Contact: John Fistolera
The Toy Foundation



Squishmallows by Jazwares Wins Distinguished “Toy of the Year” Award

Brand Also Takes Home Coveted “People’s Choice Award” Following its “Plush Toy of the Year” & “License of the Year” Wins

New York, NY | November 21, 2022 — In time for the most critical shopping days of the year, The Toy Foundation (TTF) announced Squishmallows from Jazwares has been named the winner of both the “Toy of the Year” and the “People’s Choice” awards, as part of the 23rd edition of the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards & Celebration. TTF previously recognized the creativity of the toy industry and awarded 18 winners across 17 categories of play during a TOTY Awards ceremony on September 20 in Dallas, TX. Squishmallows was previously named “Plush Toy of the Year” and “License of the Year” during the celebration.

The 18 awarded toys and games represent the most innovative playthings on store shelves and must-have products for children and adults alike. From action figures to playsets and STEAM toys, there is a toy for everyone as peak holiday shopping commences this week.

Earning both the “Toy of the Year” award, as determined by a panel of expert judges, and the “People’s Choice” award, as voted on by toy fans around the world, Squishmallows has continued to resonate with toy lovers everywhere for the brand’s vast assortment of characters to collect as well as the comfort the plush products provide during a time when social and emotional health are top of mind for consumers and retailers alike.

“Congratulations Jazwares on receiving the prestigious ‘Toy of the Year’ and ‘People’s Choice’ awards,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “On top of the joy a toy can offer, Squishmallows is a powerful example of the emotional benefits children and adults can gain through play. Whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old, everyone can benefit from a cuddly hug from a Squishmallow these days.”

Great toys for a great cause, the TOTY Awards are a key fundraiser for TTF to support its year-round philanthropic work delivering toys to children across the globe, funding play therapy in children's hospitals, and introducing the industry to diverse, young talent. In September, the toy industry collectively raised more than $850,000 in cash and product donations to help TTF continue to grow these program areas bringing the benefits of play to children in need.

The TOTY Awards received 550 submissions during the summer. A panel of expert judges — comprised of toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists — reviewed and ranked the products to select 122 finalists. Category winners were determined by votes from Toy Association members, toy retailers (mass and specialty), media, and consumers. All results are audited for accuracy, including the judging and voting process.

For more information about the TOTY Awards voting and selection process, visit

Save the date for the next TOTY Awards & Celebration, which will take place September 29, 2023, kicking off Toy Fair (September 30 to October 3, 2023) in New York City.

About The Toy Foundation
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501 (c)3 children's charity whose mission is to provide philanthropic support and the vital commodity of play to children and families in need, across the country and globe. TTF's donations represent the charitable works of TTF and the toy industry. Last year, TTF provided $360K in cash grants to nearly 4 million children severely impacted by the pandemic. Since its inception in 2003, TTF's signature Toy Bank has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million underserved children coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, living with domestic violence, and/or dealing with natural disasters. TTF is also broadening its mission to provide grant funding to children's hospitals to encourage healing through play and to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and pipeline of talent for the toy industry.