STEAM-inspired play, sustainability, and pop culture licensing have emerged as key themes among the winners of this year’s Independent Toy Awards, revealed this week by the awards’ organiser, Toy Shop UK.
The 14th annual iteration of the coveted awards, the ITA have been established in order to showcase what the nation’s independent toy retailer population consider to be some of the best products on the market.
The awards are unique within the industry because they are the only ones voted for by the nation’s indie toy retailers, who list themselves for free on the popular online directory.
Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal logos have been awarded in each of the 30 categories, with a number of suppliers receiving a ‘commendation’ logo for products that narrowly missed out on a top three place.
Among this year’s Gold medla winners, STEAM play, sustainability, and pop culture licensing have all emerged as keen trends. In the construction category, Greenscape Village from Arckit took home the Gold, lauded for delivering a building design tool that allows budding architects to explore their own creations while learning about architecture and the environment. Meanwhile, it was Build Your Own’s Mini Build range that took home the win in the Eco category.
Wow! Stuff chalked up another win in the Collectable category, where its Wow! Pods received praise for enabling kids and fans to build their own collection and connect to other Wow! Pods characters in seconds, while Kidicraft’s Harry Potter Plush & Puzzle secured the Gold in the Jigsaws & Puzzles category.
In the Licensed category, Ginger Fox’s Top Gear Board Game took its first place prize, while it was a solar powered Space Exploration kit from Funtime Gifts that secured the win in the STEAM category.
Toy Shop UK founder, Michael Hawkins, said: “This year’s list of winning toys features a truly diverse mix of products which I think perfectly reflects the life, characters, and occasionally eclectic nature of the independent toy retailers that bring so much to this industry.”
The Gold Medal Winners in this year’s Independent Toy Awards, are:
Advent Calendar: 1,2,3 Christmas Manger Advent Calendar – Playmobil
Baby: Family Hugs Photo Book – SES Creative
Children’s Gifts: Bath Time Unicorn World – Buddy and Barney
Collectable: Wow! Pods – Wow! Stuff
Creative: Illusion Cubes – The Happy Puzzle Company
Construction: Arckit Greenscape Village – Arckit
Dolls: Sparkle Girlz Hair Dreams – Zuru
Eco: Build Your Own Mini Build – Build Your Own
Educational: Toniebox – Tonies
Electronic: Marble Rush Adventure Set – VTech
Games (Action): The Sock Game – Asmodee
Games (Board): Go For Broke – John Adams
Games (Card): World Football Stars Top Trumps Quiz – Winning Moves
Games (Educational): Memory Matching Game (Beehive Toy Factory)
Jigsaws & Puzzles: Harry Potter Plush & Puzzle – Kidicraft
Licensed: Top Gear Board Game – Ginger Fox
Music: Mi Mic Mini Disco Cube Speaker – Wilton Bradley
Novelty: Magical Story Jars – Adventure Theme – Magical Story Jars
Outdoor: JumpKing 8’x12” Rectangular Combo Pro Trampoline – YJ Europe
Pocket Money: Galaxy Slime Play – Zimpli Kids
Preschool: Stick-O City Set – Magformers
Ride-On: TP Trike 4 in 1 – Mookie
Role Play: Doll Nursing Set – Le Toy Van
Soft: Blues Clues & You Peek A Boo Blue – Flair
Special Needs: 100 Piece Creative Pack – Connetix Tiles
STEAM: Solar SPace Exploration – Funtime Gifts
Vehicles: Fresh Metal Emergency Force Playset inc Playmat – H Grossman
Wooden: Wooden London Bus – Jaques of London
The full list of Silver and Bronze medal winners can be found here, as well as the list of companies to have received this year’s Commendation.