Source: The Toy Association

The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards are often considered to be the Oscars of the toy industry, and this year’s winners have been named! Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 TOTY Awards were presented virtually during a special online presentation.

After carefully examining 557 nominees submitted by 205 companies, a panel of 18 industry experts determined this year’s 117 finalists across 16 categories. One winner in each category, along with the consumer-chosen People’s Choice Award and the overall Toy of the Year Award were awarded tonight.

“From 117 outstanding finalists to this year’s TOTY winners, to Hasbro’s Toy of the Year Award and two unique People’s Choice winners, each underscores the joy of play in uncertain times, the togetherness of family game night, as well as the swiftly-evolving retail and e-commerce landscape,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association. “The TOTYs continue to reflect the toy and play community’s passion and perseverance, all while honoring the richly deserving Hall of Fame inductees. It also raises vital funding for The Toy Foundation as it embarks on impactful new programs supporting children’s hospitals and driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the toy industry. We thank the independent expert judging panels and the tens of thousands of individuals who voted this year!”

And the winners are…

Action Figure of the Year

Toys that represent a person or fictional character intended for active, imaginative and narrative-based play.

  • Fisher-Price #ThankYouHeroes Line (Mattel Inc.)

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.

  • LEGO Super Mario Character Packs (The LEGO Group)

Construction Toy of the Year

Toys that include building as the primary play pattern.

  • LEGO Star Wars The Razor Crest (LEGO Systems Inc.)

Creative Toy of the Year

Toys that allow kids to build and/or make items that are unique to them.

  • Crayola Colors of the World Crayons (Crayola LLC)

Doll of the Year

Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls.

  • Barbie Color Reveal (Mattel Inc.)

Game of the Year

Kids and family games, including board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats and puzzles, exclusive of video or app games.

  • Pokémon Trading Card Game Battle Academy (The Pokémon Co. International)

Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year

Toys that are developed for kids ages 0-3.

  • Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen (Mattel Inc.)

Innovative Toy of the Year

Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value.

  • Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition (Hasbro)

License of the Year

The character or property that has had success spreading its brand through the development and merchandising of products developed from the intellectual property.

  • Star Wars: The Mandalorian (The Walt Disney Co./Lucasfilm)

Outdoor Toy of the Year

Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons.

  • Ultimate Go-Kart (Radio Flyer)

Playset of the Year

Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event, including characters and role play.

  • LEGO Super Mario Bowser’s Castle Boss Battle Expansion Set (LEGO Systems Inc.)

Plush Toy of the Year

Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling, including toys with interactive or electronic features.

  • Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child 11-inch Plush (Mattel Inc.)

Preschool Toy of the Year

Toys that are developed for kids ages 3-5.

  • PAW Patrol Dino Patroller (Spin Master)

Specialty Toy of the Year

Toys that are distributed through independent retailers (i.e., neighborhood toy stores) and not sold at mass brick-and-mortar stores.  Toys that are sold only online do not qualify.

  • LEGO Ideas Grand Piano (LEGO Systems Inc.)

STEM/STEAM Toy of the Year

Toys that encourage kids to develop skills (foundational or curricular) in the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or art.

  • Mega Cyborg Hand (Thames & Kosmos)

Vehicle of the Year

Toy cars, trucks, trains, and other vehicles in all scales, including R/C vehicles but exclusive of ride-ons.

  • Playmobil Back To The Future DeLorean Time Machine (Playmobil)

People’s Choice Award

  • The Original Spawn Action Figure and Comic Book Remastered (McFarlane Toys)
  • Story Time Chess

Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award

  • Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition (Hasbro)

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

For an early sneak-peek at some of 2021’s top toy trends along with a look at more than 60 new toys, visit our sister publication, the Toy Insider!

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.