The Outdoor Toy Awards is making its return for 2021

The Outdoor Toy Awards is making a return for 2021, offering specialists across the sector the chance to be crowned the ‘must-haves for get-out and play time,’ and securing coverage within national children’s publications ahead of the summer.

Organised and founded by Toyology’s Peter Jenkinson, the Outdoor Toy Awards 2021 promise to “do things a bit differently this year,” with ten categories to each be adopted by different media outlets, who will sent their collection of outdoor toys to be tested by readers, listeners, and presenters.

“Each one will then feedback to the Outdoor Toy Awards HQ with their judging set on various supplied criteria,” said Jenkinson. “At the end, video footage and imagery of the toys undergoing testing will be made available for brands to use across their channels and also create a final video edit which will be put together from the clips we have gathered.

“It is a logistical challenge but the brands we’ve spoken to so far are keen to help us make it happen, we’re getting great support and receiving positive feedback that we’re taking it all on.”

The ten categories within this year’s Outdoor Toy Awards, are: Climbing and Adventure, Sport and Splash Fun, Outdoor Games, Science and Nature, Ride On, Trampolines, PreSchool Play, Battle & Blaster Toys, Houses, Tents & Hideaways and Flying Toys. 

The #OTA21 will be working across several titles in the DC Thompson portfolio, including 110% Gaming, Animals and You, Jacqueline Wilson, and Unicorn Universe titles.

“We’re excited to be part of the Outdoor Toy Awards, getting the kids up and active is a trend that is certainly on the increase and with a rise in Staycations likely this year outdoor toys are going to play a huge part,” said Gary Whelan, publisher at DC Thompson Media.

Outdoor games along with Science and Nature products will be overseen by the enthusiastic presenters at Fun Kids Radio.

Sam Howard, head of sales, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting the Outdoor Toy Awards this year. Fun Kids listeners are active and curious so it’s great to be telling them about all the new outdoor kit on offer in 2021.”

Meanwhile, Martin Roberts, presenter of Home under the Hammer and self-confessed toy fan, will take charge of the hideaways and dens category.

“I’m excited to be testing these shrunken play places for kids,” he said. “It gets them off their electronics and  in to the fresh air.”

Nick Gibbs Mcneil, founder of Kidzcoolit, added: “Playing outside, especially during the summer is the quintessential essence of childhood. Some of our best memories come from hanging out with friends or just sitting on a swing in the garden with a squash in hand talking to the family dog in the beaming summer sunshine.  

“The Outdoor Toy Awards is one of our annual events ‘my Kidz’ always ask “Are we going this Year?” with great excitement at the prospect of being part of it again. There are few play experiences that can compete on the same level as being outside.

“Kidzcoolit has always been very proud to support the event and this incredibly important part of the toy industry.”

Testing will take place throughout April with the winners being notified early May. For more information and to grab an entry form email – 

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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