The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards is sponsored by the toy industry itself to recognize the top toys available this holiday season. Though there are many toy awards programs, these finalists have been nominated from within the industry and are being voted on by toy companies, toy retailers, and consumers (you!). The TOTY Awards are frequently referred to as the “Oscars” of the industry.
On November 24, 2014, this year’s finalists were unveiled and voting began during a national press event held in New York City.
The TOTY 2015 voting process includes input from not only consumers, but also members of the Association, retailers, journalists, bloggers and academics. Voting closes Sunday, January 11th, at which point votes will be tallied. The winners will be announced during a celebration in New York on February 13th.
TOTY supports the Toy Industry Foundation and helps bring new toys to kids in need.
How does a toy or game get to be a TOTY finalist? See the TOTY 2015 Award Guidelines below to learn more:
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 2015 TOTY nominated products must be available at retail in the United States on or before November 24, 2014, and must have been introduced to the marketplace within the last two years. TIA 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 83 finalists that were chosen from more than 580 nominations. Finalists were selected by the members of 12 Nominations Committees – one for each category – comprised of seven to 18 high-stature experts, including retail buyers, journalists, bloggers, trade media spokespersons, academics, and inventors/designers.
You can see a list of all the nominated toys here.
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. Download our TOTY 2015 Shopping Guide or visit ToyInfo.org for more information about selecting age-appropriate toys.
On November 24, 2014, the TOTY nominees were unveiled at a national press event held in the heart of New York City. The event also marked the launch of this website, ToyAwards.org, where consumers are invited to vote for their favorite toys during the holiday season.
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 24, 2014 through January 11, 2015. Winners will be announced during a formal presentation ceremony on February 13, 2015.
People's Choice Award
The winner in this category will be determined exclusively by votes received on the ToyAwards.org website.
Toy of the Year Award
Input from mass retailers, specialty retailers, media, and TIA members will be weighted and used to determine the overall “Toy of the Year” award.