For something calling itself the Toy Hall of Fame, it played pretty loose with the term when it came to choosing its three-member Class of 2017.
No arguments with Clue, a board game based on the power of deduction (and luck, based on how my brother often won with guesses involving the lead pipe, his favorite — and no longer included — weapon).
Wiffle ball is also a worthy addition, an invention that dumbed down the curve ball enough so that anybody could throw it. And when my brother threw at my head, it didn’t hurt. Much.
The third inductee was the paper airplane, the makings of which are found in any office supply store. And no toy should come in reams, or be stored for years in a printer.
Still, the paper airplane was better choice than one of the nine nominees not inducted. Like sand.
Sand is a granular material, not a toy. Now, a sand bucket is a toy. So is Magic (or Kinetic) Sand, the fluorescent-colored clumping material that resembles sand and can be molded into fun shapes, if that’s what you’re into.
Otherwise, the only way sand is ever getting in the Toy Hall of Fame is if it’s tracked in via someone’s cuff.
A toy should be something carefully designed and machined for one purpose: to have kids drive their parents crazy until that item is purchased so it can soon be abandoned at the bottom of a closet.
Paper meets none of these requirements. “Santa, I want a paper airplane for Christmas,” said no kid ever.
A handful of companies market colored paper marked with dotted lines as if folding a paper airplane was some sort of complex science not demonstrated in millions of YouTube videos (3,060,000 to be exact, according to a “fold a paper airplane” search on YouTube). But it’s still just paper, with a bigger markup than usual.
If and when there is a paper-folding hall of fame, by all means induct the airplane. Throw in a paper doll and any number of origami cranes. Knock yourselves out.
If there is any solace to be taken from how the paper airplane now sullies the Toy Hall of Fame, it’s that it was chosen over the Transformers, the official playthings of Gen X that launched the career of director Michael Bay.
Just knowing that the simple paper airplane was deemed more fun, important and significant than any of those Auto-cepticon-bots (or whatever they are) makes my Baby Boomer heart glad.