FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Top Toys & Games Honored at Annual Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY) Gala
Construction & Collectible Toys Take Home Prestigious Prizes:
LEGO® Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster Named “Toy of the Year”
Pop! from Funko, LLC Wins “People’s Choice” Vote
New York, NY | February 17, 2017 – The top playthings and most inspiring individuals from the toy industry were honored this evening at the 17th annual Toy of the Year Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony, hosted by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.
The big winners of the night were LEGO® Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster, taking home the prestigious “Toy of the Year” award, and Pop! from Funko, LLC, which won the coveted “People’s Choice” award for gaining the most votes from consumers. In total, awards were handed out in 14 categories:
- Action Figure of the Year: DC Super Hero Girls™ Action Figure Assortment from Mattel, Inc.
- Active/Outdoor Toy of the Year: Bunch O Balloons from Zuru
- Activity Toy of the Year: Crayola Air Marker Sprayer from Crayola, LLC
- Collectible of the Year: Pop! from Funko, LLC
- Construction Toy of the Year: LEGO® Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster from LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Doll of the Year: Barbie® Fashionista™ Doll from Mattel, Inc.
- Game of the Year: Yeti in My Spaghetti from PlayMonster!
- Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year: Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Care Cart from Just Play
- Innovative Toy of the Year: Hatchimals from Spin Master Ltd.
- License of the Year: Paw Patrol™ from Spin Master Ltd.
- Rookie of the Year: 3DoodlerStart Essentials Pen Set from WobbleWorks
- Specialty Toy of the Year: LEGO® Disney Castle from LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Tech Toy of the Year: CodeGamer from Thames & Kosmos
- Vehicle of the Year: Air Hogs Star Wars X-Wing vs. Death Star - Rebel Assault from Spin Master Ltd.
“This year’s TOTY winners truly run the gamut, from quirky collectibles and skill-building construction toys, to family games and educational tech toys … But there is one thing they all have in common: they bring fun, laughter, and learning to kids!” said Steve Pasierb, TIA president & chief executive. “Honoring the best and brightest toys and industry luminaries is a great tradition for TIA and the entire toy and play community. We congratulate this year’s TOTY finalists, an exceptional collection of TOTY winners, and our esteemed Hall of Fame inductees, and thank them for bringing memorable play experiences to families worldwide.”
During the ceremony, three industry greats were inducted into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Peter Eio, former president of LEGO Systems, Inc., the late Ray Larsen, founder of RLA Marketing, and the late Sydney Rosen, former chairman of Rose-Art Industries. They join an impressive roster of 71 toy industry luminaries, including Jim Henson and George Lucas, who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984. The gala also included a special presentation by the Toy Industry Foundation, which brings toys to millions of children in need around the world.
Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards ceremony annually attracts hundreds of global toy executives and guests. Several new categories were introduced for this year’s program, including Action Figure of the Year, Collectible of the Year, Construction Toy of the Year, Doll of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Vehicle of the Year. Additionally, a more transparent and efficient judging process was used to determine the finalists. Winners in each category were selected based on votes from toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, TIA members, and consumers. The “People’s Choice” award winner was selected solely by consumer votes cast at www.ToyAwards.org.
Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found online at ToyAwards.org. Winners were selected from a pool of 700 finalists that were nominated by 25 judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists.
The TOTY Awards serve as the official kick off to the 114th North American International Toy Fair and support the philanthropic work of the Toy Industry Foundation.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)
TIA 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. TIA is the owner and operator of the North American International Toy Fair, held annually in New York City. The Association serves as the industry’s voice on the cognitive, social, emotional, and creative benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. TIA 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. For more information, please visit www.toyassociation.org, www.toyfairny.com, or www.thegeniusofplay.org.
About the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
The Toy Industry Foundation brings the joy of play to children in need through core programs including The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations with like-minded missions. The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them through local charities to underserved, at-risk, and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world.