Interactive games and electronics may be propelling the toy industry forward in the digital age, but this year’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards have sent a clear message that offline may just be more on-trend than ever – especially among girls. Craft sensation Rainbow Loom from Choon’s Design took home the coveted Toy of the Year title as well as three category awards, while GoldiBlox’s Spinning Machine picked up the People’s Choice award at the 14th annual TIA-administered event in New York.
The winners across the 12 toy categories are:
Activity Toy of the Year – Rainbow Loom (Choon’s Design LLC)
Boy Toy of the Year – Despicable Me 2 Special Feature Minion Dave Talking Action Figure (Thinkway Toys)
Girl Toy of the Year – Rainbow Loom (Choon’s Design LLC)
e-Connected Toy of the Year – LeapPad Ultra (LeapFrog Enterprises)
Educational Toy of the Year – GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine (GoldieBlox, pictured)
Game of the Year – Boom Boom Balloon (Spin Master Ltd.)
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year – Big Hugs Elmo (Playskool)
Innovative Toy of the Year – Zoomer (Spin Master)
Outdoor Toy of the Year – Razor Crazy Cart (Razor USA)
Preschool Toy of the Year – Doc McStuffins Get Better Check-Up Center (Just Play)
Property of the Year – Minecraft (Mojang AB)
Specialty Toy of the Year – Rainbow Loom (Choon’s Design LLC)
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. The event also welcomed the induction of five industry exects into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Jill Barad, former chairman and CEO at Mattel; Horst Brandstätter, president and sole owner, PLAYMOBIL/geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG; Jack Friedman, former chairman, CEO and co-founder, JAKKS Pacific; and Arthur “Spud” Melin & Richard Knerr, co-founders of Wham-O Toy.
TOTY Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on ToyAwards.org), retailers (mass and specialty), media and members of the toy industry.
In other toy industry news, Women in Toys announced the 2014 Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards at its 10th annual dinner last night. This year’s recipients include:
Designer/Inventor: Kiyomi Haverly – Mattel, Global Brands
Licensing and Entertainment: Naz Cuevas – Rovio Entertainment Inc. and
Donna Tobin – Hasbro Inc.
Lifetime Achievement: Rita Raiffe, Design Director, GUND
Manufacturer: Stefanie Barone – MZ Berger
Marketing: Susie Lecker – Fisher Price
Public Relations: Michele Litzky – Litzky Public Relations
President’s Award: Joan Packard Luks – The Seranata Group
Retailer: Christina Jansa – Target
Rising Star: Debra Sterling – GoldieBlox