Since ancient times, the spinning top has entertained children and adults in cultures worldwide. Greek pottery shows women playing with tops. Some medieval rulers kept their subjects from idleness by making them tend to the village top. Special eight-sided tops called teetotums supply the element of chance in board games. Modern kids play with this most classical toy, too, calculating the placement, centrifugal force, and velocity needed to execute the longest spin or to capture their competitors’ prized tops.

Credit: Courtesy of The Strong®, Rochester, New York

Photos: 2015 Toy Hall of Fame Finalists

The following 12 toys are finalists for 2015 induction into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame. Only two or three will take their honore…