'Star Wars' Action Figures And Dominoes Enter The Toy Hall Of Fame

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on November 16 2012 10:59 AM

The iconic "Star Wars" action figures were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday in a ceremony held in Rochester, N.Y.

The 2012 selects were chosen from a list of 12 finalists, which included toys from ancient times to modern, the Associated Press reported.

The "Star Wars" figurines went on the market in 1978 after the film was released in 1977. The toys included the miniature embodiments of several of the movies characters, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and R2-D2, among others.

The toys were sold until 1985, and returned to the market in the mid-1990s and remain available.

Museum officials noted the toys staying power in popular culture, as the figured not only inspired other toy makers to tie their products to movies and television series, but the figures remain popular collector's items for adults.

"They are a force to be reckoned with," said Patricia Hogan, curator at the Strong museum, which houses the Toy Hall of Fame.

Star Wars has inspired more than 20 lines of action figures, pushing merchandise sales to $20 billion over the past 35 years. The figures were first made by Kenner and have also been manufactured by Tonka and now Hasbro.

Joining the figurines in the 2012 Hall of Fame class are dominoes, a game that dates back to China in the 1300s. A version was also seen in later in Europe, according to the AP. One of the most common ways to play with dominoes is to line them up and topple them over, in the cascading "domino effect" that was made popular in America.

"Star Wars" action figures and dominoes are among the 49 toys in the Hall of Fame, to date. Among the favorites are “classics,” like Play-Doh and Slinky and the less obvious -- like the stick and cardboard box.

The Toy Hall of Fame officials noted that toys on the list require longevity in order to be recognized. “Each toy must be widely recognized, foster learning, creativity or discovery through play, and endure in popularity over generations.”

The 2012 finalists included plastic green army men, the board game Clue, the Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Lite-Brite, the Magic 8 Ball, the pogo stick, sidewalk chalk, the electronic game Simon, the tea set and Twister.

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