News, World Vasectomy Day, New Toy Hall Of Fame Inductees

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

Often times, the burden of birth control is placed on women, but in the runup to World Vasectomy Day, we learn about the way men are taking action when it comes to contraception. Then we follow the day’s news and take a look at the new inductees into the toy hall of fame.

Featured in this Show

  • 3 New Toys Have Been Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

    Little green army men marched into the National Toy Hall of Fame earlier this week, along with the Rubik’s Cube and bubbles.

    They join the other 53 classic toys already enshrined at the museum in Rochester, N.Y. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that also included American Girl dolls, Fisher-Price Little People, Hess toy trucks, My Little Pony, Operation Skill Game, paper airplanes, pots and pans, Slip‘N Slide, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    Anyone can nominate a toy for annual induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. An internal museum advisory committee comprised of curators and historians reviews the submitted nominations and determines which toys meet the criteria for selection. A national selection committee then reviews the list of toy finalists, with each committee member voting for his or her top toy picks for induction. The toys that get the most votes make the cut.

    “These are toys that encourage learning, creativity and discovery. They’re the ones that have the best quality of play about them,” said Chris Bensch, vice president for collections at The Strong, the institution that houses the museum.

    For the toys to go from the store shelves to a spot in the museum, Bensch said they must have been on the market for at least 20 years, so that kids and their parents could have both grown up playing with them. He added that they also must be easily recognizable, whether one grew up playing with them or not.

    “All of these toys have that kind of open-ended play that isn’t reliant necessarily on batteries or a character’s back story. You bring so much to it and it expands who you are,” Bensch said.

    Bensch is fascinated by how some toys have resurgences.

    “Often we see toys making a return, as parents say, ‘Oh, I grew up with that item, my kid will turn out great like I did if only they have a Radio Flyer wagon, Cabbage Patch Doll or whatever it might be,’” he said.

    It took some sorting out, but after five previous unsuccessful attempts, the Toy Hall of Fame finally agreed that the Rubik’s Cube deserved an invitation. The 3-D combination puzzle was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian architect and is widely thought to be the world’s top-selling toy.

    “I was starting to think that the Rubik’s Cube was going to turn out to be the Susan Lucci of the toy world, always snubbed for her Emmy,” Bensch said. “Well, it finally made it in this year. It’s the sixth try and beautifully, it falls on the 40th year of its invention.”

    As for the green army men, the little inflexible plastic dudes have been around since the 1930s, when they were initially sold as metal toys. The beauty of the army men, said Bensch, has always been that you buy them by the bagful.

    “They are, frankly, cannon fodder — they’re expendable. So if you lose one, it’s not a disaster and you can go and add to your group tomorrow,” Bensch said.

    Bubble solutions have been a staple on drug store shelves for more than a hundred years, said Bensch. They’ve evolved over the years to include fancy-shaped wands. Bensch observed that it must have been a thrill for kids to have replaced the sudsy bubbles of the dreaded bathtime with the playthings we know them for today.

    As for the toys that were left at the gate of the Toy Hall of Fame, hope isn’t lost.

    “It’s not like it’s three years and you’re out, or a limited window,” said Bensch. “They could go in next year or the year after that.”

  • November 7 Is World Vasectomy Day

    November 7 is the second World Vasectomy Day, meant to dispel myths about the procedure and inspire men to become equal partners in family planning. The organizer explains the benefits of a vasectomy and discusses what you can do to participate.

  • New Entries At The Toy Hall Of Fame

    Toys from Barbie to the simple rubber ball are just two of the many members of the National Toy Hall of Fame–and new inductees join their ranks this week. A toy fan shares the new additions to the list–and some of the all-time favorites.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Chris Bensch Guest
  • Jonathan Stack Guest
  • Amanda Magnus Producer

Related Stories