Toy of the Year Awards

About The Awards

The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards recognizes the top toys of this holiday season.

Though there are many toy awards programs, these finalists have been nominated from within the industry and have been selected by industry influencers, academia, media and more. The TOTY Awards are frequently referred to as the “Oscars” of the industry.

On November 3, 2017, the finalists were unveiled and voting began.

The TOTY 2018 voting process includes input from not only consumers, but also members of the Association, retailers, journalists, bloggers and academics. Voting closes Friday, January 5, 2018 and the winners will be announced during a celebration in New York on February 16th.

TOTY supports The Toy Foundation, which helps bring joy and comfort to children in need through the experience of toys and play.

Who nominated the toys?

Representatives from any toy-related company are eligible to nominate products and/or properties for the TOTY award categories. 

Submitted nominations contain detailed explanations of the product’s play value, creativity/originality, application of new technology, creative manufacturing processes, commentary on how the product is meeting marketplace expectations, and details of outstanding, unusual and/or creative execution of artwork, product/package design, and promotional strategy.

An unlimited number of products may be submitted per award category, but no more than two products from the same company may appear in an award category on the finalist list.

What criteria must the toys meet?

All 2018 TOTY nominated products must be available at retail in the United States on or before November 3, 2017, and must have been introduced to the marketplace within the last two years. The Toy Association requires verification that all TOTY finalist products have been reviewed by an independent third-party testing lab and comply with strict U.S. toy safety standards.

You can view the complete Rules and Eligibility requirements here.

How did these finalists get chosen?

The toys featured on this site are the finalists that were chosen from more than 600 nominations. Finalists were selected by a nomination committee comprised of 20 industry experts. Members of the nomination committee represent a cross-section of retail buyers, journalists, bloggers, trade media spokespersons, academics, and inventors/designers.

NOTE FOR FAMILIES: It’s very important to pick toys that are age-appropriate for the children who will be playing with them. Several of the TOTY categories have a mix of toys for children of different ages, so please be mindful of the age grade on each product. Visit PlaySafe.org for more information about selecting age-appropriate toys.

The Announcement

On November 3, 2017, the TOTY finalists were unveiled via a press release and the launch of this website, ToyAwards.org, where consumers are invited to vote for their favorite toys during the holiday season.

Category Voting

Five weighted ballots – one each for consumers (25%), mass and specialty retailers (40% combined), journalists and bloggers (20%), and members of the Toy Industry Association (15%) – were open from November 3, 2017 through January 5, 2018.  Winners will be announced during a formal presentation ceremony on February 16, 2018.

People's Choice Award

The winner in this category was determined exclusively by votes received on this website.

Toy of the Year Award

Input from toy industry professionals will come together to determine the overall “Toy of the Year” award. The “Toy of the Year” panel will keep the following things in mind when making their decision: Toy of the Year votes; Holiday sales; and Media buzz (traditional, online and social).