The Toy Foundation releases the Toy of the Year Awards finalists
A magical crystal ball, a giant pyramid climbing tower, and the most diverse assortment of dolls ever are among the 122 innovative finalists for this September’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. A long-treasured event, The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) TOTY Awards celebrate the creativity of the toy and play community and recognize the industry’s collective philanthropy for the benefit of children in need.
Following the new fall timeline, the TOTY Awards recognize the top toys, games, and licenses from the past two years across 17 categories of play in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season. The finalists (listed below) were selected by a panel of judges comprised of play experts, journalists, academics, retailers, and other toy experts, and now it’s up to the voters to determine the winners.
All are invited to visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorites in each category through September 2, 2022. The category winners, determined by votes from Toy Association members, retailers, media, and consumers, will be announced at the TOTY Awards on September 20, 2022 at the Dallas Market Center, on opening day of The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview & 2022 Holiday Market.
Toy of the Year and People’s Choice Award Winners
The overall Toy of the Year and People’s Choice award winners will be announced November 21, 2022, adding an element of excitement for the holidays. Voting for the People’s Choice Award, uniquely decided by online consumer votes, will remain open through November 11, 2022. The Toy of the Year will be determined by a panel of expert judges.
“The finalists are marvelous examples of innovation and imagination to deliver the power of play to children and adults alike,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “While the TOTY Awards spotlight the best of the best in toys, it’s heartening that our toy family chooses this platform to unite behind the TTF’s core program areas. Thanks to your collective support, we’re able to deliver millions of toys to disadvantaged youth, improve pediatric care in under-resourced communities, and help attract diverse talent to the industry.”
The TOTY Awards are a key fundraiser for TTF to support its year-round philanthropic work to deliver the comfort, joy, and extraordinary physical, emotional, and educational benefits of play to children in need. All event proceeds (including TOTY nomination fees) benefit its initiatives, including the Children’s Hospital Play Grants program to bring the healing power of play to children in hospital settings; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program to reach all communities with play; and The Toy Bank program to deliver the comfort and security of a toy to children in need around the world. The TOTY celebration will spotlight each of these program areas and the impact of bringing the benefits of play to children in need, as well as serve as an opportunity to donate and further its mission.
ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR
Toys that represent a person or fictional character intended for active, imaginative, and narrative-based play.
- DC Comics Batman 12″ Wingsuit Action Figure by Spin Master
- Gigabots Energy Cores by Blip Toys
- Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Goo Shifters by Moose Toys LLC
- Jurassic World Dominion Super Colossal Giganotosaurs by Mattel, Inc.
- Jurassic World Real FX Baby Blue by WOW! Stuff
- Star Wars L0-59 (Lola) Animatronic Droid by Hasbro, Inc.
- Transformers: Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures Dinobots Unite Smash Changer Optimus Prime by Hasbro, Inc.
COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR
Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples, including novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
- 5 Surprise Disney Mini Brands Series 1 by ZURU, Inc.
- Crayola Happy 64th Birthday Crayons by Crayola, LLC
- Disney Kingdomania: Series 1 – Game Ball by Funko Inc.
- Harry Potter Playing Cards by theory11
- LEGO Minifigures The Muppets by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Magic Mixies Magic Mixlings by Moose Toys LLC
- Pop It! Pets by Buffalo Games Inc.
CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that include building as the primary play pattern.
- Candy Vending Machine – Super Stunts & Tricks by Thames & Kosmos LLC
- LEGO City Rocket Launch Center by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- LEGO MARVEL I am Groot by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Logical Master Builder Blocks by HABA
- Magna-Tiles Dino World XL 50-Piece Set by Magna-Tiles
- PIXIO-800 by Trendformer Limited
- Snap Circuits: MyHome Plus by ELENCO
CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that allow kids to build and/or make items that are unique to them.
- 3Doodler Start+ Maker Bundle by 3Doodler
- Creativity for Kids Build & Grow Tree House by Faber-Castell USA/Creativity for Kids
- Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball by Moose Toys LLC
- Magna-Tiles Forest Animals 25-Piece Set by Magna-Tiles
- Rainbow Loom Loomi-Pals Mega Combo by Rainbow Loom
- smART sketcher GO! by FlyCatcher Inc
- ZipLinx Triple Tower Blast by Blip Toys
DOLL OF THE YEAR
Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls.
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Fresh Fierce Collection by The Fresh Dolls by World of EPI Company
- Disney Junior Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Alice Doll & Magical Oven by Just Play
- Global Kidizen Doll Collection by For Purpose Kids
- Healthy Roots Dolls Curlfriends Club by Healthy Roots
- Miniland Baby Doll Caucasian Girl with Down Syndrome with Glasses by Miniland
- My Avastars by WowWee
- Naturalistas Fashion Dolls by Purpose Toys
GAME OF THE YEAR
Games for families and children (ages 0-14), including board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats and puzzles. Exclusive of video or app games.
- Catch the Moon by Thames & Kosmos LLC
- Connect 4 Spin Game by Hasbro, Inc.
- Mantis by Exploding Kittens Inc.
- Pokémon Trading Card Game: Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box by The Pokémon Company International
- Star Wars Villainous by Ravensburger
- T.A.P.E.S. by Hog Wild, LLC
- Tacto Doctor by PlayShifu
GROWN-UP TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys and games developed primarily for grown-ups/kidults, including party games, board games, collectibles, arts and crafts, and more. These toys are often fueled by fandoms, social media, and adult humor and are not “adult toys” nor sexual in nature.
- AirTitans Jurassic World Massive Attack T-Rex R/C by JAKKS Pacific
- Barbie Signature Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Doll by Mattel, Inc.
- Cal Kestis Legacy Lightsaber Hilt by Disney Global Product Creation
- Fisher-Price Little People Collector Ted Lasso by Mattel, Inc.
