The Toy Association announced the 18th annual Toy of the Year Award (TOTY) winners and inducted two industry veterans into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, with proceeds from the awards program and event supporting The Toy Foundation. The event was hosted at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.
The big winners of the night were Fingerlings by WowWee USA Inc. and L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment, which shared the distinguished Toy of the Year honor. Funko’s Mystery Minis by Funko LLC won the People’s Choice award for gaining the most votes from consumers. In total, awards were handed out in 17 categories:
Action Figure of the Year:
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Dancing Groot Figure by Hasbro Inc.
Collectible of the Year
Fingerlings by WowWee USA Inc.
Construction Toy of the Year
LEGO Star Wars BB-8 by LEGO Systems Inc.
Creative Toy of the Year
Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit by LittleBits
Doll of the Year
Wonder Crew Superhero Will by PlayMonster
Game of the Year
Soggy Doggy by Spin Master Ltd.
Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year
Teddy Ruxpin by Wicked Cool Toys
Innovative Toy of the Year
Rubie’s Jurassic World T-Rex Inflatable Costume by Rubie’s Costume Co. Inc.
License of the Year
Star Wars by Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media
Outdoor Toy of the Year
Bunch O Balloons Filler Soaker by Zuru
Playset Toy of the Year
Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage by Mattel Inc.
Plush of the Year
Disney Junior Minnie’s Walk and Play Puppy by Just Play Products
Preschool Toy of the Year
Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower by Spin Master Ltd.
Rookie of the Year
Antsy Pants Build & Play Kits by Beach House Group
Specialty Toy of the Year
LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon by LEGO Systems Inc.
Tech Toy of the Year
LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox by LEGO Systems Inc.
Vehicle of the Year
Paw Patrol Sea Patroller by Spin Master Ltd.
During the ceremony, Andrea Barthello, co-founder and COO of ThinkFun Inc., and the late James R. Becker, founder of licensing company Anjar Co., were inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. They join aroster of 74 toy industry luminaries, including Jim Henson and George Lucas, who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984.
More than 600 toys and games were submitted for consideration last fall by companies of all sizes; category finalists, announced in November, were selected by play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists who sit on the TOTY judging committee.
Tonight’s category winners were selected based on votes from toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, Toy Association members, and consumers. To bring extra diligence to the finalist and winner selection, The Toy Association hired accounting firm Tate & Tryon to review the TOTY rules, including the nomination, judging, and voting process. Tate & Tryon also confirmed voting calculations and verified the 2018 Toy of the Year category winners.
The overall “Toy of the Year” winners were determined by an expert panel that discussed all the finalists before rendering a decision based on TOTY votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online, and social). The “People’s Choice” award winner was selected solely by consumer votes cast online.
The TOTY Awards serve as the official kick off to the 115th North American International Toy Fair. All proceeds from the TOTY program and event contribute much-needed dollars to The Toy Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children in need.