Clue, Wiffle Ball, paper plane inducted into Toy Hall of Fame

The Toy Hall of Fame announced the induction of board game Clue, the Wiffle Ball and the paper airplane. Photo courtesy of The Strong National Museum of Play

Nov. 13 (UPI) — The Strong National Museum of Play announced the latest inductees into its Toy Hall of Fame: board game Clue, the Wiffle Ball and the paper airplane.

The Rochester, N.Y., museum announced the game, ball and folded paper aircraft were chosen from a field of nominees that also included Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers and Uno.

The museum said paper airplanes, purportedly invented in 1909 through unknown circumstances, are unique among toys.

“Where some toys require financial investment, paper airplanes start with a simple sheet of paper, coupled with creativity and dexterity, to produce a toy with infinite aeronautical possibilities,” said Christopher Bensch, The Strong’s vice president for collections. “They allow the imagination to takeoff and soar!”

The museum said Wiffle Balls were invented in the 1950s by a retired semi-pro baseball player who wanted to design a ball for his son and friends to use in the backyard without endangering windows or other properties. The man discovered that by putting slits into the plastic balls, he altered the way the ball moved through the air, allowing pitchers to throw curveballs, sliders and knuckle balls with the lightweight objects.

“The Wiffle Ball changed the outdoor play landscape, taking the basics of backyard baseball and transforming it into something easier for neighborhood kids to negotiate. In the more than 60 years since its introduction, generations of Little League, high school, college, and pro sluggers have begun their baseball careers swinging at a Wiffle Ball,” Curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer said.

Clue, originally designed by a British couple during World War II as an abbreviated version of a murder mystery dinner party, went on to become one of the top 10 best-selling games of all time — as well as spawning a franchise outside of the board game.

“Millions of Clue games are sold each year — including a junior version, as well as travel, advanced, collectors, and themed editions. Clue has also had its own movie, been featured in numerous television and books, and remains an icon of pop culture,” Curator Nicolas Ricketts said.


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