Wiffle Ball Honored By National Toy Hall Of Fame

Nov 12, 2017

ROCHESTER (WXXI) -  Officials from the Strong Museum announced the newest inductees into the Stong's National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday. 

Credit Alex Crichton, WXXI

The paper plane, Whiffle Ball and the board game Clue join such classics as Etch A Sketch, playing cards, Easy-Bake Oven, Yo-Yo and Big Wheel in the hall of fame.

65 toys have been inducted since the hall opened in 1998.

Vice President for Collections at the Strong in Rochester, Chris Bensch, says the class of 2017 is the DIY group of toys, as they all require a do it yourself ethos.

"All three of these really capture the best essences of play -- social play, active play and creative play.  It's  wonderful to have toys that really belong in the National Toy Hall of Fame," he said.

Currator Nicolas Ricketts says the Clue board game has spun off travel, junior and advanced versions, as well as collectors and themed editions. 

"Clue has also had its own movie, been featured in numerous television shows and books and remains an icon of pop culture,'' he said.

President of Whiffle Ball, Inc., David Mullaney, says his father and grandfather invented the plastic baseball with slots in it, in the 50s.

"To be in the National Toy Hall of Fame, it's quite an honor.  Especially for a small company like us. It's really just been a family business over all these 60 plus years, and we've had a great time doing it, and this is icing on the cake really, it's fantastic," he said.

Missing the Hall for the seventh time this year was the Magic 8 Ball.

Bensch says maybe 8 times is a charm, next year.

"Oh, 8 times is a charm, that would be perfect, that's a natural. I'm going to run with that in the PR next year, thank you," he said.

Anyone can nominate a toy for the hall, and an internal advisory committee selects toys that meet criteria for induction, and a national selection committee then reviews that list.

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