America votes for TOTY


The Awards


The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards recognizes the hottest toys of this holiday season.

Though there are many toy awards programs, these finalists have been nominated from within the industry and have been selected by industry influencers, academia, media and more. The TOTY Awards are frequently referred to as the “Oscars” of the industry.

On Thursday, October 29, 2020, the finalists were revealed, and voting began.

The TOTY 2021 voting process includes input from not only consumers, but also members of the Association, retailers, journalists, bloggers, and academics. Voting closes January 5, 2021 and the winners will be announced during an exciting virtual celebration  on February 12, 2021.

TOTY supports The Toy Foundation, which helps bring joy and comfort to children in need through the experience of toys and play.

Who nominated the toys?

Representatives from any toy-related company are eligible to nominate products and/or properties for the TOTY award categories. 

Submitted nominations contain detailed explanations of the product’s play value, creativity/originality, application of new technology, creative manufacturing processes, commentary on how the product is meeting marketplace expectations, and details of outstanding, unusual and/or creative execution of artwork, product/package design, and promotional strategy.

An unlimited number of products may be submitted per award category, but no more than two products from the same company may appear in an award category on the finalist list.

What criteria must the toys meet?

All 2021 TOTY nominated products must be available at retail in the United States on or before October 29, 2020 and must have been introduced to the marketplace within the last two years. The Toy Association requires verification that all TOTY finalist products have been reviewed by an independent third-party testing lab and comply with strict U.S. toy safety standards.

View the complete Rules and Eligibility requirements here.

How did these finalists get chosen?

The toys featured on this site are the finalists that were chosen from more than 500 nominations. Finalists were selected by a nomination committee comprised of industry experts. Members of the nomination committee represent a cross-section of retail buyers, journalists, bloggers, trade media spokespersons, academics, and inventors/designers.

Note for families: It’s very important to pick toys that are age-appropriate for the children who will be playing with them. Several of the TOTY categories have a mix of toys for children of different ages, so please be mindful of the age grade on each product. Visit for more information about selecting age-appropriate toys.

The Announcement

On October 29, 2020, the TOTY finalists were unveiled via a press release and exclusive “category reveal” videos and posts created by sixteen prominent influencers across YouTube, fan channels, and Instagram.

Category Voting

Four weighted ballots – one each for retailers (40%), media (30%), consumers (15%), and Toy Association members (15%) – will be open from October 29, 2020 through January 5, 2021. Winners will be announced during a virtual presentation ceremony  on February 12, 2021.

Any attempt by finalists to manipulate the voting process by offering compensation in exchange for votes will result in disqualification.

People's Choice Award

The winner in this category will be determined exclusively by votes received on this website.

Toy of the Year Award

The overall Toy of the Year will be chosen by a panel of industry representatives who, using their professional expertise, will consider multiple factors in making their decision, including Toy of the Year votes, holiday sales, and media buzz (traditional, online and social).