The Toy Industry Association (TIA) kicked off the holiday shopping season yesterday by announcing the 84 finalists for the prestigious 2016 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY), also known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry. Between now and January 17, 2016 consumers can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite toy picks in each of the 12 categories and enter to win exclusive prizes. The TOTY winners will be announced in February 2016.
“From innovative toys that talk and fly to enriching playthings that teach and inspire, this year’s TOTY finalists have brought joy, laughter and learning to millions of children and families,” said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of the Toy Industry Association. “The outstanding nominees are a testament to the toy industry’s dedication to the happiness, healthy development, and well-being of kids around the world. We wish each TOTY nominee the best of luck and look forward to honoring the winners in just a few months!”
This year’s finalists were selected from more than 700 nominees submitted by over 200 companies. More than 40 mass and specialty retail buyers, youth experts, academics, and journalists staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.
The winners in each of the 12 categories and the coveted “Toy of the Year” will be selected based on votes from mass and specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members and consumers. The “People’s Choice” award winner will be selected solely by consumer votes.
The honorees will be announced at a TOTY Awards ceremony held on Friday, February 12, 2016 as the kick-off to the 113th North American International Toy Fair. The celebration will include the induction of Bob Iger, Chairman & CEO of The Walt Disney Company, into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame, as well as special festivities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Toy Industry Association.
The TOTY awards program supports the philanthropic work of the Toy Industry Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children in need. More information about the TOTY voting and selection process can be found in the “About the Awards” section of www.ToyAwards.org.
See the finalists in each category below.
ACTIVITY TOY OF THE YEAR
Arts and crafts, construction and other indoor toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity
- Bunchems by Spin Master Corp.
- Chocolate Pen by Skyrocket Toys
- Roominate Amusement Park by Roominate
- Shrinky Dinks Bake & Shape 3D Jewelry by Alex Brands
- Strand Bands Designer Set by The Bridge Direct
- Upcycling: Garbage to Glam by Fashion Angels
- Yummy Nummies by Blip Toys
BOY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for boys of any age
- Air Hogs Millennium Falcon Quad by Spin Master Corp.
- Hot Wheels® Ultimate Garage by Mattel
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon by The LEGO Group
- Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster by Hasbro, Inc.
- Sky Viper Video Streaming Drone V950STR by Skyrocket Toys
- STAR WARS® Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber by Hasbro, Inc.
- XPV HULK SMASH™ RC by JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
E-CONNECTED TOY OF THE YEAR
A physical toy or game that is app-enabled or otherwise interacts with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device
- Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition by Disney
- Hello Barbie™ by Mattel
- Kidizoom® Action Cam by VTech®
- Skylanders SuperChargers by Activision Publishing, Inc.
- Stikbot Studio by Zing
- View-Master® Virtual Reality Viewer by Mattel
- Wonder Workshop Dash Robot by Wonder Workshop
EDUCATIONAL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that help children to develop special skills and knowledge through play
- Foundation Chemistry Kit by Yellow Scope
- Gears!Gears!Gears!® Build & Bloom Building Set by Learning Resources
- Kids First Physics Lab by Thames and Kosmos
- Magnets in Motion 61Pc Set by Magformers
- Mighty Makers Fun on the Ferris Wheel by K’NEX Brands
- Number Lovin’ Oven by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
- VEX Robotics Robotic Arm by HEXBUG
GAME OF THE YEAR
Children’s board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles
(does not include video games or apps)
- Choice Words by MindWare
- Chrono Bomb® by Patch Products, LLC
- LEGO Dimensions by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Pie Face Game by Hasbro, Inc.
- Rush Hour Shift™ by ThinkFun, Inc.
- Three Little Piggies by Smart Toys and Games, Inc.
- WOO! By Fat Brain Toy Co.
GIRL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for girls of any age
- Disney’s Frozen Sing-A-Long Elsa by JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
- FURREAL FRIENDS STARLILY, MY MAGICAL UNICORN by Hasbro, Inc.
- Girl Scouts Cookie Oven by Wicked Cool Toys
- Nancy B’s Science Club Black Light Illuminator & Nature’s Mysteries Journal by Educational Insights
- Nerf Rebelle Arrow Revolution Bow by Hasbro, Inc.
- Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck by Moose Toys Pty Ltd
- Zoomer Kitty by Spin Master Corp.
INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for infant children and toddlers (ages up to 36 months)
- Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo by Fisher-Price
- Bright Beats Smart Touch Play Space by Fisher-Price
- Fold ‘N Go Elephant Toy by Playskool
- Lil Ocean Explorers 3-in-1 Adventure Course by Little Tikes
- Play All Day Elmo by Playskool
- Rolligo by Fat Brain Toy Co.
- Storytime Theater™ by Tech 4 Kids
INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
- Flipsies™ Sandy’s House & Ocean Cruiser by VTech®
- i-loom by Wooky Entertainment
- Laser Maze™ Jr. by ThinkFun, Inc.
- Makey Makey Classic by JoyLabz
- Meccanoid G15 by Spin Master Corp.
- MiPosaur by WowWee
- Star Wars Science – Jedi Force Levitator by Uncle Milton Industries
OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys designed for outdoor play
- Firetek Rocket by Zing
- Maisto TECH Rock Crawler 3XL by Maisto – Bburago
- Micro Mini2Go by Micro Kickboard
- Nerf Rebelle Super Soaker Tri Threat Crossbow by Hasbro, Inc.
- Nerf Super Soaker Floodfire Water Blaster by Hasbro, Inc.
- R2-D2™ Bubble Machine by Imperial Toy LLC
- Razor GFD Fury by Razor USA LLC
PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for preschool-aged children (ages 3-5)
- Design & Drill Brightworks by Educational Insights
- Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center by Just Play
- Guidecraft™ IO Blocks® 114 Piece Set by Guidecraft
- Miles from Tomorrowland Stellosphere by TOMY International
- PlayTape by InRoad Toys
- Razor Jr. Lil’Crazy by Razor USA LLC
- Uptown Espresso Kitchen by KidKraft LLC
PROPERTY OF THE YEAR
Property that had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry
- Jurassic World (Universal Partnerships & Licensing)
- Minions (Universal Partnerships & Licensing)
- NERF (Hasbro, Inc.)
- Paw Patrol (Spin Master Corp.)
- Shopkins (Moose Toys Pty Ltd)
- Skylanders SuperChargers (Activision Publishing, Inc.)
- Star Wars (Disney/Lucasfilm Licensing)
SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers
- Boogie Board Play n’ Trace Doodle Pad by Kent Displays, Inc.
- Nursery Time Elmo by Gund
- Sleepy Seas Sound & Lights Whale by Gund
- SpinAgain by Fat Brain Toy Co.
- SuperMax the Turtle by Cloud b
- Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run by Learning Resources
- Worry Eaters by The Haywire Group