Dress code for this year’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards gala more casual than usual as organisers state PJs are welcome. Here’s what you need to know about the event.
Over the past two decades, the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards have been unveiled during a sold-out gala in New York City that celebrated the top toys of the year and helped kick-off Toy Fair New York.
While the dress code this year might be a bit more casual, the “Oscars” of the toy industry will live on in an exciting new virtual format, in the shape of an industry-exclusive party on Friday, February 12th. Tickets to the online event, which are free of charge, can be reserved until 9th February.
A pre-show party will begin at 3:30pm EST (8.30pm in the UK), where attendees can enjoy a magic show, learn how to whip up a themed cocktail (or mocktail) with a mixologist, and put their toy trivia skills to the test. Registered attendees should look out for an email in the coming weeks with additional pre-show details.
This will be followed by the one-hour awards ceremony, which will begin promptly at 4pm (EST). Winners will be revealed across 16 categories, which have been updated over the years to ensure the awards programme remains representative of advancements and innovations across the toy industry. Consumer votes will decide the People’s Choice Award, while the coveted Toy of the Year Award is selected by a panel of retailers, journalists and industry analysts from among the category winners. The finalists have been detailed here.
The programme will also celebrate and support the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation and commemorate four industry trailblazers into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the 2021 TOTY Awards are free but must be reserved in advance. The last day to register for your ticket is February 9th. Attendees will receive additional details on how to access the awards programme in the weeks leading up to the event. While tickets are complimentary, a suggested donation or purchase of an ad for the digital TOTY Tribute Book helps to support the ongoing philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation.
Proceeds will support the foundation in its mission to deliver the magic of play to millions of children under stress and in dire situations across the country and globe through industry-wide toy donations and cash contributions. The TOTY Awards is a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation, which has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million deserving children and families in underserved communities around the world since 2003.
“The TOTY gala will certainly look different this year, but we can’t wait to gather the toy and play community together for a global celebration of the talent and innovation of our industry and the work of The Toy Foundation,” said Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “The new format is a particularly exciting opportunity for us to share this typically industry-only event with families everywhere.”
To learn more about this year’s new virtual format and the TOTY Awards, visit TOTYAwards.org.