The Envelope, Please! The 1st Round of This Year’s MENSA’s Bracket Challenge Is Over and the winners are…

Actually, as I’m writing this first part, the voting for the first round hasn’t ended, yet–it’s Sunday afternoon. I cast my votes online and in the shop. Perhaps due to the topic, or perhaps due to our badgering, we had our best turn-out for entries this year. As a result, someone is going to win $65 worth of their choice of those ever-popular, green-tagged comics!

This year’s was a tough one for me. Trying to decide how others would go was difficult, because what was the greatest TOY EVER in one’s mind depends a lot on age and gender. The first round pitted The Care Bears against Strawberry Shortcake in the post 80’s region. I grew up in the 50’s and had three boys–I flipped a coin. I didn’t know from paper dolls, but I remember getting bored with my slinky pretty quick. I picked the “underdog.” Another of my “upset” picks was Marbles over the View-master. Marbles required skill and introduced me to the fine art of gambling (that, and pitching pennies and baseball cards against the wall). The View-Master? I had one, but my parents bought those educational rounds –interesting, but not a toy! Not intended to be one, but the ol’ cardboard box was indeed a toy. I still have fond memories of our ringer washer being delivered–the size of that box! My bothers and I now had our own Fort Apache! That said, I honored it by having the BOX defeat the Wagon and then knocking off the Teddy Bear, only to have the misfortune of running up against the mighty BALL in Round 3! A good run.

To me, the Ball has to go all the way; however not everyone shared my belief. Legos, Barbie, the View-Master (are you kidding me?), Match Box Cars, GI Joe, the Teddy Bear, the Sling Shot (someone has a few anger issues?), Blocks, Nerf, the Slinky, Transformers, and the Cardboard Box all received at least one nod as the Greatest Ever! Besides these, Play-Doh, Tickle Me Elmo, Tonka Trucks, the Big Wheel, Beanie Babies, Blocks, Remote Control Cars, and even Mr. Potato Head made it to the finals on at least one entry! Folks–we’ve got ourselves one free-for-all! Good job, MENSA!

Eh, Houston, we have a problem!

Monday morning – I tried logging on to the Mensa site this morning and the results had not been posted
Monday afternoon – I tried again and Round 2 is up; however it is screwed-up! It has mismatched toys and their previous numbers (seedings), creating matches such as that Legos versus Match Box Cars. Match Box Cars was #15 in this region and could not meet Legos this soon, but at the same time, they numbered the Match Box Cars as # 8. That could have happened, but originally the Rubik’s Cube was #8! Hmmm.

So, until I know for sure, I will not attempt to score the entries. The following are listed as still being in the running, although not where they should be, AND, they could be the winners of Round 1:
In Region 1 – Ball, Water Gun, Teddy Bear, Cardboard Box, Slinky, Easy Bake Oven, Yo-Yo, and Jump Rope
In Region 2 – Toy Train, Army Men, Jacks, Erector Set, Frisbee, Hula Hoop, View-Master, Tinker-toys
In Region 3 – Legos, Rubik’s Cube, Big Wheel, Play-Doh, Nerf, Mr. Potato-Head, Etch-a-Sketch, and Matchbox Cars
In Region 4 – GI Joe, Bop-It, RC Cars, Transformers, My Little Pony, Care Bears, Beanie Babies, and Slip-N-Slide
Update on Tuesday!

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