NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of global toy executives and guests gathered in New York City this evening to pay tribute to the toy industry's best and brightest toys, games and individuals at the 16th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Hosted by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) in support of the philanthropic work of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), the "Oscars" of the toy industry were held at the American Museum of Natural History, serving as the official kick off to the 113th North American International Toy Fair.
Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center, Just Play's station where kids can pretend to take care and play with their pet friends and animals got its scripts for overall "Toy of the Year" award prize and the "Preschool Toy of the Year." Already inspiring the next generation of chefs, KidKraft LLC's Uptown Espresso Kitchen successfully tapped in to the culinary market and was served the "People's Choice" award for gaining the most online votes from consumers. [SEE FULL LIST OF CATEGORY WINNERS BELOW]
"From toys that can inspire kid's careers choices, to ones that their boost creativity and confidence, the 2016 TOTY winners have provided children with countless hours of fun, challenges and learning – benefits that last a lifetime," said Steve Pasierb, TIA President & CEO. "We congratulate Just Play, KidKraft and the winners across all 12 categories for their innovation and success in the marketplace – and for enhancing children's experiences through play!"
Interspersed with the awards presentation was a special tribute to the Toy Industry Foundation, which contributed brand-new toys to more than 1 million children in 2015 alone. The event also marked the induction of Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Mr. Iger joins a distinguished roster of dozens of luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since its establishment in 1985.
TOTY Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on ToyAwards.org), retailers (mass and specialty), media and members of the toy industry. The five ballots were weighted and used to determine the category winners, with the exception of the "People's Choice" award, which was selected exclusively by consumers.
And the winners are…
Descriptions of all TOTY finalists can be found online at ToyAwards.org. The nominees were carefully selected by committees of academics, journalists, retailers, and more who considered 700 submitted products and properties.
Event sponsors for the evening were: Jakks Pacific (Diamond); Fat Brain Toys, Playmates, Vtech (Gold); Coyne PR, Dallas Market Center (Silver); Educational Insights, GES, Gourvitz Communications, The Halo Group, Keller Heckman, Learning Resources, Micro Kickboard, TekConn, Thames and Kosmos, Uncle Milton, Women in Toys, Wooky Entertainment, WowWee (Bronze).
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)
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. TIA is the owner and operator of the North American International Toy Fair, held annually in New York City. 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. For more information, please visit www.toyassociation.org, www.toyfairny.com, or www.thegeniusofplay.org.
About the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
The Toy Industry Foundation brings the joy of play to children in need through core programs including The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations with like-minded missions. The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them through local charities to underserved, at-risk and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world.