Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2013 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards
November 19, 2012
Announces Inductees into Toy Industry Hall of Fame

New York, NY | November 19, 2012– The Toy Industry Association (TIA) kicked off the holiday shopping season today by announcing the 84 finalists for the prestigious 2013 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 13, 2013, toy lovers of all ages can visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in 12 categories – from e-Connected and Innovative to Educational and Outdoor toys – and sign up to win exclusive prize packages!
“Each year, TOTY celebrates the creative spirit of the toy industry and honors the joy that toys and games bring to kids of all walks of life,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president, at a New York City press conference unveiling the nominees. “We are proud to announce that the TOTY Awards will once again support the inspiring work of the Toy Industry Foundation, which annually delivers one million toys and games to deserving children around the world.”

This year’s finalists – representing 69 unique products or properties from 46 companies – were selected from nearly 650 nominees submitted for consideration.  Nomination committees comprised of academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers narrowed the field to the slate of finalists that were introduced today.

“The toys in the 2013 TOTY line-up emphasize play value, originality and innovation across all market sectors,” said Stacy Leistner, TIA vice president of strategic communications. “To elevate the excitement surrounding the awards, this year we are introducing the ‘People’s Choice Award.’ The winner in this category will be selected exclusively by votes received on our ToyAwards.org website. It will be the public’s choice of the most popular plaything of the year!”

Five ballots – for consumers, mass retailers, specialty retailers, media, and TIA members – were launched during the press event and will remain open through January 13, 2013. These ballots will be weighted and used to determine each of the category winners. The overall “Toy of the Year” award will be selected based on votes received from journalists and bloggers, retailers and TIA members. [See the finalists in each category below]

The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on Saturday, February 9, 2013 as the kick-off to the 110th American International Toy Fair.
2013 Hall of Fame Inductees Join Toy Industry Icons
Also announced today were the next inductees into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.  Judith (Judy) Ellis, founder and chair of the nation’s first baccalaureate program in Toy Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the late Russ Berrie, former chief executive and chairman of Russ Berrie & Company, will be recognized for their outstanding contributions and service to the toy industry during the TOTY Awards ceremony in February. [See related press release for more detail.]
. The TOTY Awards program is the annual Toy Industry Association-administered event in support of the inspiring work of the Toy Industry Foundation.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA)
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages, representing more than 550 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including the development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play. For more information, please visit www.toyassociation.org or www.toyinfo.org.
Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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