2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Finalists Unveiled

Over 100 Innovative and Exciting Toys & Games Are the Judges’ Top Picks for the Holiday Season

The Toy Association has unveiled the 123 finalists for the prestigious 2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top toy, game, and licenses in the industry, and supports children in need by serving as a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation.link-banner

Finalists were announced by prominent online influencers who serve as TOTY Ambassadors. Between now and January 6, families can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in each of the 17 categories, including Action Figure of the Year, Innovative Toy of the Year, and Collectible of the Year. [SEE FINALISTS BELOW]

One winner in each category, as well as the coveted “Toy of the Year” award winner and the “People’s Choice” winner (based solely on consumer votes), will be announced at the TOTY Awards gala to be held on Friday, February 15, 2019 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in TOTY19LogoNew York City. The celebration will kick-off the 116th North American International Toy Fair and will include the induction of toy industry trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

If you’re wondering what to get the kids and ‘kidadults’ in your life this holiday season, this year’s TOTY finalists are the hottest toys and games on the market. Whether you are looking for a doll, a board game, or the latest youth electronics, you’ll find great gift ideas for children of all ages. Every one of the TOTY finalists has been carefully screened by judges for its outstanding ability to deliver joy and wonder while facilitating key developmental benefits of play,” said Steve Pasierb, The Toy Association’s president & CEO.

Importantly, the TOTY Awards program supports The Toy Foundation’s important mission focused on serving children in need – whether they are living in foster care, impoverished, dealing with a traumatic or life-threatening illness, or facing other adversities,” added Pasierb.

The finalists were selected from more than 550 nominees submitted by over 200 companies of all sizes. Nineteen judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists, reviewed and ranked the products in specific categories relevant to their areas of expertise. The judges then participated in a live discussion to determine the finalists in each category. They considered each product’s creativity, design, play value, and marketing.

ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR: Toys that include action figures

Mattel Jurassic WorldΓäó Dinosaur Action Figures

Mattel Jurassic WorldΓäó Dinosaur Action Figures

  • DJ Bumblebee (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • Mattel Jurassic World™ Dinosaur Action Figures (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Pokémon 4.5″ Battle Feature Figures (Wicked Cool Toys)
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Ninja Action Figure Assortment (Playmates Toys)
  • Stikbot Monsters (Zing)
  • Treasure X (Moose Toys)
  • WWE® Sound Slammers™ Figures (Mattel, Inc.)

COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR: Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.

Beaker CreaturesΓäó

Beaker Creatures™ (Learning Resources)

  • Beaker Creatures™ (Learning Resources)
  • Disney Doorables (Moose Toys)
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ Minifigure Series (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Series (MGA Entertainment)
  • Lost Kitties Blind Box Multipack Assortment (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • Pikmi Pops: Pikmi Flips (Moose Toys)
  • Polly Pocket (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Twisty Petz (Spin Master)

CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that include building and engineering sets

  • Gears! Gears! Gears! Machines in Motion (Learning Resources)
  • GeoSmart Flip Bot (SMART Toys and Games, Inc.)
  • GraviTrax Starter Set (Ravensburger)
  • Kessel Run Millennium Falcon™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Great Hall™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Marbleocity Triple Play Archimedes Screw (PlayMonster)
  • Snap Circuits BRIC: Structures (Elenco)

CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that allow kids to build an/or make items that are unique to them

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

  • Antsy Pants Build & Play Kit (Beach House Group)
  • Avengers Hero Inventor Kit (littleBits)
  • Building Bricks Play N Store Table (KidKraft)
  • Cool Maker KumiKreator (Spin Master)
  • Rock And Roll It Spectrum Drum (MukikiM LLC)
  • Sew + Glow (Tech Will Save Us)
  • The Big Engineering Makerspace (Thames & Kosmos)

DOLL OF THE YEAR: Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls

Barbie ® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll

Barbie® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll (Mattel, Inc.)

