NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of toy executives and industry guests from around the world gathered in New York City tonight to honor the year's finest toys and industry luminaries at the 14th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
A TIA-administered event in support of the philanthropic work of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), the "Oscars" of the toy industry took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, kicking off the 111th American International Toy Fair.
Rainbow Loom – the hot-selling arts & crafts toy from Choon's Design LLC – was the runaway success of the evening, taking home the overall "Toy of the Year" award and prizes in three additional categories. Social media and Super Bowl ad sensation GoldieBlox™ and the Spinning Machine (GoldieBlox™, Inc.) snagged the admirable "People's Choice" award for pulling in the most online votes from consumers and was also awarded a prize in one additional category. [SEE FULL LIST OF CATEGORY WINNERS BELOW]
"This year's top TOTY winners are outstanding examples of the magical and creative playthings that originate from innovative toy companies of all sizes," said Carter Keithley, TIA President. "We congratulate Choon's Design, Goldieblox, and the winners across all 12 categories – from e-Connected to Outdoor – for their wonderful achievements!"
Interspersed with the awards presentation was a special tribute to the Toy Industry Foundation, which gifted more than three million toys and games to children in need worldwide in 2013 alone. The event also welcomed the induction of five individuals into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Jill Barad, Former Chairman and CEO, Mattel; Horst Brandstatter, President and Sole Owner, PLAYMOBIL/geobra Brandstatter GmbH & Co. KG; Jack Friedman, Former Chairman, CEO and Co-founder, JAKKS Pacific; and Arthur "Spur" Melin & Richard Knerr, Co-Founders of Wham-O Toy. These new inductees join a distinguished roster of dozens of luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since its establishment in 1985.
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.
And the winners are…
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that inspires creative play through various forms of activity, the Activity Toy of the Year was presented to Rainbow Loom (Choon's Design LLC)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for boys of any age, the Boy Toy of the Year was presented to Despicable Me 2™ Special Feature Minion Dave Talking Action Figure (Thinkway 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 LeapPad Ultra™ (LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that helps children develop special skills and knowledge through play, the Educational Toy of the Year was presented to GoldieBlox™ and the Spinning Machine (GoldieBlox™, Inc.)
- Recognizing an outstanding children's board, card, CD-ROM or electronic game, the Game of the Year was presented to Boom Boom Balloon™ (Spin Master Ltd.)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for girls of any age, the Girl Toy of the Year was presented to Rainbow Loom (Choon's Design LLC)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for infants and toddlers up to 36 months, the Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year was presented to Big Hugs Elmo (Playskool)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that combines innovation and play value, the Innovative Toy of the Year was presented Zoomer (Spin Master Ltd.)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that is designed for outdoor play, the Outdoor Toy of the Year was presented to Razor® Crazy Cart™ (Razor USA LLC)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy developed for preschool-aged children (ages 3-5), the Preschool Toy of the Year was presented to Doc McStuffins Get Better Check-Up Center (Just Play)
- Recognizing a property that has had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry, Property of the Year was presented to Minecraft™ (Mojang AB)
- Recognizing an outstanding toy that is distributed primarily through specialty toy retailers, the Specialty Toy of the Year was presented to Rainbow Loom (Choon's Design LLC)
Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found online at ToyAwards.org. The nominees were carefully selected by committees of academics, journalists, retailers, and more who considered 520 submitted products and properties.
Event sponsors for the evening were Spin Master Ltd., VTech, WELLS FARGO ADVISORS Fuchs Schulman Wealth Management Group (gold level); Dallas Market Center, Coyne PR (silver level); Educational Insights, Keller & Heckman LLP, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., TekConn, Gourvitz Communications (bronze level); and Women in Toys and Locker, Greenberg & Brainin (friends).
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA) (www.toyassociation.org)
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages, representing more than 700 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 and works with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
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.
SOURCE Toy Industry Association