Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

The Toy Industry Association is currently accepting toy, game, and property nominations for 12 product categories to be considered for the 2013 Toy of the Year Awards. Nominations must include a 75-word description of the product and a statement, up to 300 words, stating why the product should be on the ballot. A new category, e-Connected Toy of the Year, has been added this year to recognize toys that interact with smartphones, tablets, or gaming devices. Also new is the expanded definition for Innovative Toy of the Year award. This category will include toys that use the latest technology and have innovative designs and manufacturing processes.

A nomination committee–including play experts, journalists, academics, retailers, and other toy experts–will reveal the final nominations at a press conference in New York City in November. The committee will consider how creative, original, and innovative a product is. It will also look at a product’s design, promotion, and market acceptance. Five ballots will be available for consumers, mass retailers, specialty retailers, media, and TIA members. A new ballot form has been created this year that will allow the committee to find if a product is being considered cross-category. Voting will open on after the press conference and continue until mid-January.

The awards ceremony, in which winners will be announced, will be held on February 9 at the Plaza Hotel.