US TOY FAIR: Zhu Zhu Pets take Toy of the Year award

The TIA hosted the Toy of the Year Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night.
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Zhu Zhu Pets from Cepia took the overall Toy of the Year Winner. The rest of the 12 categories were awarded as follows:

Activity Toy of the Year - Crayon Town by Wild Planet Entertainment

Boy Toy of the Year - Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid by Spin Master

Educational Toy of the Year - Mindstorms NXT 2.0 by Lego Systems

Entertainment Toy of the Year - Rubik's Touchcube by Techno Source

Game of the Year - Sort it OUt by University Games
Girl Toy of the Year - Zhu Zhu Pets by Cepia

Infant Toy of the Year - Crayola Beginnings Colour Me a Song by Crayola

Innovative Toy of the Year - Zhu Zhu Pets by Cepia

Outdoor Toy of the Year - My First Scooter by Radio Flyer

Pre-School Toy of the Year - Joint winners - Tonka Chuck and Friends My Talking Truck by Playskool (Hasbro) and Bilibo by Active People

Property of the Year - Bakugan by Cartoon Network

Speciality Toy of the Year - Captain Owen's Dolphin Explorer Boat by Sprig Toys

The awards winners were selected by members of the Toy of The Year Nominations Committee, a group comprised of retailers, academics, toy journalists and inventors.

Also announced at the ceremony were two inductions into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Established in in 1984, the Hall of Fame honours individuals who have made a significant mark on the American Toy Industry.

The first new member was John Lasseter (pictured accepting his award), chief creative officer of the Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios and principal creative advisor of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Lasseter has won two Academy Awards and oversees all films and projects from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

The posthumous award was presented to Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart Stores. Between the opening of the first store in 1962 and Walton's death in 1988, the chain opened more that 1,700 stores in the US. By the end of the 20th century, Walmart had become the world's largest retailer.

Carter Keithley, TIA president commented: "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 kick off Toy Fair 2010.

"Tonight's event pays tribute to the creative professionals and fun and innovative products that make our industry so great."

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