The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards recognizes the top toys within the industry, as nominated by industry influencers, academia, media and more, and this year's nominees include a familiar game store hit.

TOTY announced the 2018 finalists in multiple categories earlier this month and opened up voting to consumers, retailers, journalist, bloggers, academics and Association members for the 17 categories – including new categories this year, like Creative Toy of the Year, Playset of the Year, and Plush of the Year.Voting will run online through Friday, January 5, 2018 via weighted ballots.  The Toy of the Year Award will be chosen via input from a panel of toy industry professionals, considering: Toy of the Year votes, Holiday sales, and Media buzz.

Winners will be announced at a formal presentation ceremony ahead of New York Toy Fair on February 16.

Game of the Year:

Children’s board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats or puzzles (does not include video games or apps)

  • Happy Salmon by North Star Games LLC (fast-paced card game)
  • Hearing Things by Hasbro, Inc. (the challenge of reading lips while laughing hysterically)
  • Roller Coaster Challenge by ThinkFun Inc. (single player ‘thrill ride building game’)
  • Beasts of Balance by Sensible Object (augmented reality stacking game)
  • Boom Blast Stix by Moose Toys (stacking game featuring sensitive, interlocking springs)
  • Soggy Doggy by Spin Master Ltd. (showering, shaking doggy bathing game)
  • Ultra Dash by PlayMonster! (a game that gets kids up and moving)

(See all game nominees in the gallery below)

The Toy Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1916 "representing all businesses that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages."  The Toy Association produces the North American International Toy Fair (Toy Fair New York) and Fall Toy Preview.

Other categories of interest to ICv2 readers:

Action Figure of the Year:

Toys that include action figures and their playsets/accessories

  • IAmElemental's Series 2/Wisdom Lunch Box Carrying Case with Complete Set of 7 Action Figures & Accessories (IAmElemental)
  • Imaginext® DC Super Friends™ BatBot Xtreme (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Dancing Groot Figure (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • PJ Masks Duet Figure Packs (Just Play Products)
  • Star Wars Forces of Destiny Adventure Figures (Hasbro, Inc.)
  • Stikbot (ZING)
  • WWE Superstars Action Figures (Mattel, Inc.)

Collectible of the Year:

Toys that compose a set; can include novelty playthings, miniature versions of existing lines, licensed collectibles, etc.

  • Disney Pixar Cars 3 Diecast Cars (Mattel, Inc.)
  • Fingerlings (WowWee USA, Inc.)
  • Funko's Mystery Minis (Funko, LLC)
  • Hatchimals Colleggtibles 4 Pack (Spin Master Ltd.)
  • L.O.L. Surprise! (MGA Entertainment)
  • Pikmi Pop! Surprise Pack (Moose Toys)
  • The LEGO Batman Movie Minifigures (LEGO Systems, Inc.)

License of the Year:

Character or property that has had success spreading its brand throughout the industry

  • Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 (Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media)
  • Hatchimals™ (Spin Master Ltd.)
  • Nickelodeon Slime (Nickelodeon Consumer Products)
  • PAW Patrol (Spin Master Ltd.)
  • Peppa Pig (Entertainment One)
  • PJ Masks (Entertainment One)
  • Star Wars (Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media)