I like that the selection of toys for this honor balance between brand names like G.I. Joe and Barbie and generic toys like a ball and this year’s inductees. While the brand names may have more pizzazz and marketing potential, it’s difficult to deny the relevance and place in history for the generic entries.
A list of this year’s finalists may be found here. Maybe next year the toys who didn’t make it will get another shot. I voted for bubbles this year. They are cheap, timeless and hours of fun, especially for younger children. My niece is two years old and she is obsessed with bubbles.
I just learned about a new arcade in my area, and I ventured out today to give it the once over. It is called High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum, and it is located on the east side of the SF Bay in Alameda, CA.
High Scores has a host of classic games in very beautiful, well-preserved cabinets. I overheard the owner saying that the most recent game there is from 1994, and all the others are far earlier than that. I played Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger, Tron (which was awesome), Punch-Out, Millipede, Centipede, Popeye, and Space Invaders Deluxe. I also saw Missile Command and Star Wars. A few of the cabs had several games on them, but I didn’t try any of those. All the games are set to free play, and entrance to the museum is $5 an hour or $10 for all day. The place is easy to get to (about 5 minutes off 580 in good traffic), the venue is great, and the games really are in great shape. I particularly loved how the games are grouped in sets, with all the Nintendo games together, Millipede and Centipede together, Tron next to Star Wars, etc.
The owner saw me taking a picture of the outside marquee and asked me to spread the word, which I’m more than happy to do. I’ll definitely be heading back to High Scores, and if any retrarians here are heading that way, hit me up. I’d love to meet you over there.