The 2021 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY) ceremony will unveil the industry’s top toys, games, properties, and Toy Industry Hall of Fame inductees and celebrate the charitable work of the toy industry and The Toy Foundation in an entirely new format, allowing toy fans across the globe to experience the “Oscars” of the toy industry for the first time ever.
In response to pandemic-related travel and safety restrictions and the postponement of Toy Fair New York, the TOTY Awards will stream live on Friday 12 February 2021.
“In addition to helping ensure everyone’s safety and well-being during these unprecedented times, moving the TOTY Awards to a virtual format allows us to peel back the curtain on this 20+ year exclusive industry-only event and open it up to toy fans everywhere to experience,” said Ken Seiter, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association, which administers the TOTY Awards. “Likewise, this presents an even bigger opportunity for TOTY nominees, as well as show sponsors, to get greater exposure for their products and brands.”
No longer limited to a few hundred guests, the 2021 TOTY Awards virtual ceremony will be open to a much wider audience, including consumers, media representatives, and family content creators, to experience for the first time. From industry professionals to toy lovers, everyone will be able to tune in and watch as the winners across each of the 16 categories – plus the winners of the People’s Choice award and coveted Toy of the Year award – are revealed. The Toy Association will also engage with hundreds of thousands of visitors to the toyawards.org website and The Genius of Play's social media channels to promote the virtual TOTYs and build excitement leading up to the show.
Additional opportunities will be available to network, take part in new interactive contests, play games, and win prizes during the virtual event.
TOTY nominations close today (2 September 2020). The official TOTY 2021 finalists will be announced 26 October, at which time voting will open to retailers, media, Toy Association members, and consumers (at ToyAwards.org) until 5 January 2020.
The virtual TOTY Awards will be recorded and made available on demand through The Toy Association website and YouTube channel. The awards programme serves as a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation, which has brought skill-building toys and games to more than 26 million disadvantaged children around the world through its signature program, The Toy Bank.