NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Toy Industry Association (TIA) kicked off the holiday shopping season today by announcing the 84 finalists for the prestigious 2016 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY), also known as the "Oscars" of the toy industry. Between now and January 17, 2016 consumers can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite toy picks in each of the 12 categories and enter to win exclusive prizes. The TOTY winners will be announced in February 2016.
"From innovative toys that talk and fly to enriching playthings that teach and inspire, this year's TOTY finalists have brought joy, laughter and learning to millions of children and families," said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of the Toy Industry Association. "The outstanding nominees are a testament to the toy industry's dedication to the happiness, healthy development, and well-being of kids around the world. We wish each TOTY nominee the best of luck and look forward to honoring the winners in just a few months!"
This year's finalists were selected from more than 700 nominees submitted by over 200 companies. More than 40 mass and specialty retail buyers, youth experts, academics, and journalists staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.
The winners in each of the 12 categories and the coveted "Toy of the Year" will be selected based on votes from mass and specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members and consumers. The "People's Choice" award winner will be selected solely by consumer votes.
The honorees will be announced at a TOTY Awards ceremony held on Friday, February 12, 2016 as the kick-off to the 113th North American International Toy Fair. The celebration will include the induction of Bob Iger, Chairman & CEO of The Walt Disney Company, into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame, as well as special festivities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Toy Industry Association.
The TOTY awards program supports the philanthropic work of the Toy Industry Foundation, which partners with generous toy companies throughout the year to bring brand-new toys to children in need. More information about the TOTY voting and selection process can be found in the "About the Awards" section of www.ToyAwards.org.
See the finalists in each category below. Online images are available at ToyAwards.org/Press
ACTIVITY TOY OF THE YEAR
Arts and crafts, construction and other indoor toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity
BOY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for boys of any age
E-CONNECTED TOY OF THE YEAR
A physical toy or game that is app-enabled or otherwise interacts with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device
EDUCATIONAL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that help children to develop special skills and knowledge through play
GAME OF THE YEAR
Children's board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles
(does not include video games or apps)
GIRL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for girls of any age
INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for infant children and toddlers (ages up to 36 months)
INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys designed for outdoor play
PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for preschool-aged children (ages 3-5)
PROPERTY OF THE YEAR
Property that had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry
SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA) www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org
Founded in 1916, the Toy Industry Association™, Inc. (TIA) 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. Over the past 100 years, TIA has led the health and growth of the toy industry, and today its 800+ members account for an estimated 90% of the annual $22 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Association serves as the industry's voice on the cognitive, social, emotional and creative benefits of play, and promotes play's positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. TIA 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.
Follow TOTY on Twitter at #ToyOfTheYear
Media Assets Available at www.ToyAwards.org/Press
SOURCE Toy Industry Association