The Toy Association Announces “Toy Of The Year” 2022 Finalists

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The Press Release:
From creative construction toys and innovative collectibles, to lovable plush and toys for grown-ups, the 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards finalists announced today will be topping wish lists this holiday season. Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top playthings on the market and is a vital fundraiser for The Toy Foundation, which delivers the magic of play to millions of children in vulnerable situations.

The 114 finalists were announced this morning by a group of kid & family influencers. Families can now head to to vote for their favorite toys & games in each of the 16 categories, browse toys, and download shopping lists for the holidays. Voting will close January 4, 2022, and every vote cast serves as an entry in the TOTY sweepstakes, giving consumers a chance to take home the winning toy in each category!

“Each and every finalist announced today demonstrates the incredible ability of toys and play to bring inspiration, laughter, and learning to children of all ages!” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We congratulate the outstanding finalists and look forward to announcing the winners in each category, as well as the coveted overall ‘Toy of the Year’ winner and ‘People’s Choice’ honoree, at our gala in February. As the most critical annual fundraiser for The Toy Foundation, that night will be especially meaningful for the toy community, with 100% of the gala’s proceeds benefitting programs that deliver toys, funds, and the healing power of play to children in need.”

This year’s TOTY finalists were selected from 623 nominees submitted in 16 different categories. Twenty-three judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists reviewed and ranked the products in categories relevant to their areas of expertise before determining the finalists. They considered each product’s creativity, design, and play value.

Winners will be announced at The Toy Foundation’s TOTY Awards gala on Friday, February 18, 2022. The celebration will include the induction of four industry trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame and shine a spotlight on the inspiring philanthropic work of the toy industry and The Toy Foundation.

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And the 2022 TOTY Finalists Are…

ACTION FIGURE OF THE YEAR: Toys that represent a person or fictional character intended for active, imaginative, and narrative-based play
Akedo – Ultimate Arcade Warriors by Moose Toys
Avengers Hasbro Marvel Mech Strike 8″ Super Hero Action Figure – Ultimate Mech Suit Iron Man and Captain America by Hasbro
Bakugan GeoForge Dragonoid by Spin Master
Heroes of Goo Jit Zu by Moose Toys
Jurassic World Ocean Protector Mosasaurus by Mattel
Masters of the Universe: Masterverse by Mattel
Star Wars Galactic Snackin’ Grogu by Hasbro

COLLECTIBLE OF THE YEAR: Toys that compose a set and can be collected in multiples; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
5 Surprise Toy Mini Brands by ZURU
Chuckle & Roar Pop It! Family by Buffalo Games
Funko POP! Star Trek: The Original Series Collection by Funko
Got2Glow Fairy Finder by WowWee
Hot Wheels Red Line Club by Mattel
LEGO Minifigures MARVEL Studios by The LEGO Group
Polly Pocket Compacts – Pocket World Assortment by Mattel

CONSTRUCTION TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that include building as the primary play pattern
Arckit 100 by Arckit
Gears! Gears! Gears! Mega Builds by Learning Resources
Gravity Bugs: Free-Climbing MicroBot by Thames & Kosmos
LEGO Friends Heartlake City Grand Hotel by The LEGO Group
LEGO Spider-Man Daily Bugle by The LEGO Group
Snap Circuits MyHome by Elenco
Zig & Go Music by DJECO-US

CREATIVE TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that allow kids to build and/or make items that are unique to them
Connetix 100 Piece Rainbow Creative Pack by Connetix Tiles
Follies by Follies
Hey Clay by Trendformer Ltd.
Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron by Moose Toys
LEGO VIDIYO The Boombox by The LEGO Group
Paint & Peel Jelly Stickers by Klutz
Pixicade Plus by BitOGenius, Inc.

