Nomination and Selection Process


The nomination period is closed.


  • Nominators
    Products or properties may be nominated by any individual authorized to submit the nomination on behalf of the product manufacturer, importer or licensor. Membership in The Toy Association is not a prerequisite for submitting a nomination.

  • Market Availability
    All TOTY 2017 nominated products must:
    • be available at retail in the United States on or before November 15, 2016;
    • have been introduced to the marketplace within the last two years.
      (NOTE: This can include a new version of an older product line, as long as the “new” product or reiteration has been introduced within the last two years.)
  • Intellectual Property Rights
    The product manufacturer, private labeler, importer or licensor of every product submitted for consideration in the TOTY awards must own or have been granted permission to use all intellectual property rights. Additionally, the submitted product must not infringe upon any other party and/or another party’s intellectual property rights.

  • Safety Reports
    If a product herein is selected for the TOTY Awards ballot, the manufacturer, private labeler, or importer of record must agree to provide copies of all relevant safety test reports to The Toy Association for reference should any safety issues be called into question by regulatory or consumer groups during the fourth quarter holiday shopping season or beyond.
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Award Criteria

Each product nomination must include a brief (50 word) product description AND a statement (up to 300 words) explaining to the nomination committee why the product is deserving of recognition on the TOTY Awards ballot. Consideration will be given to:

  • Creativity, Originality and Innovation
    Application of design, technology, manufacturing processes, etc.

  • Design and Promotion
    Outstanding, unusual and creative execution of artwork, product/package design, promotional strategy and execution, etc.

  • Excellence of Product
    Description of play value and how play value has been evaluated.

  • Marketplace Acceptance
    Units produced, sell-through expectations, etc.
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Selection of Finalists

Finalists will be selected by a nomination committee comprised of 25 industry experts. Members of the nomination committee represent a cross-section of:

  • Retail Buyers
    • Mass
    • Specialty
  • Journalists / Bloggers
    • National consumer magazine toy editors
    • Trade magazine editors
    • Mommy bloggers
  • Toy Specialists
    • Academia, graduate
    • Inventor (requires signed statement affirming no conflict or special interest in category)
    • Industry Professionals

Committee members will receive all of the nominations submitted for review. Each committee member will be assigned to 7 of the TOTY categories for online evaluation. Committee members will rank product (on a scale of 1 – 5) on the following criteria:

  • Creativity, Originality and Innovation
  • Design and Promotion
  • Excellence of Product
  • Marketplace Acceptance

Following the online evaluation all committee members will come together for an inperson session to discuss and decide the TOTY finalists for each category. The selection of finalists will be based on both the data and personal statements provided in the nomination materials.

No single product is allowed to be a finalist in multiple TOTY award categories. If chosen as a finalist in more than one category, the responsible company will be asked to select which category finalist nomination it wishes to accept. For the category in which the nomination was declined, the next highest-ranking finalist will be selected so that each category ballot has seven finalists.

No company will be allowed to have more than 2 products in a single category.

Each product selected as a finalist will be featured on, a website designed specifically to highlight the TOTY candidates.

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In conjunction with the TOTY press event, voting for TOTY 2017 winners will commence on Monday, November 21st and close on Sunday, January 15th at 11:59 pm (Eastern).

All results will be confidential until they are announced at the awards ceremony.

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Product Samples

  • No product samples are required with the submittal form.
  • If a product is selected as a TOTY finalist, The Toy Association requires three product samples for use as follows:
    • the November 21st finalist reveal event and other fourth quarter media opportunities;
    • the February 17th awards ceremony; and
    • consumer prize packages.
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Representation at TOTY Awards Ceremony

Every product or property selected as a TOTY finalist must be represented by either the nominator or his/her designee during the awards presentation ceremony on February 17, 2017, in New York City. Tickets are $395 per person; no complimentary tickets are provided to finalists.

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Questions / More Information

General Questions:

Staff Contact:

Deanna Speziale; 646.454.4877