Clue, paper airplanes, Wiffle Ball become hall of famers

Paper airplanes, Clue and the Wiffle Ball have all been voted into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame, according to a museum news release.

“All three of these really capture the best essences of play,” WROC TV reports Christopher Bensch, The Strong’s vice president for collections, said. “Social play, active play, creative play.”


A British couple designed Clue during World War II. They based the game on the popular murder-mystery dinner parties. Parker Brothers purchased the rights to the game and it remains a top seller, the museum said.

“Millions of Clue games are sold each year,” curator Nicholas Ricketts said. “Clue has also had its own movie, been featured in numerous television and books, and remains an icon of pop culture.”

Wiffle Ball

In the 1953, David A. Mullany, a retired semi-pro baseball player in Connecticut, noticed his son and friends couldn’t play baseball in their cramped backyard. So Mullany picked up some ball-shaped plastic parts from a factory. He and his son found a ball with eight oblong perforations worked best, Wiffle Ball’s website says.

“The Wiffle Ball changed the outdoor play landscape, taking the basics of backyard baseball and transforming it into something easier for kids to negotiate,” curator Michelle Parnett-Dwyer said. “In more that 60 years since its introduction, generations of Little League, high school, college and pro sluggers have begun their baseball careers swinging at a Wiffle Ball.”

Paper airplanes

The exact origins of the paper airplane is unclear, the news release said. According to Aviation for Kids, the use of paper airplanes is believe to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago. 1909 is the earliest known date of the creation of the modern paper airplane.

“Where some toys require financial investment, paper airplanes start with a simple sheet of paper, coupled with creativity and dexterity, to produce a toy with infinite aeronautical possibilities,” Bensch said.

The toys were selected from a field of 12 that were announced in September. These three toys beat out the Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, sand, Transformers, Uno and Risk.

The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong was established in 1998 and is located in Rochester, New York.