A few weeks ago I discovered the existence of the National Toy Hall of Fame (via Jon Stewart). It is a part of the Museum of Play (found in Rochester, New York), which seems like a great idea. I was a little skeptical of the Toy Hall of Fame, however, as I assumed it would merely be another marketing ploy, honoring and encouraging the conspicuous consumption that marks our society. I’m still a little ambivalent – after all, the 44 inductees into the Toy Hall of Fame include Barbie, G.I. Joe, and the Game Boy. On the other hand, how can you not love a Hall of Fame which includes classic toys such as “The Ball,” “Stick” (which “may be the world’s oldest toy”) and “Cardboard Box?”
A few insightful comments from the creators of the Toy Hall of fame:
The Chinese invented cardboard in the 1600s. The English played off that invention and created the first commercial cardboard box in 1817… Over the years, children sensed the possibilities inherent in cardboard boxes, recycling them into innumerable playthings…
Sticks are all around us; they are natural, and free.
Sticks are not only possible the oldest toy, they’re possibly the best.
I think my Christmas shopping list is now complete. For all siblings, cousins, and the children of all ages, they’ll be getting their “genuine, Toy Hall of Fame recommended, Stick” (with certificate of authenticity, so they’ll know it’s a real Stick, and not one of the cheap knock-offs.) Although, Cardboard Box and The Ball may also be involved in the gift giving process at some point.
So the next time you’re outside and you see a stick lying on the ground, just pick it up and think of it as my Christmas present to you.
Merry Christmas everyone.