Top toys and games as well as three legendary individuals from the toy and entertainment industries were honoured at the 19th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony late last week.
More than 700 toy, play, and youth entertainment industry executives attended the sold-out event, which took place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. Proceeds from the awards program and event supported The Toy Foundation’s charitable work to bring toys to millions of children in need.
L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment received the distinguished “Toy of the Year” award. Unstable Unicorns by TeeTurtle, LLC won the coveted “People’s Choice” award for gaining the most votes from consumers.
TOTY awards were handed out in 17 categories and given to the following:
- Action Figure of the Year: Mattel Jurassic World™ Dinosaur Action Figures by Mattel, Inc.
- Collectible of the Year: LEGO Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ Minifigure Series by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Construction Toy of the Year: LEGO Harry Potter™ Great Hall™ by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Creative Toy of the Year: Cool Maker KumiKreator by Spin Master
- Doll of the Year: L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps by MGA Entertainment
- Game of the Year: Disney Villainous™ Game by Wonder Forge by Ravensburger
- Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Learning Home™ by Mattel, Inc.
- Innovative Toy of the Year: Botley™ the Coding Robot Activity Set by Learning Resources
- License of the Year: L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment
- Outdoor Toy of the Year: Glove-A-Bubbles by Zing
- Playset Toy of the Year (tie): LEGO Creator Expert Roller Coaster by LEGO Systems, Inc. and L.O.L. Surprise! House by MGA Entertainment
- Plush of the Year (tie): Scruff-A-Luvs by Moose Toys and Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie by Hasbro, Inc.
- Preschool Toy of the Year: Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus™ by Mattel, Inc.
- Rookie of the Year: Ollyball – The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball! by VICTURY Sports
- Specialty Toy of the Year: LEGO Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Castle by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Tech Toy of the Year: Arcade1Up by Tastemakers LLC
- Vehicle of the Year: PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck by Spin Master & Nickelodeon
During the ceremony, three new members were inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in Brian Goldner, chairman and CEO, Hasbro, Inc., the late Stan Lee, former editor-in-chief, publisher, and chairman of Marvel Comics, and the late Joe Mendelsohn, former president of Kenner Products.
They join a roster of 71 toy industry luminaries, including Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney and LEGO’s Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, since the Hall of Fame was established in 1984.
"On the eve of Toy Fair New York, a sold-out TOTY Awards gala underscores the health and vitality of the toy manufacturing and retail community as we focus on building successes in year ahead together," said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association.
“Honouring the contributions of Brian Goldner, Stan Lee, and Joe Mendelsohn, together with a remarkable line up of TOTY finalists, is testament to the innovation, passion, and talent seen across the toy community. It’s certain to be a spectacular night of celebration and remembrance."
The category winners were selected based on votes from toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, Toy Association members, and consumers. Accounting firm Tate & Tryon confirmed voting calculations and verified the 2019 Toy of the Year category winners.
The overall “Toy of the Year” winners were determined by an expert panel that discussed all the finalists before rendering a decision based on TOTY votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online, and social). The “People’s Choice” award winner was selected solely by consumer votes cast online. Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found at ToyAwards.org.
The TOTY Awards serve as the official kick off to the 116th North American International Toy Fair. All proceeds from the TOTY program and event contribute critical funding to The Toy Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children in need.