The best in the toy industry took centre stage at the 2023 Toy of the Year Awards in New York City on Friday 29th September.
The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards celebration welcomed nearly 800 members of the toy community for a night of industry awards, philanthropy, and entertainment on the eve of Toy Fair in New York City. Barbie, Lego, Squishmallows, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were among the top winners of the evening, along with many others that were honoured with a prestigious award before Grammy Award winner Wyclef Jean took the stage.
Hosted by and in support of The Toy Foundation (TTF), the TOTY Awards are an opportunity for the toy industry to unite behind the foundation’s work delivering the extraordinary benefits of play to children in need. Collectively, approximately $800,000 was raised to support TTF’s programmes, benefitting the mission partners that participated in the celebration – Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Metro World Child, and University of Maryland – as well as hundreds of additional national and international non-profits. The TOTY Awards’ presenting sponsors – Amazon, Mattel and Spin Master – all joined TTF on stage to highlight the importance and impact of the mission partners’ work.
“Our collective love of play, and the fun it creates, made the TOTY Awards an unforgettable night,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “Congratulations to the award winners and luminaries who are moving the industry forward and thank you to all who attended. Together we are making a difference through play in the lives of children in need.”
25 winners received a coveted TOTY Awards crystal trophy for their creativity and imagination across 17 product categories and six new people- and campaign-focused categories. Two ties for Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year and Playset of the Year were announced. Readers can see the full list of winners below.
Consumers are invited to continue voting at ToyAwards.org until 10th November to determine which TOTY Awards finalists will win the People’s Choice award. The overall Toy of the Year winner will be determined by a panel of expert judges. Both award winners will be announced on 20th November.
Toy industry trailblazers Ronnen Harary, Anton Rabie, and Ben Varadi, co-founders of Spin Master, and Mary Couzin, founder & president of Chitag & People of Play, were also inducted into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame and individually spoke about their passion and drive to continue innovating and delivering the joy of play to children around the world. Posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame with a special video tribute were the late John McLoughlin, founder of board game company McLoughlin Brothers; the late Rose O’Neill, creator of Kewpie dolls; the late David Ring, founder of Larami Corporation; and the late John Lloyd Wright, inventor of Lincoln Logs.
For more information about the TOTY Awards voting and selection process, visit ToyAwards.org.
2023 Toy of the Year Award winners
- Action Figure of the Year: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem by Playmates Toys
- Collectible of the Year: Squishmallows – Pokémon Collection by Jazwares
- Construction Toy of the Year: Lego Disney and Pixar ‘Up’ House by Lego Systems
- Creative Toy of the Year: National Geographic Hobby Pottery Wheel by Blue Marble
- Doll of the Year: Barbie The Movie Dolls by Mattel
- Game of the Year: 5 Second Rule Relay by PlayMonster
- Grown-Up Toy of the Year: Lego The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell by Lego Systems
- Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year: Laugh & Learn Mix & Learn DJ Table by Mattel and Lego Duplo 3 in 1 Tree House by Lego Systems
- License of the Year: Barbie Franchise by Mattel
- Outdoor Toy of the Year: Monopoly Splash by WowWee
- Playset of the Year: Paw Patrol Mighty Aircraft Carrier HQ by Spin Master and Playmobil My Figures: Pirates’ Island by Playmobil
- Plush Toy of the Year: 16” Squishmallows by Jazwares
- Pre-School Toy of the Year: Magna-Tiles Downhill Duo 40-Piece Set by Magna-Tiles
- Ride-On Toy of the Year: Extreme Drift Go-Kart by Radio Flyer
- Specialty Toy of the Year: KAI: The Artificial Intelligence Robot by Thames & Kosmos
- STEAM Toy of the Year: Lego Technic NASA Mars Rover Perseverance by Lego Systems
- Vehicle of the Year: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem Pizza Fire Van by Playmates Toys
People-focused category winners
- Champion of Diversity & Inclusion: Brent Bell, Art director at Moose Toys
- Champion of Sustainability: G.B. Pillai, founder at Wild Republic
- Packaging Designer of the Year: Suzanna Lakatos, director of Packaging Design at Mattel
- PR/Marketer of the Year: Lisa McKnight, executive vice president & chief brand officer, Mattel
Campaign-focused category winners
- Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative:
- Gold Winner: First Barbie Doll with Down Syndrome by Mattel
- Silver Winner: Playsponsible Campaign by Spin Master
- Bronze Winner: Lego Replay by Lego Systems
- Marketing Campaign:
- Gold Winner: Barbie the Movie Marketing Campaign by Mattel
- Silver Winner: Moose Toys Makes Marketing Magic for Reveal of Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball by Moose Toys
- Bronze Winner: LankyBox Secret Mission Toy Launch by Bonkers Toys