Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2012 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards; Announces Inductees into Toy Industry Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2011  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Giving families an exciting first-look at the most coveted toys and games of the year, 77 finalists for the 2012 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards were unveiled by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) today in New York City.  Toy lovers of all ages who visit ToyAwards.org now through January 15, 2012, can vote for their favorite toys and register to win fantastic prize packages.

"The annual TOTY Awards celebrate and honor the creative spirit of the toy industry," said Carter Keithley, TIA President. "This event also supports the important work of the Toy Industry Foundation, which annually distributes more than half a million new toys and games to deserving kids across the nation and around the globe."

This year's finalists – representing 67 unique products or properties from 51 companies – were selected from nearly 600 nominees submitted for consideration in eleven categories.  Nomination committees comprised of academics, journalists and toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers narrowed the field to the slate of finalists that were introduced today.

"From infants to adults, the toys and games in this year's TOTY lineup inspire imagination and creativity, promote learning and active lifestyles, and create fun play opportunities for every member of the family," said Stacy Leistner, TIA vice president of communications.  "They represent a broad array of price points and fantastic play value.  The TOTY finalists provide a great starting point for everyone's holiday shopping list."

Winners will be selected with the input of consumers, retailers (mass and specialty), media and members of the toy industry.  The five ballots – each launched during the press event and open through January 15, 2012 – will be weighted and used to determine the category winners as well as the overall "Toy of the Year" award. Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on Saturday, February 11, 2012, as the kick-off to the 109th American International Toy Fair.

The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards program is the annual Toy Industry Association-administered event in support of the inspiring work of the Toy Industry Foundation.

2012 Hall of Fame Inductees Join Toy Industry Icons
Also announced today were the next inductees into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.  Arnie Rubin, Founder and CEO of Funrise Toy Corporation, and the late Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder of FAO Schwarz, will be recognized for their outstanding contributions and service to the toy industry during the TOTY Awards ceremony in February.

More information about the TOTY Awards (including product images and descriptions), the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, the Toy Industry Association and the Toy Industry Foundation can be found in the online press room www.ToyAwards.org/Press.

About the Toy Industry Association
www.toyassociation.org
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing more than 535 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales.  Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play

ACTIVITY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity

  • Bizu Style Studio by Spin Master Ltd.
  • Crayola Glow Book by Crayola, LLC
  • HEXBUG® Nano® Hive™ Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs, Inc.
  • Kid-Tough® See Yourself™ Camera by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • LEGO® NINJAGO Fire Temple by LEGO Systems, Inc.
  • Paper Jamz Pro Series Microphone by WowWee
  • Project Runway® Fashion Design Sketch Portfolio Artist Set by Fashion Angels Enterprises®  

BOY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for boys of any age

  • BEYBLADE: METAL MASTERS PERFORMANCE TOP BATTLE TOP Assortment by Hasbro, Inc.
  • DaGeDar™ by Cepia, LLC
  • HEXBUG® Nano® Hive™ Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs, Inc.
  • Hot Wheels® Wall Tracks™ by Mattel, Inc.  
  • Lazer Stunt Chaser by Thinkway Toys
  • Star Wars® Ultimate FX Lightsaber by Hasbro, Inc.  
  • Thomas & Friends™ Trackmaster™ Cranky & Flynn Save the Day! by Fisher-Price, Inc.

EDUCATIONAL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that help children to develop special skills and knowledge through play

  • HEXBUG® Nano® Hive™ Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs, Inc.
  • InnoTab™ by VTech Electronics North America
  • LeapPad™ Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • Perplexus Original™ by PlaSmart Inc.
  • Spectacular Science by Thames & Kosmos
  • Swish™ by ThinkFun
  • Tag™ Solar System Adventure Pack by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.

