Gear

Toy Hall of Fame

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Toy Hall of Fame

10 classic toys for all ages

After the “Back to Sleep” campaign to prevent SIDS in the early 90’s, Learning Curve introduced this padded mirror toy for tummy time, so babies could develop their neck and arm muscles. 15 years later, it remains popular for this reason, too: babies are fascinated by their reflections. And moms love it because it can be used on the floor, or attached to a stroller or crib with Velcro straps. (Learning Curve, $24.99, learningcurve.com)

Remember the hoopla over the creation of Tickle-Me-Elmo back in 1996? Since then, Sesame Street’s most popular puppet has had more reinventions than Madonna, including his most recent one: Elmo Live. His mouth moves, and so does the rest of his body. He’s so popular, we’re sure Elmo will outlast us all. ($60, Fisher-Price, toysrus.com)

When its inventors were initially developing it over forty years ago, they used regular old S-hooks to hook onto each other. Thankfully, they got down to monkey business! Since then, this game is a prechool classic, helping kids develop color recognition, counting, and fine motor skills. ($4, Milton Brothers, hasbrotoyshop.com)

This game of sweet revenge got its start in England over 70 years ago, and has been made into dozens of languages and sold all over the world. Like Elmo, it’s had many versions over the years, including a Spiderman edition, but the original remains a family night staple. ($16, Parker Bros., hasbrotoyshop.com)

A lasting symbol of the ’80s, this brain-stumper was invented by a Hungarian architect named Erno Rubik. There are international competitions (the fastest record is 7.08 seconds!), and even diamond-encrusted varieties. We say: hand a regular ol’ one to your kid, and he’ll be busy for hours! ($12, Winning Moves Games, amazon.com)