The Toy Hall of Fame has a new addition: the cardboard box. It joins the ranks of barbie dolls, GI Joes, Legos and Lincoln Logs in the Hall. Colin Whammo, board member, said that 'The box has long been a favorite plaything of children. We cannot remember who originally invented it, but it can be a fort, a spaceship, a stagecoach, a submarine, or anything else you want it to be. Several companies over the years have tried to patent the idea of the box or market it to children, but parents have generally just given them boxes from large appliances or other purchases."
"Children also traditionally go for the cardboard box as it is more pliable than wood. It is lighter and easier to carry and shape. It has no splinters and moms don't complain about it being drug around the house."
Appliance boxes, being larger, seem to be the favorites in the category. Bart Washer of Refrigerator World in Dallas said that "we get kids in all the time playing on our back loading dock just because of the huge boxes. We end up donating a lot of the cardboard to schools for haunted houses or play backdrops, but most of it just goes home for kids to make forts in their back yards."
Other favorite children's toys nominated for inclusion in the Hall of Fame this year included lawn darts, plastic bags, old refrigerators, large cable spools (also nominated for the furniture hall of fame), and sink holes. Said Whammo, "when we looked at all of the nominees, we just felt that the plain old box rose above the others in hours of safe and fun enjoyment. They stimulate the imagination like nothing else. Only something like modeling clay, silly putty, or play doh can become so many things so easily."
The Hall of Fame searched for the perfect size box to add to the collection and mount in a special place. When they found it, an old stove box in Wichita, Kansas, they packaged it and shipped it to the museum via U.P.S.. Upon arrival, it was uncrated and placed ceremoniously on display. While adults oohed and aahed, children seemed to ignore it and instead played with the shipping crate that held the box for delivery.