The 12th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and hall of fame induction ceremony took place on Saturday, February 11 in New York kicking off the 109th American International Toy Fair.
Arnie Rubin, Founder and CEO of Funrise Toy, and the late Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder of FAO Schwarz, were inducted into the hall of fame joining nearly 60 other toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the hall of fame since it was created in 1985.
Award winners for the event were selected with the input of consumers, retailers (mass and specialty), media and members of the toy industry. Five ballots – open from November 21, 2011 to January 15, 2012 – were weighted and used to determine the category winners as well as the overall Toy of the Year award.
And the winners are…
Activity Toy of the Year – Lego NINJAGO Fire Temple by LEGO Systems
Boy Toy of the Year – Hot Wheels Wall Tracks by Mattel
Educational Toy of the Year – LeapPad Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises
Game of the Year – Angry Birds Knock on Wood Game by Mattel
Girl Toy of the Year – Fijit Friends Interactive Figures by Mattel / Radica
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year – Elefun Busy Ball Popper by Hasbro / Playskool
Innovative Toy of the Year – Hot Wheels Wall Tracks by Mattel
Outdoor Toy of the Year – Rockboard Scooter – Mini by M.Y. Products LLC
Preschool Toy of the Year- LeapPad Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises
Property of the Year – Angry Birds by Rovio Entertainment Ltd/ Striker Entertainment (Licensing Agent)
Specialty Toy of the Year – HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs
Finalists were selected from nearly 600 products and properties submitted for consideration. 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 77 finalists.