The 2017 entries into the National Toy Hall of Fame have been announced, and Clue is the latest board board game to receive the award. The other 2017 entries include Paper Airplanes and the Wiffle Ball.
In 1943 pianist Anthony Pratt and his wife Elva Pratt developed a board game version of the fancy murder mystery parties that were popular between the two world wars. In their new game, Cluedo, players move around a board to eliminate possible locations, weapons and murderers to answer the questions of who the killer was, what room was used, and what the weapon was.
In 1947 the Pratt family was given a patent but post-war shortages of material made production impossible. Once material starting becoming readily available Waddington’s Games in London published the game as Cluedo in 1949, and Parker Brothers released Clue the same year.
From the National Toy Hall of Fame announcement:
Americans in the 1950s loved mysteries, whether encountered in Agatha Christie novels or Alfred Hitchcock films. And designers gave Clue an appropriately puzzling mansion, Boddy Manor, with many rooms in which to commit murder. The aptly-named victim, Mr. Boddy, is surrounded by the familiar, suspicious manor guests. Was it Miss Scarlet with the rope? Is Mrs. Peacock hiding the lead pipe? Does Colonel Mustard carry a revolver? And what is it with Professor Plum? With a fixed number of potential murderers, weapons, and locations, Clue offers 324 different murder scenario combinations—so the game plays differently nearly every time. Clue’s enjoyable, repeatable play ensured its success during the years since its introduction. It remains one of the 10 best-selling games.
Previous notable board games to be inducted include:
- Dungeons & Dragons in 2016
- Twister in 2015
- Chess in 2013
- Dominoes in 2012
- Playing Cards and the Game of Life in 2010
- Scrabble in 2004
- Checkers in 2003
Monopoly was introduced in the inaugural class of 1998.
The Strong, located in Rochester New York, is an interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It houses the world’s largest collection of historical play material and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and the American Journal of Play. Each year new toys, including board games, are introduced into the National Toy Hall of Fame.