The 11 Best Toys Of 2011: Toy Industry Awards
If you want to check out 2011's hottest toys, look no further. The 11th annual Toy Of The Year Awards (TOTYs) were presented last night at a shindig marking the 108th American International Toy Fair, which opens today in NYC. The TOTY, for those of you who are superstitious, not only celebrates its 11th year anniversary in 2011, but it awarded 11 prizes in 11 different categories, plus one award for Toy Of The Year.
2011 also marks the first time TOTY awards have been determined by public online voting, as opposed to toy industry judges, though the nominations were submitted by members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA).
Without further ado, I introduce you to triple-winner, the 2011 Pre-School Toy of the Year, Innovative Toy of the Year and, not surprisingly, the TOTY Toy of the Year Award....
Toy of the Year (Grand Prize): Sing-A-Ma-Jigs!™ by Fisher-Price
1. Innovative Toy of the Year: Sing-A-Ma-Jigs!™ by Fisher-Price
2.: Preschool Toy of the Year: Sing-A-Ma-Jigs!™ by Fisher-Price
Individual, adorable, plush dolls that chatter, sing a song, or harmonize with each other. Obviously collectable, and obviously clever. Change their 'modes' by pressing on their left arms and control their tones by pressing on their tummies, the Sing-A-Ma-Jigs can't mean anything but fun. Adults seem to love them as much as kids do.
Sing-A-Ma-Jigs already have almost obscenely positive reviews from Amazon customers, where they can be purchased one-by-one, in couples, or groups. Oh... each one sings its own tune in its own register!
3. Activity Toy of the Year: Crayola Color Wonder Sound Studio™ by Crayola, LLC
Kids can tell their color story with sounds with this marvelous interactive color pad. With a choice of 60 different sounds, they can color, assign sounds, create stories, and play them back. This toy will really challenge your kid's imagination with color, sound, and story telling activities.
4. Boy Toy of the Year: NERF N-Strike Stampede ECS Blaster by Hasbro
The NERF N-Strike Stampede ECS blaster is the first fully automatic NERF Clip System blaster.
The blaster features a new pop-out bipod, which doubles as a handle, and a removable shield
allowing players to transition to attack mode. Also comes complete with one six-dart clip and
three extended clips which hold 18 darts each, offering the highest clip capacity from NERF yet.
5. Girl Toy of the Year: Squinkies™ Cupcake Surprise! Bake Shop by Blip Toys
A girl can never have enough soft, squishy Squinkies - mini-dolls that come in plastic gumball bubbles. Of course, Blip Toys makes hundreds of different Squinkies to collect. The Cupcake Surprise Bakeshop gives Squinkies a playground, opening t to a bake shop with all kinds of fun things to do. Nine new Squinkies included match the the bakeshop them.
6. Educational Toy of the Year: Leapster Explorer Learning Experience by Leapfrog
This year's Leapster Explorer offers the greatest capacity yet for downloading Leaplet learning applications, including e-books, videos, flash cards, and games that cover school skills, creativity, and life skills. Plus, it's got the latest touch screen interactivity and the brightest, clearest screen yet.
This handy and protective Leapster Explorer Case is sold separately.
7. Electronic Game of the Year: Scrabble Flash by Hasbro
A game that won the 2010 Oppenheim Platinum Award, the Scrabble Flash is an electronic version of the time-tested Scrabble game, great for young and old. Stimulating and competitive, Scrabble Flash gives each person 75 seconds to find as many 3, 4, and 5 letter words as they can from five cubes you roll like dice. The tiles contain 'Wonder-Link Technology' that recognizes formed words and keeps score of them for you. Individual and multi-player options available. (More on Scrabble Flash here.)
8. Infant Toy of the Year: My Own Leaptop™ by Leapfrog
The infant laptop takes on the spirit of a real laptop computer with six learning activity centers, including a music playlist, email messages, the alphabet, pretend play, music and sounds, and animals. Parents can get customized learning ideas from the Leapfrog website. Available in several colors.
8. Outdoor Toy of the Year: NERF Super Soaker Shot Blast by Hasbro
Probably a lot less of a mess than paintball, the NERF Super Soaker Shot Blast fortunately uses water as its weapon, with a capability of 25 feet. The Super Soaker also features a large capacity tank for continuous blasting. Includes a tactical rail to line up your best shots.
11. Property Toy of the Year: Toy Story 3 by Disney Consumer Products
The Property TOTY is given to the brand that has achieved the greatest success spreading is brand throughout the industry. Now 15 years old, the Toy Story brand has not only been a movie and video favorite of audiences of all ages, but has created a lasting niche in the toy industry. Toy Story 3 has brand products from toys to video games to clothing and accessories. Being a big fan of Toy Story myself, I love the removable, glow-in-the-dark wall stickers, RoomMates, from Toy Story 3 - a great way to surprise your kid when he or she wakes up on his birthday or any special day!
And let's not forget the Toy Story 3 movie, now on DVD. It's a keeper!
11. Specialty Toy of the Year: HEXBUG® Nano Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs, Inc.
The Specialty TOTY is awarded to the best toy distributed through specialty toy retailers. The HEXBUG Habitat Set is designed to challenge kids' imaginations while building unique habitats for the Micro Robotic Nano Creatures- they come with the kit - to explore. The Nanos are surprisingly lifelike as they explore their new habitats; the physics of vibration propels them forward. Kids can use an infinite variety of mazes for their Nanos to explore. Each set is expandable.
Several additional Hexbug sets are available here.
It seems that this year's TOTYs have already been reviewed by the public; whether the method of online voting for best toy is something the Toy Association will continue, we don't know, but it certain gives the awarded toys more credibility, doesn't it?