TOTY Award Winners Announced

More than five hundred toy industry executives and guests from around the globe gathered in New York City on February 11 to honor their peers at the 12th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

A Toy Industry Association (TIA)-administered event in support of the Toy Industry Foundation, the  gala held in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center kicked off the 109th American International Toy Fair and paid tribute to today’s superstars, tomorrow’s bright up-and-comers, and illustrious toy industry icons.

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. The new inductees join a distinguished roster of nearly 60 toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since its establishment in 1985.

Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on, retailers (mass and specialty), media, and members of the toy industry. The five ballots were weighted and used to determine the category winners as well as the overall “Toy of the Year” award.
LeapPad Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. received the coveted “Toy of the Year” title and was also awarded Educational Toy of the Year and Preschool Toy of the Year. The awards program included 77 finalists across the 11 categories.

And the winners are…

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Flashback! Child World/Children’s Palace Video Toy Chest (1990)

I was flipping through back issues of The Toy Book when I had a great childhood memory: the 1990 video toy catalog from Child World/Children’s Palace! When I was a little tot, it was my favorite “movie”! Check out the videos above and below. -Elizabeth

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New Generation of Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids Fashionality

A new set of Cabbage Patch Kids are joining the deeply rooted multi-generation brand. Jakks Pacific, Inc. and Cabbage Patch Kids property owner Original Appalachian Artworks Inc. announced the Connecting Generations campaign for the new Cabbage Patch Kids Fashionality line. The line is just like the original Cabbage Patch Kids but with contemporary fashions and personalities that appeal to today’s kids.

Parents and grandparents can now share the joy of adopting a Cabbage Patch Kid and help younger kids create their own Cabbage Patch family tree. Jakks’ new crop of one-of-a-kind Cabbage Patch Fashionality kids are 14 inches tall with silky hair. Each Kid has a different Fashionality style that both little girls and boys can relate to. The 12 unique personalities range from “prepsters” and “skateboarders” to “girly girls” and “artsy” girls.

Just like the older generation of Cabbage Patch Kids, each Kid comes with a one-of-a-kind name, a birth certificate, and an adoption paper. As a bonus, kids will receive a unique code to download the  Cabbage Patch Kids Video “The New Kid.” The new Cabbage Patch Kids are available at retailers nationwide for $34.99 and is for ages 3 and up.

Bleacher Creatures: Fun for Sports Fans

Young sports fans can now have their favorite professional sports team player wherever they go. New products from Bleacher Creatures include a line of plush characters, hand puppets, and wind-up toys that are fully recognizable as today’s biggest athletes.

The plush line-up includes a 14-inch character, a seven-inch character, and a hand puppet. Each Bleacher Creature comes dressed in the player’s authentic team uniform. The initial line includes stars from the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Basketball Association (NBA).

In addition to plush characters, there are wind-up toys representing players and teams. Items include wind-up footballs, helmets, jerseys, and more. Bleacher Creatures products are for ages 3 and up, and are available in stores and online.

Barbie’s First Commerical, Circa 1959

ah, the good old days… ;)

Buildable Figures from Playmobil

It may be hot outside, but The Toy Book just got a preview of Playmobil’s holiday lineup. New from the company are Playmobil Figures, which will be available in August. The line offers 12 different boy figures and 12 different girl figures, which come in a surprise mystery package.

The figures come unassembled in the package, allowing children to put them together themselves. Children can interchange the parts on various Playmobil figures to make new characters with the pieces they get in the package. The figures retail for $ 2.99 and are for ages 5 and up.

ZhuZhu Pets to Star in Animated Movies

Cepia LLC, the maker of ZhuZhu Pets, has partnered with Universal Pictures for a worldwide television rights and home entertainment deal that will see the release of two feature-length, animated films, Quest for Zhu and Power of Zhu. The films will debut exclusively on DVD this year and next year, respectively. Los Angeles-based Moonscoop (Jakers, Clifford, The Big Red Dog, and Chloe’s Closet) will produce the film, while Sean Catherine Derek (Smurfs, Spiderman, and Mortal Combat) will serve as the writer. 3-D animation studio Prana Animation Studios, Inc. (TRON: Legacy and Tinker Bell) will bring the Zhu-niverse to life in 3-D stereoscopic animation. Both movies star the four original ZhuZhu Pets characters (Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, NumNums, and Chunk), who explore the Zhu-niverse through adventurous, heartwarming, and heroic tales.

Debit Swipe Fees to be Cut

According to the Associated Press, the Senate voted Wednesday to let the Federal Reserve cut fees that banks charge stores when purchases are made by using a debit card. Senators who did not support the proposal fell six votes short of the 60 that were needed to decline the price cut (a vote of 54-45). Currently, stores are charged 44 cents for every debit card that is swiped, which amounts to more than $16 million annually to banks and credit card companies.

In the suggested revised plan, the Federal Reserve wants to limit charges to 12 cents for every debit card transaction. A final ruling on the issue must be made by July 21.


Check Out This Video of TIF Spreading Smiles

Check out this video that showcases all the smiles spread because of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) in 2010. Donations from Toy Bank supporters, corporate patrons, Leaders Circle members, and charity partners helped more than 550,000 children this past year.

Tatty Teddy Partners for Plush in the U.S.

Tatty Teddy is headed to North America with a licensing agreement between UK-based Carte Blanche Greeting, Ltd.’s brand Me to You and U.S. plush toy firm Douglas. The licensing deal was brokered by Stone America Licensing.

Douglas will produce and distribute the Me to You brand’s Tatty Teddy bears, targeting premium retail stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to everyday offerings, the Tatty Teddy collection will include products for key seasons, including Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.

Taty Teddy