned to mock and imitate his peers through a crude impersonation made with a fabric-covered hand—and kids seem to love them too.
It’s also hard to understand why Twister wasn’t inducted decades ago. It ranks up there with Monopoly and Scrabble as classic games, and has undoubtedly sold millions of copies since first being released in 1964. It was considered slightly scandalous at launch, requiring players to get so close together, but the game certainly didn’t cause as much uproar as the Super Soaker did.
The revolutionary take on the water gun vastly improved its range and power, thanks to the engineering brilliance of a former NASA engineer. But with its success came controversy as reports of the toys being filled with bleach headlined the evening news for a while back in 1989. Overly concerned party-poopers called for a boycott of the toy, but since even a puppet could be used to throw bleach on someone, the idea was ludicrous, and the Super Soaker brand lives on even to this day. [National Toy Hall of Fame via Time]