The Year’s Most Outstanding Toys and Games Honored at TOTY Awards

Rainbow LoomOn February 15, the eve of American International Toy Fair, hundreds of toy executives and industry guests gathered at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City for the 14th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Rainbow Loom, from Choon’s Design LLC, won Toy of the Year as well as prizes in three additional categories, while GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine, from GoldieBlox Inc., took home the People’s Choice award by pulling in the most online votes from consumers.

The event also featured five inductions into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Jill Barad, former chairman and CEO, Mattel; Horst Brandstätter, president and owner, Playmobil/geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG; Jack Friedman, former chairman, CEO, and co-founder, Jakks Pacific; and Arthur “Spud” Melin and Richard Knerr, co-founders of Wham-O Toy. [Read more...]

Ashley Mady Elected New President of Women in Toys

Feb10.AshleyHeadshotThe Woman in Toys Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Ashley Mady as the organization’s new president, effective April 1. Mady is currently president and founder of Brandberry Inc. In addition, she has been an active board member of the South Florida Chapter Chair, co-chair of the Wonder Woman in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards Dinner for several years, and chairs the Web and Social Media Committees.

The announcement coincides with the 10th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards. Joan Packard Luks, president of Woman in Toys since August 2010, will receive the 2014 Presidents Award. Mady is Luk’s successor as president of the organization.

Safari Ltd.’s Wild Safari Gyropsaurus Wins Prehistoric Times’ Dinosaur of the Year

dinosaurSafari Ltd. has received Prehistoric Times magazine‘s 2013 Dinosaur of the Year award for its Wild Safari Gyrposaurus. Prehistoric Times magazine caters to both retail stores and individual dinosaur enthusiasts. The magazine is celebrating its 20th year in distribution. The staff and the retailers that were canvassed gave strong support for the Gyrposaurus.

Safari Ltd.’s Wild Life dinosaur collection features high-quality figures with a great amount of detail and accuracy. The company is a third-generation, educational toy company whose mission is to teach children the importance of nature and its conservation through the joy of play.

Vote for Your Favorite 2014 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Finalist

toty14-logoThe toy industry has its 84 toy, game, and property finalists for the 2014 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY), according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The annual TOTY awards program is sponsored by the toy industry to recognize the top toys available across 12 categories—from e-connected to activity to educational and outdoor toys.

The 2014 finalists represent 68 unique products or properties from 41 companies, and were selected from more than 520 nominees submitted for consideration by 153 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Through January 13, toy lovers of all ages can visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings. Each vote is a chance to win one of twelve TOTY prize packages filled with the toys and games featured in each category.

[Read more...]

2013 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

NationalToyHallofFameThe game of chess joins the rubber duck as honored toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that included bubbles, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, Pac-Man, scooter, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

During the National Toy Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at The Strong in Rochester, N.Y., on November 7, cartoonist Leigh Rubin (Rubes) presented two original commemorative cartoons, which he created in honor of the newest toy hall honorees.

WIT Accepts Nominations for 2014 Wonder Women Awards

WITAwardsWomen in Toys (WIT) is accepting nominations for the 10th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Awards. Winners will be announced at an awards dinner scheduled for February 17 during Toy Fair Week. The awards program recognizes and celebrates leaders, innovators, and other powerful women who have made lasting contributions to the toy and entertainment industries.

Industry stakeholders are invited to nominate a co-worker, client, associate, family member, or acquaintance for consideration in one or more of the following categories: designer/inventor, licensing and entertainment, manufacturer, rising star, marketing PR, and retailer. Nominations may be submitted online, and tickets are currently available for purchase at the WIT site.

The awards dinner will take place at Pier Sixty and The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

ABC Kids Expo Presents K.I.D.S. with $75,000 Donation Check

16271_10151422986059781_181970439_n

Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S), a global children’s charity, will receive a $75,000 donation from Larry Schur, president of All Baby & Child Corp., on behalf of the ABC Kids Expo. K.I.D.S President Denise Williams will accept the check at a ceremony at the Las Vegas Convention Center on October 16 at 10 a.m.

Voting Opens for 2013 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards

TAGIE.AwardsThese nominees for the annual Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards in the categories of toy design, game design, young inventor, and rising star were selected by industry colleagues. Now the public is invited to place their votes before the annual award show taking place in November as part of the 11th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

The 2013 TAGIE Award nominees are as follows:

Excellence in Toy Design

  • Bruce Lund, inventor of the Dino Construction Company Line
  • Cheong Choon Ng, inventor of Rainbow Loom
  • Jon Paul Capriola, inventor of ZippyDo
  • Sean Frawley, inventor of Aero Force Flight Designs: “Ultra-Light/Extended Flight” Gliders/ Wind Ups/ Power Gliders
  • Wim Ouboter, inventor of Microlino Airseat Hybrid

[Read more...]

TIA Opens Nominations for 2014 TOTY Awards, Board of Directors

toty14-logoThe Toy Industry Association Inc. (TIA) is accepting toy, game, and property submissions across 12 categories for the 2014 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. The nomination period will close at 5 p.m. PST on October 11. Finalists will be unveiled on November 25; winners will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony in February 2014.

Toy companies, inventors, retailers, and others are invited to nominate contenders; all submissions should include a brief, 50-word description plus a statement—up to 300 words—explaining why the product or property is deserving of recognition on the TOTY Awards ballot. Products must have been introduced to the marketplace within the past two years and must be available at retail in the U.S. on or before November 25 of this year. Each submission is $75 for TIA members and $125 for non-members. For more information, visit the TOTY website or email toty@toyassociation.org.

TIA also invites all members to submit candidates for seats on its Board of Directors. The board is responsible for the management and control of the activities, property, and affairs of TIA, including the strategic direction of the association, the annual budget, and the scope of responsibilities of the board and its committees.

The criteria that will be considered by the nominating committee for each nominee includes commitment to attend regularly scheduled board meetings each year and, as appropriate, other relevant TIA-sponsored events; and professional skills and experience (e.g., finance, law, marketing, etc.) that may be of value to the board.

All nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on October 11. More information, including criteria and where to submit nominations, can be found through TIA’s website.

Voting Opens for 2014 Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees

HallofFame2014logoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has opened its annual ballot to determine the next inductees into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The voting period will extend to September 13. This year’s candidates were chosen from a slate of 24 highly-qualified nominees submitted for consideration by members of the Hall of Fame (HOF) Committee. All of the nominees left notable marks on the North American toy industry.

Living candidates for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

  •     Jill Barad, former CEO, Mattel
  •     Horst Brandstätter, president and sole owner, PLAYMOBIL/geobra Brandstätter GmbH & Co. KG
  •     Thomas Chan, chairman and CEO, Playmates Toys Inc.
  •     Joel Glickman, founder, K’NEX Brands
  •     Bruce Raiffe, president, Gund, division of Enesco, LLC

Candidates for posthumous induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame included:

Responses are due by September 13. Designated points of contact at TIA member companies, former Hall of Fame inductees, and recent TIA Board members are invited to rank their choices in the living and posthumous categories.

The inductees will be honored during the Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards ceremony on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which officially launches Toy Fair Week in New York City.