The Toy Industry Association this year welcomes 284 first time exhibitors to the show. Major industry players, Mattel and Bandai, will also exhibit exclusively at the Javits Center this year.
Bandai previously showed its products at a private New York City showroom and Mattel utilized both a private showroom and booth space at Javits. This year, Mattel is showcasing all products in the Galleria exhibit space overlooking the main floor.
The awards were the first of the events to take place, honouring the best in toys and children’s entertainment, as well as outstanding individuals, companies and team achievements, including 11 categories and one overall Toy of the Year recognition.
Awards were as follows:
Activity toy of the year: Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush – Crayola LLC
Boy toy of the year: Bakugan Battle Brawlers Battle Pack Series 1 Spheres – Spin Master.
Educational toy of the year: LeapFrog TAG Reading System – LeapFrog.
Girl toy of the year: Playmobil Horse Farm – Playmobil USA.
Electronic entertainment toy of the year: FurReal Friends
Biscuit My Lovin' Pup – Hasbro.
Game of the year: Bananagrams – Bananagrams.
Infant/pre-school toy of the year: Elmo Live – Fisher-Price/Mattel.
Most innovative toy of the year: Air Hogs Zero Gravity Micro – Spin Master.
Property of the year: Bakugan Battle Brawlers – Cartoon Network
Outdoor toy of the year: Crayola 3D Sidewalk Chalk – Crayola.
Specialty toy of the year: Create Your Own Pop-Up Books – Creativity for Kids/Faber-Castell USA
Toy of the Year – Bakugan Battle Brawlers Battle Pack Series 1 Spheres – Spin Master
Two accolades were also awarded to the Toy Industry Hall of Fame for Joan Ganz Cooney, the co-founder of Sesame Street Workshop, and Jack Pressman (deceased), founder of Pressman Toy.
Established in 1984, the Hall of Fame honours individuals who have made a significant mark on the American toy industry. More than 50 individuals are already on the roster.
Carter Keithley, president of TIA said: “The Toy Industry Association is pleased to honor the great companies and ingenious individuals who create products that delight children of every age.
"Gathering with colleagues from across the industry and coming together in celebration of the TOTY Award winners and the Toy Industry Hall of Fame inductees is a wonderful way to kickoff the first day of Toy Fair 2009.”