Gamer gamer, our gaming started well before we picked up a remote, before manipulating a character using a mouse, handling a joystick, striking left and right arrows, or sliding our fingers on a touch screen. Our gaming started with Hot Wheel cars, Tonka trucks, GI Joes and Barbie dolls. Video games is the extension of our playful spirit. It would be strange to see grown ass men and women playing with toys so we’ve developed to something less stigmatizing and more age appropriate. With that said, our current gamer self can easily, in part, be attributed to the toys we played with as kids.
This week the Toy Hall of Fame announced its 2015 nominees. The Toy Hall of Fame has inducted 57 toys to date including the likes of Legos, Monopoly, the bike, Atari 2600, and interestingly enough, the cardboard box. This year there are 12 nominations. The criteria for nomination is based on icon status, longevity and innovation.
Without further ado, this years nominees:
Vote here: http://www.toyhalloffame.org
First of all, puppets? What the fuck? Who plays with fucking puppets? When I think of puppets, I think of a hairy middle aged balding man living in a studio basement apartment who also play the game of Risk and collect keychains from different states with his name, Barry. Barry has 12 so far and 7 of them were gifts from his equally strange Aunt Bertha who has 26 fridge magnets. 6 of them from Canada, where she’s never been. You may have figured out my sentiment, puppets shouldn’t be in the Toy Hall of Fame.
Outside of this puppet monstrosity there’s some strong nominations this year. The coloring book and American Girl Dolls should be shoe ins and though PLAYMOBIL, Battleship, Twister and the scooter may be deserving of the honor I must be especially outspoken and vehemently proclaim The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are worthy of the honor.
Growing up my family struggled financially. We ate eggs or pancakes or canned tuna fish for weeks at a time. I sometimes wore the same pair of pants several times a week and didn’t have the toys or games my classmates had, yet, my childhood was some sort of bliss. I spent a lot of time playing tag and catch and climbing trees and running around my urban jungle. In the winter we played football with any ball structure made available or king of the hill on snow mounds. In times when my family experienced some financial success, I worked with my Dad and got paid for chores. As a young boy I saved and used that money to purchase Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I loved them. I couldn’t afford the vehicles or the lairs but I bought as many TMNTs as I possibly could. Metalhead, Samurai Rabbit, Casey Jones and my personal favorite, The Rat King. I never got my hands on Bebop and Rocksteady or Shredder or April O’Neil but the dozen or so I collected kept me busy hours on end.
Outside of my nostalgia, TMNT are among the best toys of all time. Three long running animated TV series, five feature films that have grossed almost 1 billion dollars combined, and a few video games, all spanning almost 30 years. Iconic, longevity, and there’s nothing more innovative that mutant turtles that eat pizza and say “Cowabunga.” The names Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael are names known by all. Though there may be some confusion among Renaissance Art enthusiast and Barry.