Last week, the U.S. Toy Industry Association launched the 2016 edition of its annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards campaign.
The TIA, which merged with the Canadian Toy Association in 2014, opened the campaign by inviting toy industry members to nominate their choices for the best in toys, games, and properties.
Nominations are accepted in 12 categories, including Boy Toy, Girl Toy, Activity Toy, Educational, and E-Connected, until Friday, October 2, 2015. (An important caveat to nominators: products must have been introduced to the marketplace within the last two years and must be available at retail in the U.S. on or before November 17, 2015.)
Once submissions are collected, nomination committees comprised of up to 70 experts, including journalists, academics, and retailers, take over. For the next month or so, the committees consider each product on the basis of creativity, originality, innovation, design, promotion and marketplace acceptance.
On November 17, the committees will announce a list of approximately 80 semi-finalists that will move to the next phase of judging. At this point, consumers, retailers — both mass and specialty — media, and TIA members, may also participate in the process by going online to vote for their favourites in each category. (Votes are accepted until mid-January 2016.)
The winners of the prestigious awards, including the much-coveted Toy of the Year, will be announced at a gala event that kicks off the 2016 North American International Toy Fair next February.
For more information about the TOTYs and the nomination and selection process, contact the Toy Industry Association.