The Toy Industry Association has revealed its decision to drop gendered categories for its 2017 Toy of the Year Awards is to make the event more relevant in the current marketplace.
To help combat the issues of stereotypes around certain toys, for example NERF guns are often targeted at boys while dolls are designed for girls, the TIA hopes to shake up the industry by removing gendered categories from its TOTY awards.
“Every year the Toy of the Year Awards committee reviews the categories and processes to make the awards more relevant and reflective of products in the marketplace,” Ken Seiter, VP of marketing and communications at the TIA, told ToyNews.
In a bid to shake up the awards further, accolades have been replaced for next year’s event.
Seiter added: “In addition to removing the Girl and Boy Toy of the Year categories, we changed e-Connected Toy of the Year to Tech Toy of the Year, and we changed Outdoor Toy of the Year to Outdoor/Active Toy of the Year. We also added Doll of the Year, Collectible of the Year, Construction Toy of the Year, Vehicle of the Year and Rookie of the Year.”
The company also hopes that the change will help to alter attitudes in the US, especially in toy stores across the country.
“Each retailer is going to make decisions that work best for their store, based on many factors including who their shopper is and what makes them happy,” explained Seiter.
“Some retailers have decided to move away from having what was traditionally known as a “boy” or “girl” aisle and have decided on placement in other ways.”