TOTY 2015: Best and most acclaimed toys of this year
Sponsored by the American toy industry itself and voted by the retailers, bloggers, journalists, consumers and members of TIA, the TOTY awards shed light to the trends and tendencies in the toy industry next year as well as constituting a retrospect to the previous one.
For the TOTY 2015, 83 finalists were chosen from among 580 nominees and the winners were announced in New York on February 13th.
Nomination procedure for the awards is as follows: For 12 main categories, toy-related companies nominated products that have at least been introduced to the US market in the last two years and still available at retail at the time. 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. TIA also requires that all finalist products have been reviewed by an independent third-party testing lab and comply with strict U.S. toy safety standards.
Based on the aforementioned criteria, this year’s TOTY award went to Spin Master’s Dino, which also received the award in Boy Toy category. The Activity award winner Crayola Paint Maker customizable arts and crafts kit also received the People’s Choice award with online votes from consumers.
Below are the winners of this years TOTY award winners by category:
- Toy of the Year–Zoomer Dino (Spin Master)
- Property of the Year–Frozen (The Walt Disney Company)
- Game of the Year–Simon Swipe (Hasbro)
- Specialty Toy of the Year–Gravity Maze (ThinkFun)
- Boy Toy of the Year–Zoomer Dino (Spin Master)
- Girl Toy of the Year–Shopkins Small Mart play set (Moose Toys)
- Preschool Toy of the Year–LEGO Juniors (LEGO Systems)
- Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year–Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers play set (VTech)
- Activity Toy of the Year–Crayola Paint Maker (Crayola)
- e-Connected Toy of the Year–LEGO Fusion (LEGO Systems)
- Educational Toy of the Year–LEGO Technic (LEGO Systems)
- Innovative Toy of the Year–MiP (WowWee)
- Outdoor Toy of the Year–Nerf Rebelle Dolphina Bow (Hasbro)
Toy of the Year and Boy Toy of the Year: Zoomer Dino from Spin Master is a pet dinosaur named Boomer. Thanks to its sensors, It interacts with its surroundings, can learn to sit, dance, chase, chomp, roar, whip its tail, even speak. Its mood swings are reflected to its eyes. With a remote controller it can also run, move its head and tail, get furious or obedient. Using True Balance Technology™, Boomer can perfectly balance itself on two wheels while moving around the home. A perfect companion for children over 5 years old.
Some of the noteworthy products which received category awards are
Activity category (and People’s award) winner Crayola Paint Maker offers an unmatched experience to mix the three basic colors in ratios and make up to 15 new colors. A mixing guide helps along the way in simple steps and encourages to experiment further. To make things less messy and more convenient, paint strip technology is used. Crayola Paint Maker has received many other awards aside from the TOTY. Among other nominees for the Activity category were Lego’s Mixels and Roominate’s Chateu.
Game of the year: Simon Swipe: Hasbro’s Simon is a fun game you can play with your friends or family. You need to remember and repeat the color patterns on the wheel. As you progress, the number in the pattern increases as you are hopelessly confused. The new version Simon Swipe now adds extra difficulty by introducing the touch-sensitive buttons for you to tap and/or swipe. Among other nominees for this category were Bounce-Off by Mattel and Shark Mania by Spinmaster.
Specialty category winner, Gravity Maze from ThinkFun is a single-player game that challenges your visual perception. Pick a challenge card and start building the towers as shown. The little black dots around the towers will show you how many other towers you can build around it. Once your maze is complete, drop your marble from the top of the designated tower and watch it reach the target tower. If it does not, redesign your maze until the marble hits the goal. For children 8 years and up and adults alike, Gravity Maze really makes you question your skills. Among other nominees for this category were Magnetron by Tegu and Monster Sewing Workshop by Thames&Kosmos.