Puppet, Twister, Super Soaker make Toy Hall of Fame - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Puppet, Twister, Super Soaker make Toy Hall of Fame

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Twister, the parlor game once too hot for the Sears catalog but cool enough for Johnny Carson, was inducted Thursday into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

The class of 2015 also includes the old-as-time puppet and Super Soaker - think squirt gun on steroids.

A panel of experts picked the inductees from a field of 12 finalists that also included the spinning top, coloring book, Wiffle Ball, American Girl dolls, Battleship, Jenga, PLAYMOBIL, scooter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Twister inventor Reyn Guyer made the players the game pieces that intertwine as they try to reach hands and feet to colored dots without landing in a heap on a plastic mat.

The game is still made today but almost didn't make it past the 1960s, when it was invented. Sears Roebuck deemed it too racy for its 1966 catalog, so Milton Bradley Co. canceled production, according to The Strong museum. But it was already in the lineup for "The Tonight Show" and a game between Carson and Eva Gabor sent sales soaring. More than 3 million copies were sold in 1967.

"Some saw Twister as a passing fad, but large-scale Twister matches, popular on college campuses in the 1980s, boosted sales," said Nicolas Ricketts, a curator at The Strong museum where the hall of fame is housed.

More than 27 million $10 Super Soakers were sold in the first three years after Larami Corp. began producing them in 1990. The high-powered water blaster was the invention of Dr. Lonnie Johnson, a nuclear engineer who got the idea from a pressurized heat pump he was designing for NASA's Galileo Mission to Jupiter, according to The Strong.

He made the first one from PVC pipe and an empty soda bottle.

Anyone can nominate a toy for hall inclusion. But to be inducted, they must have survived the test of time, be widely recognized and foster learning, creativity or discovery through play.

The puppet has been around for thousands of years and throughout the world. The Strong cited written references to puppets by Plato and Aristotle and said ancient puppeteers presented "The Iliad" and "Odyssey" using clay and ivory figures. In modern times, puppets have appeared in street theaters and vaudeville houses and propped on the hands of countless children.

"Hand puppets have been a popular toy form for more than a century," curator Patricia Hogan said. "Playing with puppets helps children develop coordination and manual dexterity. Children use their imaginations to provide voice, plot and purpose to their puppet characters."

Finalists for the hall are chosen by historians and curators at The Strong. From there, a national panel of judges made up of inventors, educators, psychologists and others choose the winners.

The inductees join last year's class of little green Army men, the Rubik's Cube and bubbles, along with 53 other old favorites, including Barbie, Easy-Bake Oven, G.I. Joe, the Frisbee and View-Master.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump Jr., Manafort in talks with Senate panel

    Trump Jr., Manafort in talks with Senate panel

    Friday, July 21 2017 3:28 AM EDT2017-07-21 07:28:25 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 10:20 PM EDT2017-07-22 02:20:36 GMT
    President Donald Trump's legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team.
    President Donald Trump's legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team.
  • Minneapolis police chief resigns after shooting by officer

    Minneapolis police chief resigns after shooting by officer

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:29 AM EDT2017-07-21 13:29:11 GMT
    Friday, July 21 2017 10:19 PM EDT2017-07-22 02:19:23 GMT
    The Minneapolis police chief says an Australian woman should not have been shot to death by an officer responding to her 911 call and that she doesn't support the officer's actions.
    The Minneapolis police chief says an Australian woman should not have been shot to death by an officer responding to her 911 call and that she doesn't support the officer's actions.
  • Lake Lawtonka dam repairs on the way

    Lake Lawtonka dam repairs on the way

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:59 PM EDT2017-07-22 01:59:09 GMT
    (Source KSWO)(Source KSWO)

    Repairs to the dam at Lake Lawtonka are on the way as Lawton City Council recently voted to approve bidding on the project.

    Repairs to the dam at Lake Lawtonka are on the way as Lawton City Council recently voted to approve bidding on the project.

Powered by Frankly