“Toy of the Year” Nominated Games Bring Families Together over the Holidays

December 20, 2011 | The holidays are all about family bonding – and what better way to connect than through play? Games that are exciting for all ages and help bridge the gap between generations are an excellent way for kids, parents and grandparents to build new memories and have fun.

“Families who play together discover new things about one another and gain respect for each individual’s knowledge and strengths,” says Adrienne Appell, trend expert at the Toy Industry Association (TIA).

Below is a selection of reinvented classics and brand new innovative games that are among the nominees for the 2012 Toy of the Year Awards. To view the full list of nominated toys and games, vote for your favorite, and register to win fantastic prize packages, visit ToyAwards.org.

  • UNO Roboto (Mattel, Inc.) is a new, interactive version of the classic game, bringing UNO to life by allowing kids to customize their game in outrageous ways. The UNO Roboto randomly calls out their names, unique house rules, funny phrases and surprising commands that can turn the game around at any moment.
  • Tetris Link (Techno Source) is a new version of the celebrated classic – a tabletop strategy game for up to four players. Players roll the die and strategically drop the Tetris pieces into the upright game tower to gain points. 
  • Lego Heroica Castle Fortaan (LEGO Systems, Inc.) is an adventure-themed build-and-play board game that engages kids in the battle to free “Heroica.” This innovative game combines building and creativity with traditional board game play, allowing players to explore a land of monsters and treasure with the roll of a dice.
  • Everybody knows the popular card game, War. An interesting take on the game lies in Jungle Speed (Asmodee).  Cards are embellished with abstract shapes and colors and add a call to action to race opponents to a totem.  Players flip the cards, spot the matching symbols and grab the totem faster than their opponents to win.
  • Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure (Activision Publishing, Inc.) is a brand new adventure game and collectible play experience that allows players to bring their toys to life.  Kids collect real-world toys and transport them into the virtual game using a mystical “portal of power” – a magical gateway between the physical world and the fictional Skylands.
  • Swish (ThinkFun) is a spatial card game that is both challenging and educational. Players must mentally flip and rotate cards to make matches, or “Swishes.” Swishes are made by layering as few as two or as many as 12 transparent cards so that balls “swish” into a hoop of the same color.
  • Rory's Story Cubes (Gamewright/Ceaco) teaches kids how to become great story-tellers by reinforcing artistic expression and vocabulary development. The pocket-sized game provides hours of imaginative play. Players simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark their imaginations.

These are just a few of the dozens of toys and games that were nominated for the Toy of the Year Awards. Voting on ToyAwards.org is open now through January 15th. Winners across 11 categories – and the overall Toy of the Year – will be announced on February 11th, 2012.