DOLL OF THE YEAR: Toys that include baby, toddler, and fashion dolls
Ada Twist, Scientist Lab Doll by Just Play
Baby Alive Lulu Achoo Assortment by Hasbro
Baby Bee Doll Collection by Orijin Bees
Barbie Extra by Mattel
Disney Classic Dolls by The Walt Disney Company
Glo-Up Girls by Far Out Toys
Rainbow High Winter Break Dolls by MGA Entertainment
Spirit Untamed Ride Together Lucky & Spirit by Mattel

GAME OF THE YEAR: For families and children’s (ages 0-14) games including board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats and puzzles, exclusive of video or app games
A Game of Cat and Mouth by Exploding Kittens
Crossed Signals by Mattel
Disney It’s a Small World Game by Funko Games
GibGab by Fat Brain Toy Co.
Hedbanz Blast Off! by Spin Master
Marvel Villainous by Ravensburger
Monopoly Builder by Hasbro

*NEW* GROWN-UP TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys and games developed primarily for grown-ups/kidults, including party games, board games, collectibles, arts and crafts, and more. These toys are often fueled by fandoms, social media, and adult humor while they are not “adult toys” nor sexual in nature
Disney Castle Collection by The Walt Disney Company
EXIT: The Game Season 5 Bundle by Thames & Kosmos
Hot Wheels R/C 1:10 Tesla Cybertruck by Mattel
Kinetic Sand Kinetic Kalm Zen Box by Spin Master
LEGO Botanical Collection Flower Bouquet by The LEGO Group
Rambler 16 by Razor
The Beatles Collection Magna-Tiles Structures by CreateOn
The Goonies: Never Say Die by Funko Games

INFANT/TODDLER TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are developed for ages 0-3 (0-18 months infant/18 months-3 years toddler)
Classic Push & Play Walker by Radio Flyer
Crayola Light-Up Activity Board by Crayola
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot by Mattel
LeapFrog Choppin’ Fun Learning Pot by LeapFrog
Musical Whale Fountain by Hape
SpiroKu by Fat Brain Toy Co.
VTech Sort & Recycle Ride-On Truck by VTech

LICENSE OF THE YEAR: Character or property that has had success spreading its brand through the development and merchandising of products developed from the intellectual property
Barbie by Mattel
Blue’s Clues & You! by ViacomCBS
Bluey by BBC Studios
Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends by Marvel
Masters of the Universe by Mattel
PAW Patrol: The Movie by Spin Master and ViacomCBS
Pokémon by The Pokémon Company International

OUTDOOR TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are designed for outdoor play, including ride-ons
Aerobie Sonic Fin Football by Spin Master
Disney Princess Cinderella 24V Carriage by Dynacraft BSC, Inc.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Hot Wheels Racer by Mattel
KidKraft Nerf Command Base Battle Fort by KidKraft
Mobo Wobo 2-in-1 Rocking Baby Balance Bike by Asa Products
Step2 Safari Truck Climber by Step2 Company LLC
ZURU Crazy Bunch O Balloons by ZURU

PLAYSET OF THE YEAR: Toys that are designed to work together to enact some action or event, including characters and role play
Barbie Dreamhouse by Mattel
Batman Bat-Tech Batcave Transforming Playset by Spin Master
Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Castle by Hasbro
JUNKBOTS Large Factory Habitat – New Port Power Plant by HEXBUG
LEGO Star Wars Boba Fett’s Starship by The LEGO Group
LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course by The LEGO Group
Super Mario Deluxe Bowser’s Airship Playset by Jakks Pacific

PLUSH TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are made of fabric and stuffed with cotton or similar filling, including toys with interactive or electronic features
Blue’s Clues & You! Check-up Time Blue by Just Play
Moji The Loveable Labradoodle by Skyrocket
Scruff-A-Luvs Cutie Cuts by Moose Toys
Squishmallows by Jazwares
Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child Real Moves Plush by Mattel
TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies by Tee Turtle, LLC
ZURU Rainbocorns Fairycorns by ZURU

