18% Increase Marks Record-Breaking Year for TOTY Nominations

ImageThe “Oscars" of the toy industry received a record number of nominations this year as 120 distinct organizations submitted candidates for consideration on the Toy of the Year (TOTY) 2010 awards ballot. 

At the close of the nomination period on October 29, 2009, staff noted an 18% increase in nominations compared to the previous year. 

“Perhaps this is another sign of a thaw in the recession which is further supported by the 3.5% third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth,” noted Carter Keithley, TIA president. “And from what we have learned, it is the creativity in the toys that drives sales.”

The TOTY nominations committee – comprised of major retailers representing both mass and specialty store segments, as well as journalists, inventors and educators – will convene in New York City on Thursday, November 5th, to review the hundreds of nominations received and select the products that will be included on the final 2010 ballot. 

Jamie Gallagher, CEO of Faber Castell USA/Creativity for Kids and chair of the TOTY Committee, affirmed the group’s discerning role, “Our goal is to ensure the integrity of the ballot selection process by selecting top tier toys which have had retail success and exemplify the ingenuity and creativity of the industry.”

TIA introduced a more in-depth nominations submission process in order to obtain key product data to help it promote the toys which make it to the final ballot.

For the first time this year there were two separate categories for Infant and Preschool, bringing the total number of eligible categories to twelve.  In addition, one toy will be designated Toy of the Year.

All the products selected for the official TOTY 2010 ballot will also be featured on a new TIA-sponsored consumer-facing website that will be launched in mid- to late-November … just in time to help drive sales for the holiday shopping season. Consumers will be able to peruse the list of nominated toys by category and download a free gift shopping list.

Winners will be announced during the TOTY Awards presentation ceremony that will take place on Saturday evening, February 13, 2010 at Chelsea Piers/Pier 60, officially kicking off the 107th Annual American International Toy Fair week in New York City.

TOTY tickets may be purchased at www.totyawards.org. Toy companies interested in purchasing space for promotional logo links on the consumer-facing site or TOTY event sponsorships (including the Toy Industry Foundation Tribute Book) may contact TIA’s Julie Livingston (646.520.4870).