Little green army men, Rubik's Cube make toy HOF

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What Toys Made the Toy Hall of Fame?


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - It's mission accomplished for little green army men.

The molded plastic must-haves for generations of pretend soldiers were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday, along with the 1980s stumper Rubik's Cube, and bubbles.

The trio of toys takes its place alongside other classics including Barbie, G.I. Joe, Scrabble and the hula hoop after beating out nine other finalists including Fisher-Price Little People, American Girl dolls and My Little Pony.

The unbendable, monotone army men have been around since 1938, with ups and downs along the way. Their popularity waned during the Vietnam War but they became big-screen stars with the 1995 Pixar movie "Toy Story" and several manufacturers continue to produce millions of them every year.

The army men were finalists two other years before making the cut this time around, offering hope to this year's also-rans, which also included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slip 'N Slide, the skill game Operation, paper airplanes, pots and pans, and the toy trucks sold annually since 1964 by the Hess gas station chain.

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National Toy Hall of Fame nominees 2014
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Little green army men, Rubik's Cube make toy HOF
Mattel Inc.'s Little People Disney Princess Klip Klop Stable, produced by subsidiary Fisher-Price Inc., stands on display at the company's Get Your Santa Together event in New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Mattel, Inc., a toy manufacturing company founded in 1945, produces brands that include Fisher Price, Barbie dolls, Monster High dolls, Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys, Masters of the Universe, American Girl dolls, board games, WWE Toys, and early-1980s video game systems. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
This photo provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, shows the The Little People Builders' Load `n Go Wagon, imported by Fisher-Price. The wagon is being recalled because the plastic handles pose a laceration hazard if the child falls on it. The wagon was sold at retail stores nationwide from June 2009 through July 2011. (AP Photo/U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2013 file photo, Hasbro's My Little Pony Feature Princess Twilight Sparkle pony is displayed at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Hasbro Inc.'s reports quarterly earnings on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
My Little Pony
Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube, poses for The Associated Press at Liberty Science Center, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Jersey City, N.J. The center is hosting an exhibit on Rubik's Cubes which will include a cube made with diamonds that is worth 2.5 million dollars. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube, poses for The Associated Press at Liberty Science Center, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Jersey City, N.J. The center is hosting an exhibit on Rubik's Cubes which will include a cube made with diamonds that is worth 2.5 million dollars. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A participant solves Rubik's Cube for speed during 3X3X3 Rubik's Cube Megahouse cup championship in Tokyo, Sunday, July 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
In this photo made Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, Techno Source's new Rubik's TouchCube puzzle, left, is shown next to an original Rubik's cube in Decatur, Ga. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Delaney Burke,7, slips and slides her way down the Slip N Slide near her house in the Stapleton neighborhood near 28th and Xanthia streets. She and other neighborhood kids cooled off in the hot temps. Temperatures topped 90 degrees today June 4th, 2012 in the metro area. Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Sully Martin, 6, slips and slides his way down the Slip N Slide near his house in the Stapleton neighborhood near 28th and Xanthia streets. He and other neighborhood kids cooled off in the hot temps. Temperatures topped 90 degrees today June 4th, 2012 in the metro area. Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Water Slip-N-Slide
Slip N Slide
This product image released by Good Housekeeping shows the Playmates Shellraiser toy with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sold separately. The Playmates Shellraiser has made it onto the Good Housekeeping's annual Best Toys list for 2012. Engineers reviewed hundreds of toys for safety and educational merits. But the true test comes from 140 kids, ages 3 to 13, who play with the top 135 new toys at the magazine's product-testing laboratory in New York. (AP Photo/Good Housekeeping, Marko Metzinger of Studio D)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle characters walk to the Lego booth at New York Comic Con 2012 at New York's Jacob K. Javits Center, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. The New York Comic Con show floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Donatello Chillaxin'
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 24: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figure at the Nickelodeon booth at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 2 on July 24, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, NOV. 17-19 - FILE - Etch A Sketch still comes in its familiar red rectangle plastic box, but now there's pink and lime-green versions. And a new shape hit the market in September _ a red heart-shaped Etch A Sketch being sold by Avon. Ohio Art Co. began adding colors to the frames about 10 years ago. Since then, there has been a new color, shape or gimmick nearly each year. The current line of "Jelly Colors" will be updated next year. (AP Photo/Ohio Art, handout)
Hasbro Inc.'s Play-Doh logo is seen on an item for sale at a Target Corp. store in Rosemont, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release retail sales data on Oct. 14. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Manassas, UNITED STATES: This 24 May, 2006 image shows a bottle of 'Play-Doh' cologne (C), a fragrance released by Pawtucket, Rhode Island.-based toymaker Hasbro and the Demeter Fragrance Libray, the cologne?s New York manufacturer and distributor, as part of a year-long celebration of the beloved modeling compound's 50th birthday. 'Play-Doh' compound's distinctive aroma will be available in a limited-edition 1-ounce spray bottle priced at 19 USD and a four-ounce (113 gram) bottle for 39.50 USD. A can of Play-Doh costs about 50 cents USD. Signatures of the Play-Doh brand is its scent,? Play-Doh is one of those scents that seems to evoke a very strong emotional response in everyone, because we all remember those good times as kids playing with Play-Doh,' said Mark Crames, CEO of Demeter Fragrance Library. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 12: Play-Doh sits on display in the Hasbro showroom during the International Toy Fair, Monday, Feb. 12, 2007 in New York. (Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Manassas, UNITED STATES: This 24 May, 2006 image shows a bottle of 'Play-Doh' cologne (R), a fragrance released by Pawtucket, Rhode Island.-based toymaker Hasbro and the Demeter Fragrance Libray, the cologne?s New York manufacturer and distributor, as part of a year-long celebration of the beloved modeling compound's 50th birthday. 'Play-Doh' compound's distinctive aroma will be available in a limited-edition 1-ounce spray bottle priced at 19 USD and a four-ounce (113 gram) bottle for 39.50 USD. A can of Play-Doh costs about 50 cents USD. Signatures of the Play-Doh brand is its scent,? Play-Doh is one of those scents that seems to evoke a very strong emotional response in everyone, because we all remember those good times as kids playing with Play-Doh,' said Mark Crames, CEO of Demeter Fragrance Library. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Barbie and Ken dolls from Mattel are displayed at the American International Toy Fair, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A Snowboarder Barbie is shown at the Mattel exhibit, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 at the New York Toy Fair. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Barbie Video Girl Doll is shown at the American International Toy Fair, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010, in New York. The doll, which is to retail for $50 beginning in July, has a video camera built-in to her necklace and an LCD video screen in her back. Barbie has a USB port in her back so you can playback the video on a computer or TV. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
"Endless Curls" Barbie is displayed at the Mattel booth, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at the American International Toy Fair in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this photo provided by Strong National Museum of Play is a Raggedy Andy doll inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, N.Y., Thursday Nov. 8, 2007. Spanning ancient and modern eras, the Atari 2600 video game system, the kite and Raggedy Andy were chosen for entry into the Strong National Museum of Play's all-star lineup, joining the bicycle, Lionel model trains, Mr. Potato Head and 33 other classic playthings. (AP Photo/Strong National Museum of Play)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 15: A Hasbro Inc. 'Taters of the Lost Ark' Mr. Potato head doll is displayed at the Hasbro New York Toy Fair 2008 in New York, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 15, 2008. The U.S. Toy Industry Association, whose members include Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc., said its board unanimously approved a plan for a new testing system following the recall of tens of millions of Chinese-made toys last year. (Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Mr. Potato Head toy w. detachable accessories. (Photo by Mario Ruiz/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
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The brain-teasing Rubik's Cube was invented by Hungarian architect Erno Rubik in the 1970s, but took off in the United States in 1980 after being imported by Ideal Toy Corp. More than 100 million of the six-color cubes were sold between 1980 and 1982, dividing an obsessively twisting populace between those who could solve it and those who could not.

