NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Play professionals and toy fans from around the globe gathered virtually today to honor the year’s most outstanding playthings and inspiring individuals at The Toy Association‘s 21st annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Proceeds from the TOTY awards program support the charitable work of The Toy Foundation.
This year’s online event peeled back the curtain on what is normally an industry-exclusive ceremony held in New York City, so that worldwide play enthusiasts could witness toy history being made at the “Oscars” of the toy industry.
During the livestream, viewers saw the prestigious overall Toy of the Year Award go to Star Wars: The Child Animatronic Edition Toy (Hasbro) – the adorable character that has captured the hearts of franchise fans the world over. The toy also won for “Innovative Toy of the Year.”
In a surprise announcement, two winners were chosen for the “People’s Choice” Award – both Story Time Chess (Story Time Chess), a classic game reimagined for the youngest of players, and The Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic Remastered (2020) (McFarlane Toys), a fan-favorite that has its roots on Kickstarter, took home the honor.
TOTY awards were also handed out in 16 categories and given to the following:
- Action Figure of the Year: Fisher-Price #ThankYouHeroes Line (Mattel)
- Collectible of the Year: LEGO Super Mario Character Packs (LEGO)
- Construction Toy of the Year: LEGO Star Wars The Razor Crest (LEGO)
- Creative Toy of the Year: Crayola Colors of the World Crayons (Crayola LLC)
- Doll of the Year: Barbie Color Reveal (Mattel)
- Game of the Year: Pokémon Trading Card Game Battle Academy (The Pokémon Company International)
- Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen (Mattel)
- Innovative Toy of the Year: Star Wars: The Child Animatronic Edition Toy (Hasbro)
- License of the Year: Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Disney)
- Outdoor Toy of the Year: Ultimate Go-Kart (Radio Flyer)
- Playset of the Year: LEGO Super Mario Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set (LEGO)
- Plush Toy of the Year: Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child 11″ Plush (Mattel)
- Preschool Toy of the Year: PAW Patrol Dino Patroller (Spin Master)
- Specialty Toy of the Year: LEGO Ideas Grand Piano (LEGO)
- STEAM Toy of the Year: Mega Cyborg Hand (Thames & Kosmos)
- Vehicle of the Year: PLAYMOBIL Back To The Future DeLorean (PLAYMOBIL)
“From 117 outstanding finalists to this year’s TOTY winners, to Hasbro’s Toy of the Year Award and two unique People’s Choice winners, each underscores the joy of play in uncertain times, the togetherness of family game night, as well as the swiftly-evolving retail and e-commerce landscape,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “The TOTYs continue to reflect the toy and play community’s passion and perseverance, all while honoring the richly deserving Hall of Fame inductees. It also raises vital funding for The Toy Foundation as it embarks on impactful new programs supporting children’s hospitals and driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the toy industry. We thank the independent expert judging panels and the tens of thousands of individuals who voted this year!”
During the event, four toy industry visionaries were officially inducted into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame – Philip Bloom, founder & former publisher of The Bloom Report; William C. Killgallon, chairman of the board at The Ohio Art Company; Pleasant T. Rowland, founder of American Girl, a division of Mattel, Inc.; and the late Margarete Steiff, founder & creator of Steiff. Read more about the Hall of Fame inductees here.
More than 500 TOTY Award nominees poured in late last summer. Of those, 117 finalists were selected by a panel of expert judges. Category winners were then determined based on votes from toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, Toy Association members, and consumers. The “Toy of the Year” winner was determined by an expert panel that discussed all the finalists before rendering a decision based on TOTY votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online, and social). The “People’s Choice” award winners were uniquely selected by online consumer votes. All results were audited for accuracy, including the judging and voting process, and The NPD Group validated marketplace acceptance. Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found at ToyAwards.org.
About The Toy Foundation www.toyfoundation.org
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501 (c)3 children’s charity whose mission is to provide philanthropic support and the vital commodity of play to children and families under stress and in dire situations, across the country and globe. TTF’s donations represent the charitable works of TTF and the toy industry. Last year, TTF provided $360K in cash grants to nearly 4 million children severely impacted by the pandemic. Since its inception in 2003, TTF’s signature Toy Bank has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million underserved children coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, living with domestic violence, and/or dealing with natural disasters. TTF is also broadening its mission to provide grant funding to children’s hospitals to encourage healing through play and to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and pipeline of talent for the toy industry.
About The Toy Association www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $98.2 billion, and its roughly 1,000 members drive the annual $32 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned Toy Fair New York and Toy Fair Dallas; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian The Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.
Media assets: www.toyawards.org/press
SOURCE The Toy Association