- Flyer L885 Electric Bike by Radio Flyer Inc.
- Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar by Funko Inc.
- LEGO Ideas The Office by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Lite-Brite Wall Art Pop Wow! Edition by Basic Fun!
INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for ages 0-3 (0-18 months infant/18 months-3 years toddler).
- 100 Things That Go by LeapFrog
- Celestial Star Explorer by The Manhattan Toy Company
- CoComelon Ultimate Learning Adventure Bus by Just Play
- Explore & More Grow Along 4-In-1 Activity Walker by Skip Hop
- Level Up Gaming Chair by VTech
- SmartMax My First Hide & Seek by Smart Toys and Games, Inc.
- The Play Kits by Lovevery
- Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart by Melissa & Doug, LLC
LICENSE OF THE YEAR
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand through the development and merchandising of products developed from the intellectual property.
- Barbie – 60th Dreamhouse Anniversary by Mattel, Inc.
- Bluey by BBC Studios
- CoComelon by Moonbug Entertainment
- Gabby’s Dollhouse by Universal Brand Development
- Jurassic World Dominion by Universal Brand Development
- Pokémon by The Pokémon Company International
- Squishmallows by Jazwares
OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys designed for outdoor play, excluding ride-ons.
- CLYDO Football by Blue Orange Games
- Eezy Peezy Mega Pyramid Climber by Toy Monster
- FOAMO Foam Machine by MGA Entertainment
- Föm Mania Fömilator by Little Kids, Inc.
- KidKraft Hideout Hollow Tunnel Climber by KidKraft
- Rollplay FLEX Kart by Rollplay
- Twister SPLASH by WowWee
PLAYSET OF THE YEAR
Toys designed to work together to enact some action or event, including characters and role play.
- Barbie Dreamhouse by Mattel, Inc.
- L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. House of Surprises by MGA Entertainment
- LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Peach Starter Course by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Play-Doh Ultimate Ice Cream Truck Playset by Hasbro, Inc.
- PLAYMOBIL Wiltopia – Animal Care Station by Playmobil U.S.A. Inc.
- Superspace by Everplay Labs
- Wooden Café Barista Coffee Shop by Melissa & Doug, LLC
PLUSH TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or a similar filling, including toys with interactive or electronic features.
- 16″ Squishmallows by Jazwares
- Dance & Play Bluey by Moose Toys LLC
- DJ Beat Boxer by VTech
- FurReal Cinnamon the Pony by Hasbro, Inc.
- Hugimals by Hugimals World
- Little Live Pets Mama Surprise by Moose Toys LLC
- My Pal Scout Smarty Paws by LeapFrog
- National Geographic Kids Chimp Care & Nurture Set by Just Play
PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys developed for ages 3-5.
- Big Big Baby by Hunter Products
- Clean Sweep Learning Caddy by LeapFrog
- Crayola Color & Erase Resuable Mat by Crayola, LLC
- Disney Junior Mickey Mouse Funhouse Treasure Adventure Pirate Ship by Just Play
- Imaginext Jurassic World Mega Stomp & Rumble Giga Dino by Mattel, Inc.
- Little Tikes Learn & Play Look & Learn Window by MGA Entertainment
- Peppa Pig Toniebox Starter Set by tonies USA
RIDE-ON TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys designed to be ridden outdoors, such as motorized vehicles, bicycles, scooters, wagons, etc.
- Cyberquad for Kids by Radio Flyer Inc.
- Flybar Bumper Car XL by Flybar
- John Deere Johnny Tractor Ride-On by TOMY International, Inc.
- Little Tikes Ice Cream Cozy Truck by MGA Entertainment
- Mario Kart 24V Ride-On Racer by JAKKS Pacific
- Rollplay Nighthawk Storm by Rollplay
- Viro Rides Café Racer by MGA Entertainment
SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys from manufacturers that primarily do business through independent retailers (neighborhood toy stores, museum shops, vacation destinations and similar venues) or in limited quantities online.
- Ann Williams Craft-tastic Nature Scavenger Hunt Potions by PlayMonster Group LLC
- Professor Maxwell’s VR Dinosaurs by Abacus Brands
- Replogle Globe 4 Kids by Replogle Globes Inc.
- Snap Circuits: Green Energy by ELENCO
- Super Cityscape Transport Bucket Set by Hape
- Where’s Squeaky? by Blue Orange Games
- WindBots: 6-in-1 Wind-Powered Machine Kit by Thames & Kosmos LLC
STEAM TOY OF THE YEAR
Toys that encourage kids to develop, strengthen and integrate skills across science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
- Bill Nye’s VR Science Kit by Abacus Brands
- Build Box Subscription: Disc Launcher by CrunchLabs by Mark Rober
- Cody Block by QUBS
- CONNETIX Pastel Mega Pack 212pc by CONNETIX
- GraviTrax PRO: Giant Set by Ravensburger
- Snap Circuits: Junior by ELENCO
- STEM Explorers Brainometry by Learning Resources Inc.
VEHICLE OF THE YEAR
Toy cars, trucks, trains, and other vehicles in all scales, including R/C vehicles.
- Klutz LEGO: Race Cars by Scholastic Inc.
- LEGO Technic McLaren Formula 1 Race Car by LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Mega Chomp R/C Shark by Skyrocket Toys
- Snap Circuits: Code Journey by ELENCO
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Sonic Speed R/C by JAKKS Pacific
- Switcheroo Coding Crew by Learning Resources Inc.
- The Joker Dragon DC MULTIVERSE Vehicle by McFarlane Toys
For more information about the TOTY Awards voting and selection process, visit ToyAwards.org.
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. For more information, visit toyfoundation.org.