Facts and Figures…
If “time flies when you’re having fun” then it’s no surprise that a decade has zoomed by like a jet powered pterodactyl since we began reporting on The Toy Association’s annual industry fair and the multitude of wonderful products debuted and demoed during the event.
Over that time we’ve seen some interesting and often unexpected developments both sweet and sour. We’ve welcomed a growing focus on play products that bolster Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) but we also saw the demise of brick and mortar giant Toys R Us, and it’s tentative return this season.
One thing is for sure there’s no lack of interesting and creative ways to engage youngsters in play. This year’s Toy of the Year Award Nominees list is a simple way to prove it.
Winners in each of the sixteen categories will be announced at New York City’s Zeigfeld Ballroom on February 21, 2020 the night before the opening of the Toy Fair New York. The annual event serves to fund The Toy Foundation which partners with toy companies to deliver playthings to millions of children in need.
You can get in on the decision by voting in the www.toyawards.org before January 5, 2020.
ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR
Toys that represent a person or fictional character intended for active, imaginative and narrative-based play
Bakugan Dragonoid Maximus Transforming Figure by Spin Master
Disney Pixar Toy Story Basic Figures by Mattel, Inc.
Heroes of Goo Jit Zu by Moose Toys
Jurassic World Destroy ‘N Devour™ Indominus Rex by Mattel, Inc.
Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro, Inc.
My Hero Academia Katsuki Bakugo Action Figure by McFarlane Toys
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Beast-X Ultrazord Figure by Hasbro, Inc.
COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR
Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
Blume by Skyrocket Toys
Hairdorables Dolls Series 3 by Just Play
L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Series by MGA Entertainment
Lucky Fortune by WowWee
My Singing Monsters Collectible Musical Figures by PlayMonster
Pulp Heroes Snap Bots by Far Out Toys
Shopkins Real Littles Lil’ Shopper Pack by Moose Toys
CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that include building as the primary play pattern
Erector by Meccano, Inventor Set, Intro to Robotics by Spin Master
Fisher-Price® Wonder Makers™ design system Build Around Town™ Starter Kit by Mattel, Inc.
LeapBuilders® ABC Smart House™ by LeapFrog
LEGO® CITY Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control by LEGO Systems, Inc.
LEGO® MARVEL Iron Man Hall of Armor by LEGO Systems, Inc.
My Robotic Pet – Tumbling Hedgehog by Thames & Kosmos
VEX Catapult 2.0 by HEXBUG
CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that allow kids to build and/or make items that are unique to them
Blinger by Wicked Cool Toys
Cool Maker GO GLAM Nail Stamper by Spin Master
Crayola Glitter Dots by Crayola
littleBits Electronic Music Inventor Kit by Sphero
smART Pixelator™ by Flycatcher Inc.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot Custom Astromech Units by Disney Parks
Y’Art® Craft Kit by Kahootz
DOLL OF THE YEAR
Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls
Ballerina Dreamer Dancing Ballerina by Hunter Products USA LLC
Candylocks Basic Doll by Spin Master
Creatable World by Mattel, Inc.
Cry Babies – Kristal Gets Sick & Feels Better by IMC Toys
Disney Frozen 2: “Into the Unknown” Elsa Doll by JAKKS Pacific
Disney Princess Ralph Breaks the Internet – Comfy Princess Assortment by Hasbro, Inc.
L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Dolls by MGA Entertainment
GAME OF THE YEAR
For families and children’s (ages 0-14) games including board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles, exclusive of video or app games
Funkoverse Strategy Game by Funko Games
Heist by Megableu USA
MS. MONOPOLY Board Game by Hasbro, Inc.
Orangutwang by PlayMonster
Pictionary Air by Mattel, Inc.
Ravensburger’s Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared by Ravensburger
Throw Throw Burrito by Exploding Kittens
UNO Braille by Mattel, Inc.
INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are developed for ages 0-3 (0-18 months infant/18 months-3 years toddler)
Fisher-Price® Linkimals™ by Mattel, Inc.
InnyBin by Fat Brain Toy Co.
KidKraft World of Eric Carle Shape Activity Cube by KidKraft
LeapBuilders® 123 Fix-It Truck™ by LeapFrog
Mix & Match-a-Saurus™ by VTech®
Musical Lili Llama by The Manhattan Toy Company
Tinker Truck by Radio Flyer
INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
comicam® the Instant Comic Camera by Hangzhou Rulei Technology Co., Ltd
Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak by Wow! Stuff
Hot Wheels™ id Smart Track™ Kit by Mattel, Inc.
Hot Wheels™ TechMods by Mattel, Inc.
RockIt Twist™ by LeapFrog
Shashibo (The Shape Shifting Box) by Fun In Motion Toys
tori™ Explorer Pack by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America
LICENSE OF THE YEAR
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand through the development and merchandising of products developed from the intellectual property
Baby Shark by Pinkfong
Barbie 60th Anniversary Program by Mattel, Inc.
