The Press Release:
The Toy Association today unveiled 114 toy and game finalists for the prestigious 2020 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top playthings on the market – from STEM/STEAM and innovative toys to dolls, action figures, creative toys, and more. The program is also a vital fundraiser for The Toy Foundation, which annually delivers toys to millions of children in need.
Finalists were announced this morning by a group of well-known online influencers who serve as TOTY ambassadors. Between now and January 5, 2020 play-lovers of all ages can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in each of the 16 categories, browse toys, download shopping lists for the holidays, and enter for a chance to win one of 16 toy prize packages.
“From an extraordinary field of nominees carefully reviewed by expert judges, this year’s TOTY finalists truly represent our members’ ability to bring fun, laughter, discovery, and learning to kids across America and around the world,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “We are proud to unveil these playthings in advance of the holiday season and celebrate the toy community’s enduring ability to inspire generations of play. Everyone is encouraged to cast their votes at ToyAwards.org and help decide the winners!”
Winners in each category, as well as the coveted overall Toy of the Year winner and the People’s Choice winner (based solely on consumer votes), will be announced at the TOTY Awards gala on Friday, February 21, 2020 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The celebration will kick off Toy Fair New York and include the induction of three trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
*** 2020 TOTY FINALISTS ***
ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR:
Toys that represent a person or fictional character intended for active, imaginative and narrative-based play
Bakugan Dragonoid Maximus Transforming Figure by Spin Master
Disney Pixar Toy Story Basic Figures by Mattel, Inc.
Heroes of Goo Jit Zu by Moose Toys
Jurassic World Destroy ‘N Devour™ Indominus Rex by Mattel, Inc.
Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro, Inc.
My Hero Academia Katsuki Bakugo Action Figure by McFarlane Toys
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Beast-X Ultrazord Figure by Hasbro, 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.
Blume by Skyrocket Toys
Hairdorables Dolls Series 3 by Just Play
L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Series by MGA Entertainment
Lucky Fortune by WowWee
My Singing Monsters Collectible Musical Figures by PlayMonster
Pulp Heroes Snap Bots by Far Out Toys
Shopkins Real Littles Lil’ Shopper Pack by Moose Toys
CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR:
Toys that include building as the primary play pattern
Erector by Meccano, Inventor Set, Intro to Robotics by Spin Master
Fisher-Price® Wonder Makers™ design system Build Around Town™ Starter Kit by Mattel, Inc.
LeapBuilders® ABC Smart House™ by LeapFrog
LEGO® CITY Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control by LEGO Systems, Inc.
LEGO® MARVEL Iron Man Hall of Armor by LEGO Systems, Inc.
My Robotic Pet – Tumbling Hedgehog by Thames & Kosmos
VEX Catapult 2.0 by HEXBUG
CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR:
Toys that allow kids to build and/or make items that are unique to them
Blinger by Wicked Cool Toys
Cool Maker GO GLAM Nail Stamper by Spin Master
Crayola Glitter Dots by Crayola
littleBits Electronic Music Inventor Kit by Sphero
smART Pixelator™ by Flycatcher Inc.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Droid Depot Custom Astromech Units by Disney Parks
Y’Art® Craft Kit by Kahootz
DOLL OF THE YEAR:
Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls
Ballerina Dreamer Dancing Ballerina by Hunter Products USA LLC
Candylocks Basic Doll by Spin Master
Creatable World by Mattel, Inc.
Cry Babies – Kristal Gets Sick & Feels Better by IMC Toys
Disney Frozen 2: “Into the Unknown” Elsa Doll by JAKKS Pacific
Disney Princess Ralph Breaks the Internet – Comfy Princess Assortment by Hasbro, Inc.
L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Dolls by MGA Entertainment
GAME OF THE YEAR:
For families and children’s (ages 0-14) games including board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles, exclusive of video or app games
Funkoverse Strategy Game by Funko Games
Heist by Megableu USA
MS. MONOPOLY Board Game by Hasbro, Inc.
Orangutwang by PlayMonster
Pictionary Air by Mattel, Inc.
Ravensburger’s Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared by Ravensburger
Throw Throw Burrito by Exploding Kittens
UNO Braille by Mattel, Inc.
INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR:
Toys that are developed for ages 0-3 (0-18 months infant/18 months-3 years toddler)
Fisher-Price® Linkimals™ by Mattel, Inc.
InnyBin by Fat Brain Toy Co.
KidKraft World of Eric Carle Shape Activity Cube by KidKraft
LeapBuilders® 123 Fix-It Truck™ by LeapFrog
Mix & Match-a-Saurus™ by VTech®
Musical Lili Llama by The Manhattan Toy Company
Tinker Truck by Radio Flyer
INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR:
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
comicam® the Instant Comic Camera by Hangzhou Rulei Technology Co., Ltd
Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak by Wow! Stuff
Hot Wheels™ id Smart Track™ Kit by Mattel, Inc.
Hot Wheels™ TechMods by Mattel, Inc.
