Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has revealed the winners of the 2021 Play for Change Awards.
The winning entries were announced by jury chairman John Baulch during a virtual ceremony during which EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, underlined the important role of the toy sector in driving positive change in children’s lives.
Over 80 high-quality toys and initiatives were submitted in the three categories of Empowerment, Sustainability and Future Skills, with the eventual winners selected by three juries of independent experts.
In the Empowerment category – entries that truly made children believe in themselves by challenging stereotypes and making play more accessible – Miniland took home the Gold Award for their Miniland Dolls with Down Syndrome. Silver went to Mattel for the Barbie Message Against Racism, while The LEGO Group scored bronze for LEGO Braille Bricks (the LEGO Foundation).
LEGO and Miniland scored again in the Future Skills category, which focuses on toys that stimulate skills kids need for the future such as critical thinking, problem solving, resilience and tech literacy. This time, LEGO Group won gold for their LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime Set, while silver went to Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG for the Cyborg-Hand, and bronze to Miniland S.A. for Amazing Inside.
The final category, Environmental Sustainability, recognises toys that educate children about the environment, companies that are front-runners in using sustainable materials, packaging and production processes or who are actively encouraging recycling. The winner was dantoy for their GREEN BEAN, while Adventerra Games took home silver for their Ecologic Puzzle & Memories, Polar Adventure and Hungry Bins. The Bronze Award went to BiOBUDDi for BiOBUDDi Pixel and Create.
For 2021, TIE decided to also recognise toy companies who responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with actions to support children and the wider community. The Special Covid-19 Commendation was awarded to Learning Resources for their Home Learning Support Project and Mattel for their #KeepPlaying Relief Efforts.
TIE’s Director General Catherine Van Reeth says: “With an almost 50 per cent rise in entries this year, toy companies are clearly increasingly engaged in the issues of empowerment, sustainability and future skills. There is so much fantastic work going on in the toy sector – we can’t wait to see what the coming years will bring.”
To find more about Toy Industries of Europe, visit https://www.toyindustries.eu/