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NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Toy Association today unveiled the 123 finalists for the prestigious 2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Known as the "Oscars" of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top toy, game, and licenses in the industry, and supports children in need by serving as a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation.
Finalists were announced this morning by prominent online influencers who serve as TOTY Ambassadors. Between now and January 6, families can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in each of the 17 categories, including Action Figure of the Year, Innovative Toy of the Year, and Collectible of the Year. [SEE FINALISTS BELOW]
"If you're wondering what to get the kids and 'kidadults' in your life this holiday season, this year's TOTY finalists are the hottest toys and games on the market. Whether you are looking for a doll, a board game, or the latest youth electronics, you'll find great gift ideas for children of all ages. Every one of the TOTY finalists has been carefully screened by judges for its outstanding ability to deliver joy and wonder, while facilitating key developmental benefits of play," said Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association's president & CEO.
"Importantly, the TOTY Awards program supports The Toy Foundation's important mission focused on serving children in need – whether they are living in foster care, impoverished, dealing with a traumatic or life-threatening illness, or facing other adversities," added Pasierb.
The finalists were selected from more than 550 nominees submitted by over 200 companies of all sizes. Nineteen judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, reviewed and ranked the products in specific categories relevant to their areas of expertise. The judges then participated in a live discussion to determine the finalists in each category. They considered each product's creativity, design, play value, and marketing.
One winner in each category, as well as the coveted "Toy of the Year" award winner and the "People's Choice" winner (based solely on consumer votes), will be announced at the TOTY Awards gala to be held on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The celebration will kick-off the 116th North American International Toy Fair and will include the induction of toy industry trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
The TOTY Awards gala is open to industry stakeholders only. Tickets for the event will be available for purchase on December 3. Proceeds from the event will provide critical funding to The Toy Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children in need.
See the finalists in each category below. Online images are available at ToyAwards.org/Press
More information about the TOTY voting and selection process can be found in the "About the Awards" section of www.ToyAwards.org.
ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR
Toys that include action figures
COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR
Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that include building and engineering sets
CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that allow kids to build an/or make items that are unique to them
DOLL OF THE YEAR
Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls
GAME OF THE YEAR
Children's board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats or puzzles
INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are developed for ages 0-3
INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
LICENSE OF THE YEAR
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry
OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons
PLAYSET TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event
PLUSH OF THE YEAR
Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling
PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that are developed for ages 3-5
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
A new company (created within the last 2 years) that has brought to market an outstanding toy
SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers and are not sold at mass
TECH TOY OF THE YEAR
Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device
VEHICLE OF THE YEAR
Toys that are powered or non-powered vehicles, and their playsets/accessories
SOURCE The Toy Association