Winners of Play for Change Awards 2021 revealed

Published on: 7th October 2021

Over 80 toys and initiatives were submitted to the Play For Change Awards in the categories Empowerment, Sustainability and Future Skills.

Gold winners in the Empowerment Category – Miniland S.A. for Miniland Dolls with Down Syndrome

Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has unveiled the winners of the 2021 Play for Change Awards.

TIE created the Play for Change Awards in 2020 to recognise the inspirational efforts across the sector to champion children’s empowerment, future skills, and a more sustainable future.

The winning entries were announced by jury chairman and Toy World publisher John Baulch during a virtual ceremony, during which EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli underlined the important role of the toy sector in driving positive change in children’s lives. Irina Reyes, representing Mariya Gabriel, the EU Commissioner responsible for education and youth, said the Awards were a great example of what European values – such as equality and empowerment, sustainable development, and the right to education for all – mean in practice.

Over 80 high-quality toys and initiatives were submitted in the three categories of Empowerment, Sustainability and Future Skills, and a shortlist of  finalists was announced at the end of September. The Play for Change 2021 winners are:

Empowerment category – entries that truly made children believe in themselves by challenging stereotypes and making play more accessible:

  • Gold: Miniland S.A. for Miniland Dolls with Down Syndrome
  • Silver: Mattel for the Barbie Message Against Racism
  • Bronze: The LegoGroup for LegoBraille Bricks (the Lego Foundation)

Gold winner in the Environmental Sustainability category – Dantoy A/S for Dantoy Green Bean

Environmental Sustainability category – toys that educate children about the environment, companies that are front-runners in using sustainable materials, packaging and production processes or who are actively encouraging recycling:

  • Gold: Dantoy A/S for Dantoy Green Bean
  • Silver: Adventerra Games Sagl for their Ecologic Puzzle & Memories, Polar Adventure and Hungry Bins
  • Bronze: BioBuddi for BioBuddi Pixel and Create

Future Skills category – toys that stimulate skills kids need for the future like critical thinking, problem solving, resilience and tech literacy:

  • Gold: The Lego Group for Lego Education Spike Prime Set
  • Silver: Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG for the Cyborg-Hand
  • Bronze: Miniland S.A. for Amazing Inside

For the 2021 edition, TIE decided to also recognise toy companies who responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with actions to support children and the wider community. The Special Covid-19 Commendation was awarded to:

  • Learning Resources for its Home Learning support project
  • Mattel for its #KeepPlaying relief efforts

Gold winner in the Future Skills category – The Lego Group for Lego Education Spike Prime Set

TIE’s director general, Catherine Van Reeth, said: “With an almost 50% rise in entries this year, toy companies are clearly increasingly engaged in the issues of empowerment, sustainability and future skills. There is so much fantastic work going on in the toy sector – we can’t wait to see what the coming years will bring.”

Play For Change Awards winners were selected by three juries of independent experts, chaired by industry stalwart John Baulch, who added: “The awards give a great opportunity for companies to demonstrate how they are rising to society’s challenges. The bar for judging was high and deciding on the winners was no easy task.”

Toy companies interested in taking part in the future can register to keep up-to-date on all the latest information for next year’s awards here or can contact

To find more about Toy Industries of Europe, please visit:


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