PRESCHOOL TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that are developed for ages 3-5
Big Feelings Pineapple by Learning Resources
Fisher-Price B.B. Hoopster by Mattel
Land of Dough by Crazy Aaron’s
LeapFrog LeapLand Adventures by LeapFrog
LEGO Disney Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Tiana’s Storybook Adventures by The LEGO Group
Tonies by Tonies
VTech KidiZoom PrintCam by VTech

SPECIALTY TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys from manufacturers that primarily do business through independent retailers (neighborhood toy stores, museum shops, vacation destinations and similar venues) or in limited quantities online
American Girl 35th Anniversary Collection Dolls, Books & Accessories by Mattel
Dimpl Pops Deluxe by Fat Brain Toy Co.
Hide Inside: Mixed Emotions by Crazy Aaron’s
LEGO Everyone is Awesome by The Lego Group
Loopdedoo Deluxe by PlayMonster
Shashibo Explorer Series by Fun in Motion Toys
Snap Circuits Discover Coding by Elenco

STEAM TOY OF THE YEAR: Toys that encourage kids to develop, strengthen and integrate skills across science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics
Bill Nye’s VR Space Lab by Abacus Brands
Candy Claw Machine: Arcade Game Maker Lab by Thames & Kosmos
GraviTrax Speed Set by Ravensburger
Gridopolis by Gridopolis Games
LEGO CREATOR 3-in-1 Ferris Wheel by The Lego Group
Smartivity Pinball Machine by Smartivity Labs/Elenco
VTech Marble Rush Ultimate Set by VTech

VEHICLE OF THE YEAR: Toy cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles in all scales, including R/C vehicles but exclusive of ride-ons
Air Hogs Jump Fury by Spin Master
Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures Dinobots Unite Roll N’ Change Bumblebee by Hasbro
Hot Wheels Color Reveal by Mattel
LEGO Creator Expert Porche 911 by The Lego Group
PAW Patrol: The Movie Chase’s Transforming City Cruiser by Spin Master
PLAYMOBIL Volkswagen T1 Camping Bus by Playmobil
VTech Switch & Go Velociraptor Helicopter by VTech
All proceeds from the TOTY program are donated to The Toy Foundation, which delivers the magic of play to millions of children in vulnerable situations through industry-wide toy donations and cash contributions.

About The Toy Foundation:
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501 (c)3 children’s charity whose mission is to provide philanthropic support and the vital commodity of play to children and families under stress and in dire situations, across the country and globe. TTF’s donations represent the charitable works of TTF and the toy industry. Last year, TTF provided $360K in cash grants to nearly 4 million children severely impacted by the pandemic. Since its inception in 2003, TTF’s signature Toy Bank has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million underserved children coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, living with domestic violence, and/or dealing with natural disasters. TTF is also broadening its mission to provide grant funding to children’s hospitals to encourage healing through play and to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and pipeline of talent for the toy industry.

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Ken Pierce Media Thoughts: As many readers of the PiercingMetal website know, I’ve been attending the annual Toy Fair as a member of the press since 2011 and after a few years of doing that began to expand the features over on “The Chronicles of Piercing Ken” website as well. This event is so massive that it is better served with a dual-branding outlet coverage and since each side of that creative coin will be posting stories come the annual Toy Fair, I decided to list the finalists for the “Toy Of The Year” on the still growing Ken Pierce Media site. What do you readers think about the list of finalists? It sure looks amazing and they will have a hard time determining the winners for sure. I lean to the geek collector stuff when it comes to action figures but anything Godzilla generally wins me over but I digress. As a regular attendee we get offered the means to cast a vote so I need to do some homework on a few things before I make my choice. It’s still a bit early to sign up for the 2022 trade show but I will do that as soon as I can and then its just a matter of divvying up the findings on either the PiercingMetal or “The Chronicles” website. I get excited just thinking about that and now its time to wrap it up. See you again soon so you keep safe now.


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