Magic 8 Ball, Uno, pin­ball en­ter U.S. Toy Hall of Fame

The Sun Herald - - Business - BY CAROLYN THOMP­SON

ROCHESTER, N.Y.

Magic 8 Ball and Uno fans can count on in­fin­itely more fun, along with pin­ball play­ers whose quar­ters have pow­ered the ar­cade clas­sic through the rise of gam­ing apps. The three make up the Na­tional Toy Hall of Fame’s class of 2018, rec­og­nized Thurs­day for their stay­ing power and in­flu­ence.

The honorees were cho­sen from a field of 12 fi­nal­ists that in­cluded Amer­i­can Girl Dolls, chalk, Chutes and Lad­ders, the Fisher-Price Corn Pop­per, Mas­ters of the Uni­verse, the sled, tic-tac-toe, Tickle Me Elmo and Tu­dor Elec­tric Foot­ball.

The lat­est in­ductees will be on per­ma­nent dis­play at the Hall of Fame in The Strong mu­seum in Rochester, along­side 65 pre­vi­ous honorees in­clud­ing the stick, the card­board box, Bar­bie and Lionel Trains.

The Magic 8 Ball was a fi­nal­ist seven times be­fore the judges de­cided “signs point to yes” for the honor. The liq­uid-filled orb that tells such for­tunes by way of a float­ing 20-sided die was in­tro­duced in 1946 and ranks in sur­veys among the most pop­u­lar toys of the 20th cen­tury, the Hall of Fame said.

The card game Uno was in­vented by bar­ber Merle Rob­bins nearly 50 years ago and proved to be sim­ple enough for chil­dren and var­ied enough for adults. Mat­tel now owns it and has re­leased numer­ous edi­tions.

Coin-op­er­ated pin­ball ma­chines have been around for decades, but the game is in a re­vival. The In­ter­na­tional Flip­per Pin­ball As­so­ci­a­tion says there were 500 play­ers in 50 com­pe­ti­tions world­wide in 2006. In 2017, more than 55,000 play­ers com­peted in 4,500 com­pe­ti­tions.

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