Peter Jenkinson, a journalist with over 10 years experience writing on toys and technology for several national UK titles as well as many online outlets, operates an online .tv show devoted to toys and one of the leading toy review websites. Often called upon by broadcasters to wax lyrical about his favorite subject, toys, he is well known in the UK and Europe as a leading toy expert.
The outdoor toy category grew by an impressive 12% last year. Interestingly, it wasn't a particularly balmy summer nor were there any major events of the sporting variety that might have been responsible; just seems that good old-fashioned get up, out and active found some new followers.
The market better hold its breath in 2012. Perhaps we're over optimistic, but with the arrival of the Olympics on our shores and the European football finals further to the east, it is hard not to be.
This important super-category has every chance of being the soaraway sales success it should be in this sporty year. Yes, there is an element of "weather permitting," but the inspiration of the aforementioned events is going to have an upside impact.
Rather than follow the standard (and effective/respected) judging methods, we're bringing a huge amount of energy to the awards by having a group of up to 50 kids from 5+ outdoors with all the entries interacting not only with the playthings, but with each other for a few hours. An afternoon off school for them all, approved by the headmaster as part of their curriculum.
Joining them will be a panel of high-profile journalists and a handful of teachers to assist the kids post-play in talking about key play points and scoring each toy. In addition we'll be introducing our "Fun-ometer" which is going to be a key metric on the score sheet and involves the kids letting loose with their screams and shouts to move its "meter."
So far, we've had strong media interest both in print and online. To enhance the event, we're going to make a mini-movie and showcase some of the best outdoor playthings for all to see in action – much better than a static snap we think.
The event kicks off April 20 and we expect, nay insist, that it'll be hectic and noisy and team Toyology will likely have a lie down the day after, not for long though, as we'll be right back on our bikes the following day.
To enter your product, walk this way: www.toyology.co.uk/outdoortoyawards2012