Contact: Adrienne Appell
Toy Industry Association


New Categories & Judging Process Announced For Toy Of The Year Awards (TOTY)

Nominations Now Open for TOTY 2017

NEW YORK, NY | August 9, 2016 – The Toy Industry Association (TIA), the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages, has announced the introduction of several new categories for the 17th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, including Action Figure of the Year, Collectible of the Year, Construction Toy of the Year, Doll of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Vehicle of the Year. TIA has also announced that a more efficient and transparent judging method will help determine this year’s finalists.

Toy companies, inventors, and other industry representatives are invited to submit toys, games and licenses for consideration across a total of 14 TOTY categories through September 30th. The nomination link is available at; see below for the full list of categories and their descriptions.

“For nearly two decades, the TOTY Awards have celebrated the innovative spirit of the toy industry and its ability to transport children to magical worlds through play,” said Ken Seiter, TIA vice president of marketing communications. “With the introduction of new categories and a more straightforward judging process, we are ensuring that the awards program remains relevant and representative of the ingenious creations that originate from toy companies of all sizes.”

Twenty-five judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, will use an online form to review, comment on, and rank hundreds of submitted products in specific categories that are relevant to their areas of expertise. They will consider each product’s creativity, originality and innovation; design and promotion; excellence; and marketplace acceptance. The judges will then participate in a live discussion to debate any categories that did not draw an undisputed roster of finalists during the online judging period.

In November, the TOTY finalists will be revealed and five ballots will open for consumers, retailers (one each for mass and specialty), media, and TIA members. At that time, public voting will also launch and will remain open at through mid-January 2017.

One winner in each category – as well as the overall “Toy of the Year” and the “People’s Choice Award” (the latter based solely on votes from the general public) – will be announced at the Toy of the Year Awards ceremony on February 17, 2017 at The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. This event will kick off New York Toy Fair week with a celebration that will honor the most outstanding new toy products to hit the marketplace, salute the industry icons being inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and support the inspiring work of the Toy Industry Foundation.

For more information, visit the TOTY website or email


Action Figure of the Year (new)
Toys that include action figures, and their play sets/accessories

Active/Outdoor Toy of the Year (formerly Outdoor)
Toys that are designed for active, outdoor play

Activity Toy of the Year
Arts and crafts, construction and other indoor toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity.

Collectible of the Year (new)
Toys that compose a set; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.

Construction Toy of the Year (new)
Toys that include building & engineering sets

Doll of the Year (new)
Toys that include fashion and plush dolls, and their play sets/accessories

Game of the Year
Children’s board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles (does not include video games or apps)

Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year (formerly two separate categories)
Toys that are developed for infants/preschoolers (up to 5 years)

Innovative Toy of the Year
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value

License of the Year (formerly Property)
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry

Rookie of the Year (new)
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

Tech Toy of the Year (formerly e-Connected)
Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device

Vehicle of the Year (new)
Powered or non-powered vehicles, and their play sets/accessories

People’s Choice Toy of the Year
Toy decided by consumers who vote at

Toy of the Year
Overall best toy of the year decided by retailers, consumers, media and TIA members


About the Toy Industry Association
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 900+ members account for an estimated 90% of the annual $24 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.