Three new Toy Hall of Fame inductees and the return of a great commercial

dodge ball
A ball.

On November 5, 2009, the National Toy Hall of Fame inducted three new toys.

The first one is the Ball. The ball, I assume, includes all balls. Dodge balls, baseballs, bouncy balls, etc. The ball is been around almost as long as Man. A ball is often a child’s first toy, yet they might still play baseball as an adult (or at least watch it).

Next is the Big Wheel. The Big Wheel was invented in the 60’s by Ray Lohr, head designer for Louis Marx & Co. After they went out of business in 1985, the big Wheel was marketed by Carolina Enterprises, and later Enterprise Industries. Currently it’s made by Alpha International. The Big Wheel put kids low to the ground, making skidding and spinning-out safe from rollovers (mostly). I did a quick search for the Big Wheel and was somewhat surprised to see that the price on Amazon for the Original Big Wheel
was $62.99. Yikes!

The Big Wheel

And last is the Nintendo Game Boy. The Game Boy portable video game came out in 1989 and was an immediate hit. The Game Boy certainly revolutionized video gaming and allowed kids to play on car trips, summer camp, and in school (which thrilled teachers).

The Ball and Big Wheel I have no argument with, but the Game Boy I’m not so sure about. Especially when you look at the list of previous inductees, which includes Crayola Crayons, Hula Hoop, Jump Rope, Teddy Bear, Lego, and, even the Cardboard Box. An argument could certainly be made for it, but it just doesn’t seem like a natural to me.

Thinking about the Ball, got me thinking and remembering a great commercial for Sony Bravia TV. The commercial features many bouncy balls (generic SuperBalls) bouncing down the streets of San Francisco and is set to music by José González called Heartbeats. Did they really do that? Yes! It took 23 cameras over 2 days with 250,000 balls on the streets of San Francisco. My favorite part is the riot shield that the director used to protect himself. Sony removed the original commercial from their site some time ago, and for some time all I could find were the crappy YouTube copy, but I just found a high-res "Bouncy Balls" Sony Bravia commercial on YouTube. View it below. It is amazing!

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