Last year I wrote a series of articles analyzing and ultimately criticizing the TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards for having a system that allocated too many awards to too few companies. Here is how I put the question: “…how is it possible that out of 100,000+ products and almost 1100 exhibitors Mattel managed to win 40% of the TOTY (Toy of the Year) awards? How is it that 70% of the awards given out went to three publicly traded toy companies (Mattel, Hasbro and Leapfrog)?”
This was not a one-time situation as in the prior year, 80% of the awards went to four companies. There was, at least to me, a problem with any awards program that awards such a big percentage of prizes to so little a number of companies.
Fortunately the results of the 2013 TOTY’s were far different. 25% of this year’s awards (three) were won by Lego. The rest were awarded, one a piece, to: Playmates, Activision, LeapFrog, PlaSmart, Cloudb, Crayola, Nickelodeon, JAKKS and Just Play.
In addition to to the Education Award, LeapFrog also was voted the People's Choice Award. As the name implies, it is the only award presented that is soley at the discretion of consumers.
Notably absent were the toy industry’s two largest toy companies, Mattel and Hasbro. That absence may say a lot more about the state of the industry than it does about who wins awards; that in my next posting.