JoJo Siwa by Nickelodeon
Marvel Avengers Endgame by Disney / Marvel Licensing
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Super PAWs by Spin Master / Nickelodeon
Pokémon by The Pokémon Company International
Ryan’s World by pocket.watch
Toy Story 4 by The Walt Disney Company
OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons
Crazy Cart® Shift™ by Razor USA
Create A Castle by Create A Castle
EzyRoller Drifter X by EzyRoller LLC
Globber GoUp COMFORT by Incredible Novelties
My Buddy Wheels by Yvolution USA, Inc.
Toilet Paper Blasters™ Sheet Storm™ by JAKKS Pacific
ZURU X-Shot Fast-Fill by ZURU
PLAYSET OF THE YEAR
Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event, including characters and role play
Beyblade Burst Turbo Slingshock Cross Collision Battle Set by Hasbro, Inc.
Disney Frozen Ultimate Arendelle Castle Playset by Hasbro, Inc.
Hape Fire Station by Hape International Inc
Hot Wheels® Colossal Crash™ Track Set by Mattel, Inc.
L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Chalet by MGA Entertainment
PLAYMOBIL Mars Space Station by PLAYMOBIL
Timber Tots by Fat Brain Toy Co.
PLUSH TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling, including toys with interactive or electronic features
Cutetitos by Basic Fun!
Dolce Safari Adventure by Magformers/DOLCE
Little Live Scruff-A-Luvs Real Rescue Electronic Pet by Moose Toys
Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Puppets with Tempo Control by WowWee
Pomsies Lumies by Skyrocket Toys
Shimmer Stars by KD Group
ZURU Rainbocorns Ultimate Sequin Surprise Series 2 by ZURU
PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are developed for ages 3-5
Demo Duke by Spin Master
Coding Critters by Learning Resources®
Kid Trax Rideamals Unicorn by Pacific Cycle
Kindi Kids by Moose Toys
Myla the Magical Unicorn™ by VTech®
Peppa Pig’s Magical Parade Floats by Jazwares
Wild Ones™ by Razor USA
SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are distributed through independent retailers, i.e. neighborhood toy stores, and not sold at mass brick and mortar stores. Toys that are sold only online do not qualify
AirFort by AirFort
Hape Emergency Services Headquarters by Hape International Inc
LEGO® Ideas Central Perk by LEGO Systems, Inc.
LEGO® Stranger Things The Upside Down by LEGO Systems, Inc.
littleBits Space Rover Inventor Kit by Sphero
OombeeBall by Fat Brain Toy Co.
ThinkFun’s Thinking Putty Puzzle by ThinkFun, Inc.
STEM/STEAM TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that encourage kids to develop skills (foundational or curricular) in the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
Amazing Rescue 50Pc Set by Magformers
Artie 3000™ by Educational Insights®
Beaker Creatures Alien Experiment Lab by Learning Resources®
Crayola Color Chemistry Arctic Lab by Crayola
Gumball Machine Maker by Thames & Kosmos
LEGO® BOOST Star Wars™ Droid Commander by LEGO Systems, Inc.
Mech-5 Mechanical Coding Robot by Elenco
VEHICLE OF THE YEAR
Toy cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles in all scales, including R/C vehicles but exclusive of ride-ons
Grrrumball by Alpha Group US
Hot Wheels Mario Kart Die-Cast Vehicle Assortment by Mattel, Inc.
L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper by MGA Entertainment
Monster Jam Mega Grave Digger Remote Control Vehicle by Spin Master
PJ Masks PJ Seeker by Just Play
STAR WARS D-O Interactive Droid by Hasbro, Inc.
X-Power Dozer™ by JAKKS Pacific
This week The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) celebrated it’s 113th annual trade event, once again bringing together creators, vendors, buyers and press outlets to North American International Toy Fair.
The Toy Industry Association‘s 112th North American International Toy Fair 2015 (#NYTF15) got it’s official start with a ribbon cutting event at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center on Saturday February 14, but it launched with advance festivities at the Association’s annual Toy of the Year Awards ceremony the evening before. I’m glad to see several that caught our eye this season took top honors.
Spin Master’s Zoomer Dino, the remote controlled “Boomer,” was voted Best Boy Toy. Its sleek design caught my eye when I first encountered it at the Big Toy Book 2014 Holiday of PLAY event.
Co-editor Adriana “Andy” Melendez (Sylverwhisper) was particularly fond of Hasbro’s Nerf Rebelle archery sets, allowing young ladies to channel their inner Katniss Everdeen in backyard Hunger Games or rival Marvel Avenger Hawkeye for his accuracy. One of the Rebelle line, the super soaker Dolphina Water Bow, took Best Outdoor Toy honors.
