Regular readers know that we have been strongly against the Toy Industry Association (TIA) handing out Toy Of The Year Awards (TOTY Awards) for Best Boy Toy and Best Girl Toy.
Here you can read why we believed these gender based toy awards were harmful and reinforced gender stereotypes and take a look at the petition we started last year to end these awards.
Today The TIA Announced The End of The Boy and Girl TOTY Awards
In a press release today the TIA announced the categories for the 2017 TOTY Awards. Here they are –
Action Figure of the Year (new)
Toys that include action figures, and their play sets/accessories
Active/Outdoor Toy of the Year (formerly Outdoor)
Toys that are designed for active, outdoor play
Activity Toy of the Year
Arts and crafts, construction and other indoor toys that inspire creative play through various forms of activity.
Collectible of the Year (new)
Toys that compose a set; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.
Construction Toy of the Year (new)
Toys that include building & engineering sets
Doll of the Year (new)
Toys that include fashion and plush dolls, and their play sets/accessories
Game of the Year
Children’s board, card, electronic or other physical game formats and puzzles (does not include video games or apps)
Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year (formerly two separate categories)
Toys that are developed for infants/preschoolers (up to 5 years)
Innovative Toy of the Year
Toys that utilize innovative design, technology, or manufacturing processes to enhance play value
License of the Year (formerly Property)
Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry
Rookie of the Year (new)
A new company (created within the last 2 years) that has brought to market an outstanding toy
Specialty Toy of the Year
Toys primarily distributed through specialty retailers
Tech Toy of the Year (formerly e-Connected)
Physical toys that are electronic or interact with a smartphone, tablet or gaming device
Vehicle of the Year (new)
Powered or non-powered vehicles, and their play sets/accessories
People’s Choice Toy of the Year
Toy decided by consumers who vote at ToyAwards.org
Toy of the Year
Overall best toy of the year decided by retailers, consumers, media and TIA members
This Is A Huge Win For Our Children
No longer will the TOTY Awards be telling us that a drone is for boys and a doll is for girls. The TOTY Awards will now recognize the best toys of the year, based on the category of the toy – not the gender of the child.
As parents and caregivers we will now see the Best Doll of The Year and Best Construction Toy Of The Year and make our own decisions on what toys our unique, beautiful and individual children want to play with.
This really is a huge win for our children and future generations. If a boy wants to play with a doll, does he really need to be told by the TIA that a doll is a girl toy? If a girl loves to build, is it helpful for her to hear that her beloved construction set is a boy toy?
As a parent, my goal is to raise my children to treat people fairly and equally. To judge every person as unique and to celebrate their likes and interests. I think we can all agree it is wrong to judge people based on racial stereotypes, so isn’t it also wrong to judge people and children on gender stereotypes?
Doing away with the notion that some toys are for boys and others for girls allows children to play with whatever toys make them happy…and in the end, isn’t that the whole point of toys?
Read the Full TIA Press Release Here