The Stick and The Cardboard Box are in the Toy Hall of Fame

Two of my favorite childhood toys are now in the Toy Hall of Fame.  On Thursday (10/6/08), the stick officially joined the cardboard box as Hall of Fame material.

Sticks are such a universal toy.  One of the first things I would do as a kid on a camping trip was find the perfect stick.  Then I’d play with it throughout the weekend.  It transformed into all kinds of magical items from a sword to a machine gun or a walking stick; sometimes it might be a javelin or spear; other times it might become a super key that unlocked a treasure vault or a castle.

A stick is the perfect toy: Free!  And you can turn it into mulch when you are finished playing with it – reducing the amount of waste in a landfill.

I remember one Christmas when my grandfather was overwhelmed by all the toys my sister, cousins, and I were opening.  I heard him say (this is true) “When I was a child, we had sticks to play with – and we liked it.”  All these years later and it finally dawns on me – he was right!

I’m happy to see that the stick is finally getting its due as a Hall of Fame toy.

Here are some excerpts from an article (if you would like to read more):

Toy Hall of Fame points to new addition: the stick

(click on the title to see the entire article)

By BEN DOBBIN (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
November 07, 2008 12:16 AM EST

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A magic wand, a fishing rod or a royal scepter?

The lowly stick, a universal plaything powered by a child’s imagination, landed in the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday along with the Baby Doll and the skateboard.

The three were chosen to join the Strong National Museum of Play’s lineup of 38 classics ranging from the bicycle, the kite and Mr. Potato Head to Crayola crayons, marbles and the Atari 2600 video game system.

Curators said the stick was a special addition in the spirit of a 2005 inductee, the cardboard box. They praised its all-purpose, no-cost, recreational qualities, noting its ability to serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed in myriad ways by a child’s creativity.

“It’s very open-ended, all-natural, the perfect price – there aren’t any rules or instructions for its use,” said Christopher Bensch, the museum’s curator of collections. “It can be a Wild West horse, a medieval knight’s sword, a boat on a stream or a slingshot with a rubber band. … No snowman is complete without a couple of stick arms, and every campfire needs a stick for toasting marshmallows.

“This toy is so fantastic that it’s not just for humans anymore. You can find otters, chimps and dogs – especially dogs – playing with it.”

Longevity is a key criterion for getting into the hall, which the museum acquired in 2002 from A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem, Ore. Each toy must not only be widely recognized and foster learning, creativity or discovery through play, but also endure in popularity over generations.



7 responses to “The Stick and The Cardboard Box are in the Toy Hall of Fame

  1. Ooh, cool! Reminds me of a favorite joke:

    Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?

    A: A stick

    That’s funny. Thanks.

  2. I absolutely agree!! I still pick up sticks when I walk my dog. If I find a particularly good one…I’ll leave it by my front door and play with it every time I take him out. I like to draw on the ground…and poke stuff…and scrape leaves or dirt out of cracks…and scratch the stray kitties behind the ears.

    It’s awesome. The best toy ever.

    And yes, I really enjoyed cardboard boxes when I was kid…although they don’t translate as well, in adulthood, as the stick does.

    You just don’t grow out of some things.

  3. This reminds me of the two old guys arguing on who had it worse… “why when I was a lad, all we had was a cardboard box” “Ha!” “You had a cardboard box!” “All we had was a paper sheet and that had holes!” blah blah…lol

    “We had dirt – and liked it.” That’s just what my grandfather was like. I remember seeing that in a skit from TV years ago (that made me think of him), I just can’t remember where I saw it.
    He was the same about food. If you asked for salt, he would say “Salt? When I was a kid we didn’t ask for salt.”

  4. That’s because when he was a kid, there wasn’t salt. Now we’ve learned the advanced art of allowing sea water to evaporate- or digging it out of the ground, depending on where your supply of NaCl comes from.

    I think they need to add the pillow to the list of classic toys. After all, pillow fights and pillow forts are amazing. I remember when I was young(er) I used to get all the pillows I could, and then all my stuffed animals (hundreds) and make these incredible forts to sleep in during the winter. And sometimes I’d just pile them all on my bed until they reached the upper bunk and then crawl inside the pile to sleep.

    Also, I had an ingenious idea for a list you could do. ‘X Songs you need to hear before using the Internet.’ Inclusions would probably be “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, “Through the Fire and Flames” by Dragonforce, “What Is Love” by Haddaway, etc. I’m really not sure about the full list.

    Did I catch a whiff of Rickroll trying to form?
    On a similar note to the pillow fort, we used to take blankets and drape them over the dining room table to make forts. We would then reinforce them with the cushions from the sofa. Fun stuff.

  5. Me? Rickroll you? Never… probably. But the Rickroll is the reason that song would be on the list, of course.

  6. I speak LOUDLY and carry a small stick !

    Or, “We don’t need no stinking sticks!”

  7. Pingback: Weekly Fruit Salad ~ [place number here] « SanityFound’s Rambling’s

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