The Crayola Paint Maker won Activity Toy of the Year division. It’s a toy we gifted to my niece this year. Crayola’s complete line of classic to digital creative sets is impressive. I still covet my childhood box of 64 crayons, replete with sharpener but I’m looking forward to reporting on Crayola’s other products, including their interesting camera obscura style drawing apparatus.
Elsa is Everywhere…
It would seem that Princess Elsa is celebrating her TOTY award by putting NYC in a deep freeze for the next several days. The ubiquitous franchise Disney’s Frozen deservedly won for Property of the Year.
The Complete List…
The Toy Industry Association’s press release offers the complete rundown of winners with an explanation of their voting process.
“TOTY Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on ToyAwards.org), retailers (mass and specialty), media and members of the toy industry. The five ballots were weighted and used to determine the category winners, with the exception of the “People’s Choice” award, which was selected exclusively by consumers.”
Recognizing an outstanding toy that inspires creative play through various forms of activity, the Activity Toy of the Year was presented to Crayola Paint Maker (Crayola)
Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for boys of any age, the Boy Toy of the Year was presented to ZOOMER DINO™ (Spin Master)
Recognizing an app-cessory or other physical toy that interacts with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device, the
e-Connected Toy of the Year was presented to LEGO® FUSION (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Recognizing an outstanding toy that helps children develop special skills and knowledge through play, the
Educational Toy of the Year was presented to LEGO® Technic (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Recognizing an outstanding children’s board, card, CD-ROM or electronic game, the Game of the Year was presented to Simon Swipe™ (Hasbro, Inc.)
Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for girls of any age, the Girl Toy of the Year was presented to Shopkins™ Small Mart Playset (Moose Toys)
Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for infants and toddlers up to 36 months, the Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year was presented to Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Zoo Explorers Playset™ (VTech®)
Recognizing an outstanding toy that combines innovation and play value, the Innovative Toy of the Year was presented to MiP ™ (WowWee)
Recognizing an outstanding toy that is designed for outdoor play, the Outdoor Toy of the Year was presented to Nerf Rebelle Dolphina Bow (Hasbro, Inc.)
Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for preschool-aged children (ages 3-5), the Preschool Toy of the Year was presented to LEGO® Juniors (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
Recognizing a property that has had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry, the
Property of the Year was presented to Disney’s Frozen (The Walt Disney Company)
Recognizing an outstanding toy that is distributed primarily through specialty toy retailers, the
Specialty Toy of the Year was presented to Gravity Maze™ (ThinkFun, Inc.)
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The 110th Annual American International Toy Fair…
Setting foot into the Toy Industry Association’s Annual Toy Fair in New York City has always been a head spinning experience. There are so many visual enticements to report on. This year is no different in it’s “where do I look first” excitement. Fortunately during our last few expeditions Ken Pierce of the PiercingMetal webzine and I have been able to hone a sense of the collectibles readers are clamoring to see. You can expect lots of photos and information in the days, weeks, and months to come from us both.
What It Is…
Toy Fair is a gigantic industry-only event that encompasses the entire span of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on two floors. It’s where and when toy manufacturers from all over the world unveil their newest products and book the sales for the year-end holiday season. It’s center stage for all things fun, but it’s also serious bottomline business. That said, I’d like to thank the vendors who took time out of their schedules to offer a look at their merchandise for your enjoyment. In many cases – where permitted – you will be getting an insider’s view of prototypes for proposed products or license/tie-in items yet to be approved. I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts.
Toy of the Year Awards Go To…
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that inspires creative play through various forms of activity, the Activity Toy of the Year was presented to LEGO® Friends(The LEGO Group)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for boys of any age, the Boy Toy of the Year was presented to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shellraiser (Playmates Toys)
- Recognizing an app-cessory or other physical toy that interacts with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device the e-Connected Toy of the Year was presented to Skylanders Giants™ (Activision Publishing, Inc.)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that helps children develop special skills and knowledge through play, the Educational Toy of the Year was presented to LeapPad2™ (LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.)
- Recognizing an outstanding children’s board, card, CD-ROM or electronic game, the Game of the Year was presented to Perplexus Epic™ (PlaSmart Inc.)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for girls of any age, the Girl Toy of the Year was presented to LEGO® Friends (The LEGO Group)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for infants and toddlers up to 36 months, the Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year was presented to Tranquil Turtle™ (Cloud b)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that combines innovation and play value, the Innovative Toy of the Year was presented to Digital Light Designer (Crayola)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that is designed for outdoor play, the Outdoor Toy of the Year was presented to The Original Big Wheel™ (Kids Only, Inc., a division of JAKKS Pacific, Inc.)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for preschool-aged children (ages 3-5) the Preschool Toy of the Year was presented to Doc McStuffins “Time For Your Check-Up” Doll (Just Play)
- Recognizing a property that has had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry, Property of the Year was presented to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that is distributed primarily through specialty toy retailers, the Specialty Toy of the Year was presented to LEGO® Architecture (The LEGO Group)
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