MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! took home the coveted top honor at the annual US Toy of The Year Awards, which opened the New York Toy Fair over the weekend. Now in its 19th year, the annual show handed out a fitting 19 awards for the 2019 show.
In addition, the MGA won Doll of the Year for L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps and License of the Year, as well as Playset Toy of the Year for L.O.L. Surprise! House—an award it shared with LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster.
The Danish brickmaker equaled MGA with the most trophies this year, notching wins in the construction, collectibles and specialty toy categories, on top of its playset toy title. LEGO and Mattel led the pack this year with nine nominations apiece.
The latter, which recently reported better-than-expected Q4 2018 earnings, racked up a trio of awards—Action Figure of the Year for Mattel Jurassic World Dinosaur Action Figures, Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year for Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Learning Home and Preschool Toy of the Year for Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus.
Canadian toyco Spin Master, meanwhile, scored a pair of awards in the Vehicle and Creative Toy of the Year categories for PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck and Cool Maker KumiKreator, respectively.
Another notable win went to TeeTurtle’s Unstable Unicorns for the People’s Choice Award, a distinction selected solely by consumer votes cast online. (Overall TOTY winners were picked based on votes from mass and specialty toy retailers, media, Toy Association members and consumers.)
There ceremony also featured the inductions of current Hasbro CEO and chairman Brian Goldner, late Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee and late Kenner Products president Joe Mendelsohn into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
In other toy awards handed out over the weekend, global market research company The NPD Group named L.O.L. Surprise! as Top Property of the Year and Top-Selling Toy of the Year at its seventh annual US Toy Industry Performance Awards. According to NPD, more than US$1.67 billion worth of L.O.L. Surprise! dolls were sold worldwide in 2018. (The awards were presented to the manufacturers of the top-selling property and toy of 2018 in the US, as well as the top-selling toys by supercategory, according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.)
Finally, rounding out the Toy Fair-timed awards, Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment (WIT) revealed the winners of the 15th-annual Wonder Women Awards, which recognize the best and the brightest women making an impact in toys, licensing and entertainment. The winners included, Pam Kaufman from Viacom Nickelodeon as Mentor of the Year and Target’s Gaye Dean as Retailer of the Year. Other winners included: Spin Master’s Amy Pruzansky, Creator/Inventor; Sesame Workshop’s Gabriela Arena, Licensing; LEGO Systems’s Nancy Sanchez, Manufacturing; NPD’s Juli Lennett, Marketing; The Toy Association’s Marian Bossard, Sales; Hasbro’s Amy Knight, Corporate Social Responsibility. Wicked Cool Toys’ Chrissy Helmich and Spin Master’s Kate Nichols shared the title of Rising Star/Corporate, while Marsisa Louie (Animoodles), and Natalie Rebot (Moonlite World), share the title of Rising Star/Independent. Finally, Mila and Emma picked up the honor of Wonder Girls.
The complete winners’ list is as follows and can be found here:
Toy of the Year – L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment
People’s Choice Award – Unstable Unicorns by TeeTurtle
Collectible of the Year – LEGO Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Minifigure Series by LEGO Systems
Action Figure of the Year – Mattel Jurassic World Dinosaur Action Figures by Mattel
Creative Toy of the Year – Cool Maker KumiKreator by Spin Master
Construction Toy of the Year – LEGO Harry Potter Great Hall by LEGO Systems
Game of the Year – Disney Villainous Game by Wonder Forge by Ravensburger
Doll of the Year – L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps by MGA Entertainment
Innovative Toy of the Year – Botley the Coding Robot Activity Set by Learning Resources
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year – Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Learning Home by Mattel
Outdoor Toy of the Year – Glove-A-Bubbles by Zing
License of the Year – L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment
Plush Toy of the Year (tie) – Scruff-A-Luvs by Moose Toys and Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie by Hasbro
Playset of the Year (tie) – LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster by LEGO Systems and L.O.L. Surprise! House by MGA Entertainment
Rookie of the Year – Ollyball – The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball! by VICTURY Sports
Preschool Toy of the Year – Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus by Mattel
Speciality Toy of the Year – LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle by LEGO Systems
Tech Toy of the Year – Arcade1Up by Tastemakers
Vehicle of the Year – PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck by Spin Master & Nickelodeon
Here are the top-selling toys by supercategory, according to NPD:
Action Figures & Accessories – Beyblade Burst Evolution Assortment by Hasbro
All Other Toys – Soft’n Slo Squishies Sweet Shop Assortment by ORB Toys
Arts & Crafts – Play-Doh Classic Colors Theme Assortment by Hasbro
Building Sets – LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall by The LEGO Group
Dolls – L.O.L. Surprise! Doll Assortment by MGA Entertainment
Games & Puzzles – UNO Card Game Assortment by Mattel
Infant/Toddler/Preschool Toys – Paw Patrol Basic Vehicle & Pup Assortment by Spin Master
Outdoor & Sports Toys – Bunch O Balloons 3 Pack by Zuru
Plush – Beanie Boos Regular Assortment by TY
Vehicles – Hot Wheels Singles 1:64 Assortment by Mattel
Youth Electronics – Kidizoom Smartwatch DX Assortment by VTech
Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment (WIT) winners:
Mentor of the Year – Pam Kaufman, Viacom Nickelodeon
Retailer of the Year – Gaye Dean, Target
Wonder Girls – Mila and Emma
Creator/Inventor – Amy Pruzansky, Spin Master
Licensing – Gabriela Arenas, Sesame Workshop
Manufacturing – Nancy Sanchez, LEGO Systems
Marketing – Juli Lennett, NPD
Rising Star/Corporate – Chrissy Helmich, Wicked Cool Toys; Kate Nichols, Spin Master
Rising Star/Independent – Marissa Louie, Animoodles; Natalie Rebot, Moonlite World
Sales – Marian Bossard, The Toy Association
Social Responsibility – Amy Knight, Hasbro
Photo credit: Elizabeth Foster