A puppet, the game of Twister and a Super Soaker were chosen for the 2015 entries to the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. (Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame via AP)

A Super Soaker — the high-powered squirt gun that’s a staple of summertime play — was inducted Thursday into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The class of 2015 also includes the old-as-time puppet and the game Twister.

A panel of experts picked the inductees from a field of 12 finalists that also included the spinning top, coloring book, Wiffle Ball, American Girl dolls, Battleship, Jenga, Playmobil, scooter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

More than 27 million $10 Super Soakers were sold in the first three years after Larami Corporation began producing them in 1990. The water blaster was the invention of Lonnie Johnson, a nuclear engineer who got the idea from a pressurized heat pump he was designing for NASA’s Galileo Mission to Jupiter, according to The Strong, a museum in Rochester, New York, that is home to the hall of fame.

Johnson made the first one from PVC pipe and an empty soda bottle.

Twister first appeared in 1964. Inventor Reyn Guyer made the players the game pieces that intertwine as they try to reach hands and feet to colored dots without landing in a heap on a plastic mat.

Estefania Muñoz, 9, left, and Haley Smith,11, take aim with Super Soakers at the National Toy Hall of Fame announcement Thursday in Rochester. (Carlos Ortiz/Democrat & Chronicle via AP)

“Some saw Twister as a passing fad, but large-scale Twister matches, popular on college campuses in the 1980s, boosted sales,” said Nicolas Ricketts, a curator at The Strong museum where the hall of fame is housed.

Anyone can nominate a toy for hall inclusion. But to be inducted, they must have survived the test of time, be widely recognized and foster learning, creativity or discovery through play.

The puppet has been around for thousands of years and throughout the world. The Strong cited written references to puppets by ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle and said ancient puppeteers presented “The Iliad” and “Odyssey” using clay and ivory figures. In modern times, puppets have appeared in street theaters and propped on the hands of countless children.

“Hand puppets have been a popular toy form for more than a century,” curator Patricia Hogan said. “Playing with puppets helps children develop coordination and manual dexterity. Children use their imaginations to provide voice, plot and purpose to their puppet characters.”

Finalists for the hall are chosen by historians and curators at The Strong. From there, a national panel of judges made up of inventors, educators, psychologists and others choose the winners.

The inductees join last year’s class of little green Army men, the Rubik’s Cube and bubbles, along with 53 other old favorites, including Barbie, Easy-Bake Oven, G.I. Joe, the Frisbee and View-Master.