Toy companies, inventors, and other industry representatives are invited to submit their toys, games, and licenses for consideration across a total of 17 TOTY categories through September 20.
Twenty-five judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, inventors, academics, and journalists, will use an online form to review, comment on, and rank hundreds of submitted products in specific categories that are relevant to their areas of expertise. They will consider each product’s creativity and originality; design and quality; play value; and marketing and promotion, before meeting in person to discuss and determine the roster of finalists.
Finalists will be announced to media, bloggers, and industry professionals at Play Fair’s new media preview event, to be held Friday, Nov. 3, the night before Play Fair opens to the general public. At that time, voting will open for retailers, media, Toy Association members, and consumers (at ToyAwards.org) and remain open through January 5, 2018.
One winner in each category, as well as the “People’s Choice” award (based solely on consumer votes), will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony on Friday, February 16 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City.
TOTY 2018 Categories
Action Figure of the Year
Toys that include action figures
Creative Toy of the Year (previously called Activity Toy of the Year)
Toys that allow kids to build and/or make items that are unique to them
Collectible of the Year
Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
Construction Toy of the Year
Toys that include building & engineering sets
Doll of the Year
Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls
Game of the Year
Children’s board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year (new category)
Toys that are developed for ages 0-3
Innovative Toy of the Year
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
License of the Year
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry
Outdoor Toy of the Year
Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons
Playset of the Year (new category)
Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event
Plush of the Year (new category)
Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling
Preschool Toy of the Year (new category)
Toys that are developed for ages 3-5
Rookie of the Year
A new company (created within the last 2 years) that has brought to market an outstanding toy
Specialty Toy of the Year (new description includes “not sold at mass”)
Toys that are distributed through specialty retailers and are not sold at mass
Tech Toy of the Year
Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device
Vehicle of the Year
Toys that are powered or non-powered vehicles, and their playsets / accessories