The cubes, with nine colored squares on each side, can be arranged 43 quintillion ways, according to the Toy Hall of Fame, and have inspired organized competitions in more than 50 countries, along with contests to solve it blindfolded, one-handed and under water. Mats Valk of the Netherlands holds the speed record for re-aligning the colors in 5.55 seconds.

Children have played with soap bubbles since at least the 17th century, according to the toy hall, when paintings depicting the play appeared in what is now modern-day Belgium. More than 200 million bottles of bubble liquid are sold annually.

Bubbles got the nod as a toy of the imagination, spokesman Shane Rhinewald said, listing it alongside similar previous inductees including the stick and blanket.

A national selection committee made up of 24 experts, including toy collectors, designers and psychologists vote the winners in to the hall each year. Anyone can nominate a toy, but to make it through the preliminary selection process and become a finalist a toy must have achieved icon status, survived through generations, foster learning, creativity or discovery and have profoundly changed play or toy design.

The toy hall is located inside The Strong museum in Rochester.

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National Toy Hall of Fame Member toys
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Little green army men, Rubik's Cube make toy HOF

The Rubik's Cube is among the newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 2014. 

Here a competitor tries to solve the Rubik cube on the final day of the 2010 Rubik's Cube German Championships in the 3x3x3 cube 'Classical category' in the western German city of Bottrop on September 12, 2010. 

The Rubik's Cube is among the newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 2014. 

Here Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube, poses with cubes at Liberty Science Center, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Jersey City, N.J.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Little Green Army Men are among the newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 2014. 
Little Green Army Men are among the newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 2014. 
Bubbles are among the newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 2014. 
Bubbles are among the newest additions to the National Toy Hall of Fame, inducted in 2014. 

Chess was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Here Magnus Carlsen, of Norway, currently the top ranked player in the world, ponders a move during his match against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, of France, during the sixth round of the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Chess was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Here children play chess during a program of the NGO Compartir, in Tegucigalpa on August 29, 2014. (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
The Rubber Duck was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2013. 
The Rubber Duck was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2013. 
Dominos were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2012. 
Dominos were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2012. 
Star Wars Action Figures were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2012. 
Star Wars Action Figures were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2012. 
Hot Wheels was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2011. (Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Game of Life was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2010. (Photo by Jim Barcus/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Playing cards were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2010. 
The Nintendo Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2009. 
The skateboard was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2008. 
The Atari 2600 Game System was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2007. 
The kite was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2007. 
The Easy-Bake Oven was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006.  (Credit Image: © Napa Valley Register/ZUMAPRESS.com)
The Jack-in-the-Box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005. 
The G.I. Joe was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004. 
The rocking horsewas inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004. 
2004. 
Alphabet blocks were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2003. 
Raggedy Annwas inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002. 
Silly Putty was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2001. (Photo by Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The Bicycle was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2000. 
The Bicycle was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2000. 

The Duncan Yo-Yo was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Here Dan Babbitt, then-employed by Childs Play store that sells yoyos and self-proclaimed yoyo expert, demonstrates a string configuration with his spinning yoyo. (Photo by Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The Duncan Yo-Yo was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Here champion yo-yoer Chuck Pribulick demonstrated a trick with his yo-yo as he taught a class at the Mount Airy Library October 05, 2010 in Mt. Airy, Md. (Photo by Mark Gail/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Hula Hoop was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Jean Hooper, 45, who teaches hula-hooping as a form of exercise on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009.  (AP Photo/David Zentz)

The Hula Hoop was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

A group of six children play with hula hoop's outside on the grass circa 1960's. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Lincoln Logs were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Here Heather Hudson (left) and Hannah place logs while setting a new Guinness World Record for the largest Lincoln Log build on Saturday April 13, 2013 at the Lincoln Children's Museum in Lincoln, Neb. (Dave Weaver/AP Images for Lincoln Chamber of Commerce)

Lincoln Logs were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

(Photo by David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Radio Flyer wagon was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

The Radio Flyer wagon was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Here two brothers sit in their new Radio Flyer wagon while their mother looks on from the front steps, circa 1951. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Roller skates were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Roller skates were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999.

(Photo by John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

The View-Master was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Here three generations of a View-Master '3-D Viewer' are seen displayed in this photograph from Fisher-Price. (Photo by Fisher-Price via Getty Images)

The View-Master was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Barbie was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Barbie was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Here Aidia Bryant, 3, left, and her sister Cassidy Moock, 10, play with their Barbie dolls on Friday, Dec. 1, 2006 in Lorton, Va. "Barbies are awesome," says Cassidy, "they're like little people you get to dress yourself." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Crayola Crayons were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

The Crayola 64 Box of Crayons debuted in 1958. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Crayola Crayons were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.

(Photo by: MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images)

The Erector Set was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Here Cathy Flynn of Gilbert Industries poses with a four-foot ferris wheel made with erector set parts in Hagerstown, MD, Aug 27, 1979. (AP Photo)

The Erector Set was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Here Bobby Meyers of Clifton, N. J. plays with an erector set, Feb. 20, 1961. (AP Photo)

The Etch-A-Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

A man plays with an Etch-A-Sketch screen on March 22, 2012 in Washington, DC. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Etch-A-Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.

This image was made by Jeff Gagliardi, of Boulder, Colorado, one of a small group of noted Etch-a-Sketch artists. (Photo by Photo courtesy Jeff Gagliardi/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)

The Frisbee was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

An original Frisbie pie tin is on display with more modern plastic Frisbees at the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
The Frisbee was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Legos were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

(Photo by Timm Schamberger/Getty Images)

Legos were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

A young girl builds a structure with giant rubber Lego bricks at Berlin's Legoland Discovery Centre 29 March 2007. (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Marbles were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Marbles were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Play-Doh was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

(Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Play-Doh was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Here Michele Razon, right, a resident of Makaha, Hawaii helping her daughter Olivia Razon, left, make Halloween figures out of PLAY-DOH, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

The Teddy Bear was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 
The Teddy Bear was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Tinker Toys were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

Tinker Toys were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998. 

(Photo by Lambert/Getty Images)

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