New York, NY | February 15, 2019 – Top toys and games as well as three legendary individuals from the toy and entertainment industries were honored this evening at the 19th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony. More than 700 toy, play, and youth entertainment industry executives attended the sold out event, which took place at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. Proceeds from the awards program and event supported The Toy Foundation’s charitable work to bring toys to millions of children in need.
L.O.L. Surprise! by MGA Entertainment received the distinguished “Toy of the Year” award. Unstable Unicorns by TeeTurtle, LLC won the coveted “People’s Choice” award for gaining the most votes from consumers. TOTY awards were handed out in 17 categories and given to the following:
During the ceremony, three exceptional visionaries were inducted into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame – Brian Goldner, chairman and CEO, Hasbro, Inc., the late Stan Lee, former editor-in-chief, publisher, and chairman of Marvel Comics, and the late Joe Mendelsohn, former president of Kenner Products. They join an impressive roster of 71 toy industry luminaries, including Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney and LEGO’s Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, since the Hall of Fame was established in 1984.
"On the eve of Toy Fair New York, a sold-out TOTY Awards gala underscores the health and vitality of the toy manufacturing and retail community as we focus on building successes in year ahead together," said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Honoring the contributions of Brian Goldner, Stan Lee, and Joe Mendelsohn, together with a remarkable line up of TOTY finalists, is testament to the innovation, passion, and talent seen across the toy community. It's certain to be a spectacular night of celebration and remembrance."
Tonight’s category winners were selected based on votes from toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, Toy Association members, and consumers. Accounting firm Tate & Tryon confirmed voting calculations and verified the 2019 Toy of the Year category winners. The overall “Toy of the Year” winners were determined by an expert panel that discussed all the finalists before rendering a decision based on TOTY votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online, and social). The “People’s Choice” award winner was selected solely by consumer votes cast online. Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found at ToyAwards.org.
The TOTY Awards serve as the official kick off to the 116th North American International Toy Fair. All proceeds from the TOTY program and event contribute critical funding to The Toy Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children in need.
About The Toy Foundation www.toyfoundation.org
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501(c)3 children’s charity whose mission is to provide joy and comfort to children in need through the experience of toys and play. TTF serves children who are coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, suffering from abuse or neglect, experiencing separation from a deployed military parent, or dealing with devastating natural disasters. To date, TTF’s signature program, The Toy Bank, has provided more than $200 million in toys to over 25 million children in need around the globe, thanks to its generous toy donors.
About The Toy Association www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $110.9 billion, and its 1000+ members drive the annual $28 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned North American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian The Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.
Media assets: www.toyawards.org/press