  • Barbie® Ibtihaj Muhammad Doll (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Barbie® Robotics Engineer Doll (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Cry Babies (IMC Toys)
  • DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free Deluxe Spirit Walking Horse (Just Play/Universal Brand Development)
  • Hairdorables (Just Play)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps (MGA Entertainment)
  • Marvel Rising Secret Warriors Doll Assortment (Hasbro, Inc.)

    my-friend-fancy-nancyceb3c3a4c3b3-doll.jpg

    My Friend Fancy Nancy™ Doll (JAKKS Pacific)

  • My Friend Fancy Nancy™ Doll (JAKKS Pacific)

GAME OF THE YEAR: Children’s board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats or puzzles

Disney VillainousΓäó Game by Wonder Forge

Disney Villainous™ Game by Wonder Forge (Ravensburger)

  • Disney Villainous™ Game by Wonder Forge (Ravensburger)
  • Dr. Biscuits’ Radical Road Trip (Barry and Jason Games & Entertainment)
  • Fryin Flyin Donuts (Maya Toys)
  • Monster Match (North Star Games)

    Monster Match

    Monster Match (North Star Games)

  • Relative Insanity (PlayMonster)
  • Unstable Unicorns (TeeTurtle, LLC)
  • Voice Originals: When in Rome (Sensible Object)

INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are developed for ages 0-3

Kid O Hudson Glow Rattle

Kid O Hudson Glow Rattle (PlayMonster)

  • Dolce Baby Aardvark (Magformers LLC)
  • Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn® Smart Learning Home™ (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Grippies® Shakers – 30 Piece Set (Guidecraft)
  • HEXBUG Cuddlebots Garden Carousel (HEXBUG)

    Dolce Baby Aardvark

    Dolce Baby Aardvark (Magformers LLC)

  • Kid O Hudson Glow Rattle (PlayMonster)
  • Learning Friends 100 Words Book™ (LeapFrog)
  • Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog (Learning Resources)

INNOVATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value

Harry PotterΓäó Wizard TrainingΓäó

Harry Potter™ Wizard Training™ (JAKKS Pacific)

  • Botley™ the Coding Robot Activity Set (Learning Resources)
  • Harry Potter™ Wizard Training™ (JAKKS Pacific)
  • K’NEX Thrill Rides Bionic Blast™ Roller Coaster Building Set (K’NEX, a division of Basic Fun!)

    KΓÇÖNEX THRILL RIDES Bionic BlastΓäó Roller Coaster Building Set

    K’NEX Thrill Rides Bionic Blast™ Roller Coaster Building Set (K’NEX, a division of Basic Fun!)

  • Legend Kit (Infento)
  • Marvel Legends Series Infinity Gauntlet Articulated Electronic Fist (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • Mystery Flying Snitch (Wow! Stuff)
  • Sensors Alive: Bring Physics to Life! (Thames & Kosmos)

LICENSE OF THE YEAR: Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry

  • Hatchimals (Spin Master)
  • Hot Wheels (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Jurassic World™ Fallen Kingdom (Universal Brand Development)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! (MGA Entertainment)
  • Marvel Black Panther™ (The Walt Disney Company)
  • Peppa Pig (Entertainment One)
  • PJ Masks (Entertainment One)

OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons

MorfBoardΓäó

MorfBoard™ (JAKKS Pacific)

  • Glove-A-Bubbles (Zing)
  • MorfBoard™ (JAKKS Pacific)
  • Nickelodeon Automatic Slime Drencher (JAKKS Pacific)

    Watermelon Smash

    Watermelon Smash (Yulu)

  • Razor Turbo Jetts Electric Heel Wheels (Razor USA, LLC)
  • Rollplay Nighthawk Ride-On (Rollplay)
  • Watermelon Smash (Yulu)
  • X-Shot™ Flying Bug Attack (ZURU)

PLAYSET TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event

DisneyΓÇóPixar Cars Super Track Mack Playset

Disney•Pixar Cars Super Track Mack Playset (Mattel, Inc.)