RockIt Twist™ by LeapFrog
Shashibo (The Shape Shifting Box) by Fun In Motion Toys
tori™ Explorer Pack by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America
LICENSE OF THE YEAR:
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand through the development and merchandising of products developed from the intellectual property
Baby Shark by Pinkfong
Barbie 60th Anniversary Program by Mattel, Inc.
JoJo Siwa by Nickelodeon
Marvel Avengers Endgame by Disney / Marvel Licensing
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Super PAWs by Spin Master / Nickelodeon
Pokémon by The Pokémon Company International
Ryan’s World by pocket.watch
Toy Story 4 by The Walt Disney Company
OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR:
Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons
Crazy Cart® Shift™ by Razor USA
Create A Castle by Create A Castle
EzyRoller Drifter X by EzyRoller LLC
Globber GoUp COMFORT by Incredible Novelties
My Buddy Wheels by Yvolution USA, Inc.
Toilet Paper Blasters™ Sheet Storm™ by JAKKS Pacific
ZURU X-Shot Fast-Fill by ZURU
PLAYSET OF THE YEAR:
Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event, including characters and role play
Beyblade Burst Turbo Slingshock Cross Collision Battle Set by Hasbro, Inc.
Disney Frozen Ultimate Arendelle Castle Playset by Hasbro, Inc.
Hape Fire Station by Hape International Inc
Hot Wheels® Colossal Crash™ Track Set by Mattel, Inc.
L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Chalet by MGA Entertainment
PLAYMOBIL Mars Space Station by PLAYMOBIL
Timber Tots by Fat Brain Toy Co.
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
Cutetitos by Basic Fun!
Dolce Safari Adventure by Magformers/DOLCE
Little Live Scruff-A-Luvs Real Rescue Electronic Pet by Moose Toys
Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Puppets with Tempo Control by WowWee
Pomsies Lumies by Skyrocket Toys
Shimmer Stars by KD Group
ZURU Rainbocorns Ultimate Sequin Surprise Series 2 by ZURU
PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR:
Toys that are developed for ages 3-5
Demo Duke by Spin Master
Coding Critters by Learning Resources®
Kid Trax Rideamals Unicorn by Pacific Cycle
Kindi Kids by Moose Toys
Myla the Magical Unicorn™ by VTech®
Peppa Pig’s Magical Parade Floats by Jazwares
Wild Ones™ by Razor USA
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
AirFort by AirFort
Hape Emergency Services Headquarters by Hape International Inc
LEGO® Ideas Central Perk by LEGO Systems, Inc.
LEGO® Stranger Things The Upside Down by LEGO Systems, Inc.
littleBits Space Rover Inventor Kit by Sphero
OombeeBall by Fat Brain Toy Co.
ThinkFun’s Thinking Putty Puzzle by ThinkFun, 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, and mathematics
Amazing Rescue 50Pc Set by Magformers
Artie 3000™ by Educational Insights®
Beaker Creatures Alien Experiment Lab by Learning Resources®
Crayola Color Chemistry Arctic Lab by Crayola
Gumball Machine Maker by Thames & Kosmos
LEGO® BOOST Star Wars™ Droid Commander by LEGO Systems, Inc.
Mech-5 Mechanical Coding Robot by Elenco
VEHICLE OF THE YEAR:
Toy cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles in all scales, including R/C vehicles but exclusive of ride-ons
Grrrumball by Alpha Group US
Hot Wheels Mario Kart Die-Cast Vehicle Assortment by Mattel, Inc.
L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper by MGA Entertainment
Monster Jam Mega Grave Digger Remote Control Vehicle by Spin Master
PJ Masks PJ Seeker by Just Play
STAR WARS D-O Interactive Droid by Hasbro, Inc.
X-Power Dozer™ by JAKKS Pacific
The finalists were selected from 633 nominees submitted by 236 companies. Eighteen judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, reviewed and ranked the products in categories relevant to their areas of expertise. The judges then participated in a discussion to determine the finalists in each category. They considered each product’s creativity, design, play value, and marketing.
The TOTY Awards gala is open only to toy industry professionals. Tickets for the event will be available for purchase on December 2; all TOTY proceeds are donated to The Toy Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children who are sick, at-risk, in foster care, impoverished, or otherwise in need.
About The Toy Association:
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $110.9 billion, and its 1,000+ members drive the annual $28 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned North American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.
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Piercing Ken Thoughts: This was some great list of finalists this year and I cannot wait to lend my media thoughts on the items that I feel are most deserving of the bunch. Without leading you into a decision that mirrors my own by dropping names, I was happy to see our friends from LEGO, Hasbro, McFarlane Toys, WowWee, Playmonster and Mattel offering up some fine products. As most of you readers know, “The Chronicles” of Piercing Ken has been attending the annual Toy Fair since 2011 and coverage goes here and on our PiercingMetal.com site based on the product line being focused on. We love that event and hope to be attending the 2020 affair when the time to register rolls around. Be sure to cast your votes via the link on the graphic above because its very important to be involved in the world of play that your children or younger relatives are involved in. As a closing you can chime in with the products you feel are winners in your mind. I’d love to hear what you think. See you next time.