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Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2013 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards; Announces Inductees into Toy Industry Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.]

More information about the TOTY Awards (including product images and descriptions), the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, the Toy Industry Association and the Toy Industry Foundation can be found in the online press room www.ToyAwards.org /Press. 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.

ACTIVITY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity

  • Blingles™ Bling Studio by Moose Toys
  • Cake Pops By Bakerella Ultimate Cake Pops Set by SRM Entertainment LTD.
  • Digital Light Designer by Crayola
  • LEGO® Friends by The LEGO Group
  • LiteBrix™ by Cra-z-Art®
  • Monster High® Create-A-Monster Design Lab by Mattel, Inc.
  • Symphony in B.™ by B. toys by Battat 

BOY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for boys of any age

  • Air Hogs Battle Tracker™ by Spin Master Ltd.
  • HEXBUG® Warriors Battling Robots Battle Stadium by Innovation First International
  • Hot Wheels® Ballistiks™ by Mattel, Inc.
  • LEGO® Ninjago by The LEGO Group
  • Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire blaster by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Skylanders Giants™ by Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shellraiser by Playmates Toys

E-CONNECTED TOY OF THE YEAR
An app-cessory or other physical toy that interacts with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device

  • Animal Planet Wildlands by Nukotoys
  • Furby by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Kurio7 by Techno Source, a division of LF Products (a Li & Fung Company)
  • Life of George by The LEGO Group
  • Skylanders Giants™ by Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • Sphero® by Orbotix
  • StoryBots™ Starring You® StoryBooks by JibJab Media Inc.

EDUCATIONAL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that help children to develop special skills and knowledge through play

  • InnoTab® 2  by VTech Electronics North America, LLC
  • LeapPad2™ by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • Leapster GS Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • LEGO® Architecture by The LEGO Group
  • Roll & Play™ by ThinkFun Inc.
  • Spectacular Science by Thames & Kosmos
  • Zingo!® Sight Words by ThinkFun Inc.

GAME OF THE YEAR
Children's board, card, CD-ROM or electronic game formats.  (NOTE:  All electronic games must have an ESRB "Early Childhood" rating)

  • Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates Never Land Challenge Game by Wonder Forge, Inc
  • Don't Rock the Boat™ by Patch Products
  • Fibber™ by Spin Master Ltd
  • Perplexus Epic™ by PlaSmart Inc.
  • Skylanders Giants™ by Activision Publishing, Inc.
  • Spot It Jr. Animals by Blue Orange Games
  • The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game™ by Educational Insights

GIRL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for girls of any age

  • Disney Princess Cinderella Magic Lights Dress by Creative Designs International (CDI), a division of JAKKS Pacific
  • Doc McStuffins "Time For Your Check-Up" Doll by Just Play
  • Furby by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Furreal Friends Baby Butterscotch, My Magical Show Pony by Hasbro, Inc.
  • La Dee Da™  by Spin Master Ltd
  • LEGO® Friends by The LEGO Group
  • Monster High® High School by Mattel, Inc.

INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for infant children and toddlers (ages up to 36 months) 

  • Alphabet Activity Cube™ by VTech Electronics North America, LLC
  • Cruise & Groove Ballapalooza™ by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • LEGO® Duplo Creative Sorter by The LEGO Group
  • Rock*tivity walk 'n roll rider by PLAYSKOOL
  • Roll & Play™ by ThinkFun Inc. 
  • Tranquil Turtle™ by Cloud b
  • Woofer™ by B. toys by Battat 

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

  • 4D Cityscape Time Puzzles by 4D Cityscape Puzzles Inc.
  • Digital Light Designer by Crayola
  • Furby by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Illumivor Mecha-Shark by Skyrocket Toys
  • LeapPad2™ by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • Nerf Firevision Sports Football set by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Swish™ by ThinkFun Inc.

OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys designed for outdoor play

  • Fuze Wheel Writer by Skyrocket Toys
  • Little Tikes® Cozy Couple Go Bubbles by Imperial Toy
  • Nat Geo WILD™ Anteater Bug Vac™ by Uncle Milton Industries
  • Nerf Firevision Sports Football set by Hasbro, Inc.
  • Razor® FlashRider™ 360 by Razor USA LLC
  • The Original Big Wheel by JAKKS Pacific
  • YBIKE Explorer by National Sporting Goods

PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for preschool-aged children (aged 3-5)

  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway by Wilson and TOMY
  • Disney Princess Songs Palace by Little People® by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • Doc McStuffins "Time For Your Check-Up" Doll by Just Play
  • LeapPad2™ by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • Servin' Surprises™ Kitchen & Table by Fisher-Price, Inc.
  • Switch & Go Dinos™ by VTech Electronics North America, LLC
  • Symphony in B.™ by B. toys by Battat 

PROPERTY OF THE YEAR
Property that had the greatest success spreading its brand throughout the industry

  • Barbie® (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Disney Princess-Cinderella (Disney Consumer Products )
  • LEGO® Ninjago (The LEGO Group / Ninjago)
  • Marvel's The Avengers ™ (Disney Consumer Products)
  • Monster High™ (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Skylanders Giants™ (Activision Publishing, Inc.)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon)

SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers

  • 4D Cityscape Time Puzzles by 4D Cityscape Puzzles Inc.
  • All Duct Out by ALEX Toys
  • Fashion Angels Color Rox Hair Chox™ by Fashion Angels Enterprises™
  • Fastrack by Blue Orange Games
  • LEGO® Architecture by The LEGO Group
  • Loopdedoo® Kit by Ann Williams
  • Playmobil E-Rangers Headquarters by Playmobil

Follow TOTY on Twitter at #TOTY13

SOURCE Toy Industry Association

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