  • Disney•Pixar Cars Super Track Mack Playset (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Farm To Table Play Kitchen With EZ Kraft Assembly™ (KidKraft)
  • Hidden Temple with T-Rex (PLAYMOBIL)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! House (MGA Entertainment)
  • LEGO® Creator Expert Roller Coaster (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • LEGO® Jurassic World™ Indoraptor Rampage at Lockwood Estate (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 43″ Epic Sewer Lair Playset (Playmates Toys)

PLUSH OF THE YEAR: Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling

Dolce Afghan Hound

Dolce Afghan Hound (Magformers LLC)

  • Dolce Afghan Hound (Magformers LLC)
  • Fingerlings HUGS (WowWee)
  • GUND Flora Bunny Animated Plush (Spin Master)
  • Pomsies™ (Skyrocket)
  • Rainbocorns (ZURU)
  • Rescue Runts (KD Kids)
  • Scruff-A-Luvs (Moose Toys)
  • Star Wars Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie (Hasbro, Inc.)

PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are developed for ages 3-5

Fisher-Price® Think & Learn Rocktopus™

Fisher-Price® Think & Learn Rocktopus™ (Mattel, Inc.)

  • Design & Drill® See Through Creative Workshop (Educational Insights)
  • Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile (Just Play)
  • Fisher-Price® Think & Learn Rocktopus™ (Mattel, Inc.)

    Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile

    Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile (Just Play)

  • Kid Trax Rideamals Scout (Kid Trax)
  • LEGO® DUPLO Steam Train (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Little Tikes STEM Jr. Wonder Lab (MGA Entertainment)
  • Pop Oh Ver Stove Set (Kangaroo Manufacturing Inc.)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: A new company (created within the last 2 years) that has brought to market an outstanding toy

Ollyball - The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball!

Ollyball – The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball! (VICTURY Sports)

  • Massive Monster Mayhem Bash Weapons (Alpha Group US)
  • Match the Baby Puzzles (Banana Panda, Inc.)
  • Monsters Lock Box (Tender Leaf Toys)
  • Ollyball – The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball! (VICTURY Sports)
  • Tic Tac Tongue (Yulu)
  • Turing Tumble (Turing Tumble LLC)
  • What The Film?! (Lethal Chicken Games)

SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers and are not sold at mass

gund-super-pusheenicorn.jpg

GUND Super Pusheenicorn (Spin Master)

  • Betrayal at Cloud City™ (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Chickapig (Buffalo Games, LLC)
  • GeoSafari® Jr. Talking Telescope™ (Educational Insights)
  • GUND Super Pusheenicorn (Spin Master)
  • HEXBUG Ring Racer (HEXBUG)
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Castle (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Marbles Otrio (Spin Master)
  • Pepper Mint in the Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure (Thames & Kosmos)

TECH TOY OF THE YEAR: Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device

Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit (Kano)

  • Arcade1Up (Tastemakers LLC)
  • Creative Coder (Tech Will Save Us)
  • Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit (Kano)
  • Kids First Coding & Robotics (Thames & Kosmos)
  • LeapStart® 3D Learning System (LeapFrog)
  • Really Rad Robots: MiBro (Moose Toys)
  • VEX Balancing Boxing Bot 2-Pack (HEXBUG)

VEHICLE OF THE YEAR: Toys that are powered or non-powered vehicles, and their playsets/accessories

Automoblox BR100 Hercules

Automoblox BR100 Hercules (PlayMonster)

  • Automoblox BR100 Hercules (PlayMonster)
  • LEGO® Technic® Bugatti Chiron (LEGO Systems, Inc.)
  • Nerf Nitro Doubleclutch Inferno Blaster (Hasbro, Inc.)

    NERF NITRO DOUBLECLUTCH INFERNO Blaster

    Nerf Nitro Doubleclutch Inferno Blaster (Hasbro, Inc.)

