After reviewing 700 product submissions from over 200 companies, the U.S. Toy Industry Association announced that 84 finalists have been chosen to continue in the running for a prestigious 2016 Toy of the Year (TOTY) award.
The list of finalists, which covers 12 categories, includes six products from two Ontario companies.
Toronto’s Spin Master Ltd. has five products, including Bunchems (Activity), Air Hogs Millennium Falcon Quad (Boy), Zoomer Kitty (Girl), Meccanoid G15 (Innovative) and Paw Patrol (Property), moving on in the awards selection process.
Meanwhile, the Story-time Theatre, from Mississauga, Ontario-based Tech4Kids, faces some stiff competition in the Infant/Toddler category.
While the 84 finalists were selected by committees comprised of more than 40 mass and specialty retail buyers, youth experts, academics, and journalists, the next phase of voting is being opened up to consumers.
Between now and January 17, 2016, toy fans can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favourite toy picks in each of the 12 categories and enter to win exclusive prizes.
The winner in each of the 12 categories, as well as the overall top “Toy of the Year” will be selected based on votes from consumers, plus mass and specialty toy retailers, media, and TIA members. (A “People’s Choice” award winner will be selected solely by consumer votes.)
Winners will be announced in NYC next February at a gala event that takes place the night before the 2016 North American Toy Fair kicks into gear.