Well smack me with a LEGO and call me surprised: There’s a National Toy Hall of Fame. I mean, of course there is, toys are the tools with which we learn about the world as children, but who knew they had a whole hall dedicated to celebrating them? You might’ve known that. But anyway, the Rubber Duck is getting inducted this year and we wholly approve.
Because rubber duckies make bathtime so much fun, we’re awfully fond of them, and so is the NTHOF, which welcomes the squeaky birds to its honor list this year along with chess. Chess is fun and all, but not so much in the bathtub.
As the NTHOF puts it, “One toy stretches our gray matter; the other expands our sense of childhood wonder.”
More about Ernie’s favorite bath bud: The NTHOF says no one knows who first came up with the duck, but that rubber toys appeared on shelves back in the 1880s with the advent of Charles Goodyear’s rubber innovations.
The first rubber ducks were solid and couldn’t float, but were used as chew toys for tykes. By the 1940s, Mr. Duck could float like his feathered brethren and became as inherent a part of childhood bathtime as bubbles. And as anyone who grew up watching Sesame Street knows, Ernie did a lot to fuel the rubber duck’s popularity with his ode to his favorite fowl.
This year’s other nominees will have to wait, including bubbles, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, Pac-Man, scooter, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You’ll get your turn, guys. Check out the alphabetical list of the others on the NTHOF’s site.
Meanwhile, take it away, Ernie: