Is this the year that the Wiffle Ball finally bounces into the National Toy Hall of Fame? Or will the classic plastic Battleship game sink its chances?
This week, the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., announced 12 finalists for the hall and — as was the case last year and almost every other year — plastics are widely represented.
They're everywhere in a Super Soaker water gun, part of the American Girl dolls, on the playing surface of Twister and part of the secret identity of every Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle.
And of course, they're the key material within Playmobil figurines.
The museum will consult with historians and industry experts before naming the 2015 inductees on Nov. 5.
Filling out the list of finalists is the coloring book, Jenga, puppets, spinning tops and the scooter.
This is the second straight year that both the Ninja Turtles and American Girl dolls made the finalist list, but the museum passed them over in 2014 in favor of the Rubik's Cube, little green army men and bubbles.
Winning toys don't have to be name brands, just prove that they're popular over multiple generations, inspire creative play and have longevity. Past inductees, for instance, include the ball, jacks, a blanket and — yes, this is true — both the stick and the cardboard box. (Anyone who's ever had, seen or been a toddler knows that makes perfect sense.)
Playmobil, introduced to the market in 1974, is on the finalist list for the first time this year, although Horst Brandstätter, who created the toys, was named to the museum's Toy Industry Hall of Fame last year. Brandstätter died in June at the age of 81.