GAME OF THE YEAR
Children's board, card, CD-ROM or electronic game formats.  (NOTE:  All electronic games must have an ESRB "Early Childhood" rating)

  • Angry Birds Knock On Wood Game by Mattel, Inc.
  • Hedbanz™ by Spin Master Ltd.
  • Jungle Speed by Asmodee™
  • LEGO® HEROICA™ Castle Fortaan by LEGO Systems, Inc.
  • Skylanders Spyro's Adventure™ by Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • Tetris® Link™ by Techno Source
  • UNO Roboto™ by Mattel, Inc.

GIRL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for girls of any age

  • Dora Fiesta Favorites Kitchen by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • Fijit Friends™ Interactive Figures by  Mattel, Inc. / Radica®
  • Justin Bieber Rockin' Tour Bus and Concert Stage Playset by The Bridge Direct
  • Lalaloopsy™ Silly Hair by MGA Entertainment  
  • Mini Lalaloopsy™ Treehouse by MGA Entertainment
  • Monster High™ Doll Assortment by Mattel, Inc.
  • Squinkies® Adventure Mall Surprize™ Playset by Blip Toys

INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for infant children and toddlers (ages up to 36 months)  

  • Elefun Busy Ball Popper by Hasbro / Playskool
  • Laugh & Learn™ Dance & Play Puppy by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • Let's Rock Elmo by Playskool  
  • My Busy Town™ by ALEX®
  • My Take Along 1.2.3 Noah's Ark by Playmobil®
  • Parents® Jungle Pals Stacking Puzzles™ by Manhattan Toy
  • Pocoyo SwiggleTraks™ Feature Set by Bandai America Incorporated  

INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that combine innovation and play value

  • Disney AppMATes™ Mobile Application Toys by Disney Consumer Products and Spin Master Ltd.
  • Hot Wheels® Wall Tracks™ by Mattel, Inc.
  • InnoTab™ by VTech Electronics North America
  • Lazer Stunt Chaser™ by Thinkway Toys
  • LeapPad™ Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • Skylanders Spyro's Adventure™ by Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • Spy Net Stealth Recording Video Glasses by JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys designed for outdoor play

  • 3D Twister by Silverlit
  • Gazillion Bump-N-Go Bubble Bug by Funrise Toy Corporation
  • Little Tikes® Garden Leaf & Lawn Bubble Blower by Imperial Toy, LLC
  • Nerf ® Super Soaker Thunderstorm Blaster by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Nerf ® Vortex lineup by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Rockboard® Scooter – Mini by M.Y. Products LLC
  • Xploderz™ XBlaster200 by The Maya Group

PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for preschool-aged children (ages 3-5)

  • Elefun Busy Ball Popper by Hasbro/Playskool
  • Green Toys™ Pizza Parlor by Green Toys Inc.
  • LeapPad™ Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • Let's Rock Elmo by Playskool
  • Little People® Zoo Talkers™ Animal Sounds Zoo™ by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • Pirate Ship by Box Creations
  • Richard Scarry's Busytown™ Busy, Busy Airport Game by Wonder Forge

PROPERTY OF THE YEAR
Property that had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry

  • Angry Birds™ (Rovio Entertainment Ltd/ Striker Entertainment)
  • Cars 2  ( Disney Pixar ) (Disney Consumer Products )
  • Chuggington™ (Ludorum)
  • Monster High™(Mattel)
  • Moshi Monsters™ (Mind Candy)
  • Redakai (Spin Master Ltd.)
  • The Smurfs™ (IMPS)

SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers

  • Angry Birds™ plush toys by Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co., Inc.  
  • HEXBUG® Nano® Hive™ Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs, Inc.
  • nanoblock® by The Ohio Art Company
  • Rory's Story Cubes® by Gamewright/Ceaco
  • Sticky Mosaics® Happily Ever After Jewelry Box by The Orb Factory Limited
  • Tilt™ by ThinkFun
  • Tobbles™ by Fat Brain Toy Co.

SOURCE Toy Industry Association



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http://www.toyassociation.org

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