  • PAW Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck (Spin Master & Nickelodeon)
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Tank (Playmates Toys)
  • TerraSect RC (Alpha Group US)
  • VEX Robotics OffRoad Truck (HEXBUG)

In 1984, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame was established to recognize the people behind the power of play. Every year for the past three decades, members of the industry have proudly nominated hundreds of men and women – from toy inventors to toy retailers – who have made their mark on the industry and created a love of play in the hearts of children of all TOIA_logo-p-500x231ages.

The Toy Industry Hall of Fame Committee carried forward for 2019 both Stan Lee (Former Chairman, Marvel Comics) and Brian Goldner (Chairman & CEO, Hasbro, Inc.) as two of the three leading vote-recipients and planned inductees from 2018. Mr. Goldner had previously stepped aside to give Mr. Lee and Ms. Andrea Barthello the spotlight while it was later determined that Mr. Lee’s induction would be delayed one year. Hall of Fame Co-Chairmen Neil Friedman and Alan Hassenfeld commented, “The Nominating Committee Members are excited to finally induct two outstanding individuals in Stan Lee and Brian Goldner who had the support of the voting membership, our Committee and The Toy Association’s Board of Directors.”

2019 Living Inductee Brian Goldner, CEO, Hasbro

Nominated by: Reuben B. Klamer, Reuben Klamer Toylab

2019 Hall of Fame Recipient Brian Goldner

2019 Hall of Fame Recipient Brian Goldner

Since joining Hasbro in 2000 and taking on the role of CEO in 2008, Brian Goldner has been instrumental in transforming Hasbro from a traditional toy and game company into a global play and entertainment leader. During his tenure, Hasbro passed the $5B revenue mark for the first time in company history. Mr. Goldner pioneered Hasbro’s entry into entertainment and has served as an executive producer on a number of films based on Hasbro brands, including the wildly-successful Transformers films and the 2017 animated feature My Little Pony: The Movie. He is actively involved in driving corporate and community initiatives to fulfill Hasbro’s purpose to make the world a better place for children and their families. Hasbro ranked No. 5 on the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for 2018 by CR Magazine and was recognized as a 2018 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.

2019 Living Inductee Stan Lee, Former Chairman, Marvel Comics

Nominated By: Pat Feely, PSF Consulting

2019 Hall of Fame recieipent Stan Lee

2019 Hall of Fame recipient the late Stan Lee

The late Stan Lee, former chairman of Marvel Comics, has been an important creative force in the toy industry. His impact on the vital action figure segment is unparalleled; Mr. Lee co-created Spiderman, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, X-Men and many other prominent characters alongside several artists. Over the years, Mr. Lee has mentored countless creators of characters, motion pictures, and toys and led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation now owned by Disney. He also headed the first major successful challenge to the industry’s censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, leading to policy reform. Mr. Lee founded the Stan Lee Foundation in 2010 to support programs and ideas that improve access to literacy resources, as well as promote diversity, national literacy, culture, and the arts. (Mr. Lee died on November 12, 2018, at age 95.)

2019 Posthumous Inductee Joe Mendelsohn, Former President, Kenner Products

Nominated by: Phillip Bloom, Phillip A. Bloom & Associates: Publisher of the “Bloom Report”

Joe Mendelsohn joined Kenner Products in 1956 and led the company as president from 1978 to 1985. During his tenure Kenner thrived, producing major hits each year in the categories of toys, dolls, and fad items. Mr. Mendelsohn guided the development of Kenner’s product lines and interacted with the industry merchants who were so important to Kenner’s success or failure. He ensured that his customers always had a flow of hot merchandise and that promotions were adequately backed by product that was critical to a retailer’s success.

Mr. Mendelsohn was a big believer in partnerships in business and strove to develop them with each of his business partners. He always solicited input from those around him (as well as from retailers) and leveraged that input to make his company a leader in the industry. He was a respected executive during a period of dynamic growth at Kenner, and within the toy industry as a whole.


More information about the TOTY voting and selection process can be found in the “About the Awards” section of www.ToyAwards.org.