New York, Feb 12 — In recognition of its 113th year, the North American International Toy Fair got underway at the American Museum of Natural History, where hundreds of industry insiders and guests celebrated the best in children’s play.
Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center, from Just Play Products, captured the overall TOTY, as well as top honours in the Preschool category.
The kit is a merchandising spin-off of the Disney Channel series, aired in the U.S. and Canada, about a girl who “fixes” toys with help from her friends. Pet Vet Checkup Center includes an X-ray machine, bathtub, stickers, bandages, weighing scale and other items, some of which light up or make sounds.
Last year’s winner, Toronto-based Spin Master, picked up an Activity Toy of the Year award for Bunchems, a set of squishy coloured balls that can be stuck to each other, creating a variety of shapes. Spin Master also took home an Innovation TOTY for Meccanoid G15, a 600-piece robotic kit that can tell jokes and play games. Story-time Theatre from Tech4Kids, another Canadian company, was entered in the Infant/Toddler category but missed the last cut.
The nominee shortlist was drafted by a panel of retailers and industry experts. Final voting involved separate ballots for consumers, mass and specialty retailers, media, and TIA members. Individual winners were selected in each of twelve categories. (The People’s Choice Award was determined entirely by consumer votes submitted to the ToyAwards.org website.)
Individual category winners
|Boy||The Force Awakens Millenium Falcon||Lego|
|e-Connected||Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition||Disney|
|Educational||Vex Robotics Robotic Arm||Hexbug|
|Game||Pie Face Games||Hasbro|
|Girl||Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck||Moose Toys|
|Infant/Toddler||Bright Beats Dance & Movie BeatBro||Fisher-Price|
|Innovation||Meccanoid G15||Spin Master|
|Outdoor||Razor GFD Fury||Razor USA|
|Preschool||Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center||Just Play|
|Property of the Year||Star Wars||Disney/Lucasfilm Licensing|
|Speciality||Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run||Learning Resources|
|*People’s Choice”||Uptown Espresso Kitchen||KidKraft|
Hall of Fame
During the festivities, Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
Iger is well-known for his efforts to shake up the entertainment industry, having spearheaded such groundbreaking Disney acquisitions as Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment.
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ABC news anchor David Muir hosted the evening, sponsored by Jakks Pacific, Fat Brain Toys, Playmates, Vtech, Coyne PR, Dallas Market Center, Educational Insights, GES, Gourvitz Communications, The Halo Group, Keller Heckman, Learning Resources, Micro Kickboard, TekConn, Thames and Kosmos, Uncle Milton, Women in Toys, Wooky Entertainment, and WowWee.