Which is more surprising: That Bubble Wrap was a NJ invention and originally intended as a textured wallpaper? Or that it was just nominated by the National Toy Hall Of Fame? Bubble Wrap as a toy? Really? Well, I guess we are all compelled to pop them. Hmmm.

Let's go back to the beginning. Two guys, one a Swiss engineer and the other, Alfred Fielding of Hackensack, invented Bubble Wrap in a Hawthorne, New Jersey garage in 1957. It became known around the planet as a packing material of course, but the original idea was as a funky kind of textured wallpaper. When no one seemed to want that, the guys next thought of it as an insulation for greenhouses. It wasn't until 1960 that this crazy New Jersey invention no one seemed to know what to do with was finally pitched to IBM in 1960. The company used it as a package protection system for 1401 Data Processing Systems and the rest is history.

The inclusion on a list of nominated toys seems unlikely until you stop to think about the cathartic allure of popping those little suckers. We've all done it. Eventually a Bubble Wrap app was created where you could pop right on your phone. Still not convinced this Jersey invention is a legit toy? Think about the empty cardboard box so many kids want to play with instead of the gift that came inside it. Now you're getting the idea.

Will Bubble Wrap make it into the Toy Hall? We won't know until November 10th. The competition is pretty fierce. It's up against Care Bears, the game Clue, Nerf, the coloring book, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Transformers, Dungeons and Dragons, Fisher-Price Little People, the game Uno, Pinball, and the Swing. If you want to represent the Dirty Jerz in this epic toy battle you can vote at ToyHallOfFame.org. As I write this, Dungeons and Dragons freaks are pushing the vote and winning in a landslide.

-Jeff Deminski

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