More than five hundred toy industry execs and guests from around the world gathered in New York City to honour their peers at the 12th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Interspersed with the presentations of 12 TOTY Awards were two inductions into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Arnie Rubin, founder and CEO of Funrise Toy, and the late Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder of FAO Schwarz.
“Tonight’s event was a wonderful way to celebrate the launch of Toy Fair week and recognise the absolute best in toys and children’s entertainment," said Carter Keithley, TIA president.
"Thanks to the outstanding work of the talented individuals and innovative companies honoured tonight, kids around the world are brought joy each day through play."
Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on ToyAwards.org), retailers (mass and specialty), media and members of the toy industry. The five ballots – open from November 21st, 2011 to January 15th, 2012 – were weighted and used to determine the category winners as well as the overall Toy of the Year award.
LeapPad Explorer from LeapFrog received the Toy of the Year title and was awarded Educational Toy of the Year and Pre-school Toy of the Year. The awards program included 77 finalists across the 11 categories.
And the winners are:
• Activity Toy of the Year - Lego Ninjago Fire Temple - Lego
• Boy Toy of the Year - Hot Wheels Wall Tracks - Mattel
• Educational Toy of the Year - LeapPad Explorer - LeapFrog
• Game of the Year - Angry Birds Knock On Wood Game - Mattel
• Girl Toy of the Year - Fijit Friends Interactive Figures - Mattel/Radica
• Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year - Elefun Busy Ball Popper - Hasbro/Playskool
• Innovative Toy of the Year - Hot Wheels Wall Tracks - Mattel
• Outdoor Toy of the Year - Rockboard Scooter Mini - M.Y. Products
• Pre-school Toy of the Year - LeapPad Explorer - LeapFrog
• Property of the Year - Angry Birds - Rovio Entertainment/Striker Entertainment (licensing agent)
• Specialty Toy of the Year - Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat Set - Innovation First