Toy Fair is literally right around the corner — it officially starts on Sunday but many within the industry have already made the trek to New York to set up their booths and/or to get a jump on business by kicking off days of back to back meetings. Richard Gottlieb of Global Toy News called Toy Fair “The Gathering of the Tribes” in THIS article for Playthings Magazine, and in a way he’s right! It’s a yearly ritual for everyone in the toy/game industry to get together talk, drink, dine and do business!
During Toy Fair there are lots of parties and gatherings and two major awards ceremonies. The first awards ceremony are the TOTY Awards (Toy of the Year awards), and they take place on Saturday night. I’ll admit tickets for this event are a bit steep ($350 a PERSON!) and they don’t honor the inventors or designers behind the products, so I’ve always skipped it. This year the game LOOPZ from Mattel is up for an award and I helped a little with the development of that concept when Randy Klimpert, Chung Wu and Dave Christianson came up with the concept YEARS ago (when we all worked at Meyer/Glass Design). Here’s the full list of the GAME OF THE YEAR nominees, pictured above:
- 5 Second Rule, Patch Products
- LEGO Games Creationary, LEGO Systems
- LEGO Games Minotaurus, LEGO Systems
- LOOPZ, Radica (part of Mattel)
- Rory’s Story Cubes, Gamewright
- Scrabble Flash, Parker Bros. (part of Hasbro) <—- winner!
- Spot it!, Blue Orange Games
Some games nominated in different TOTY categories:
- LEGO Minotaurus, LEGO Systems — Innovative Product of the Year
- Scrabble Flash, Parker Bros. — Innovative Product of the Year
- Flickin’ Chicken, Haywire Group — Outdoor Product of the Year
- Solitaire Chess, ThinkFun — Specialty Product of the Year
- Math Dice Jr., ThinkFun — Educational Product of the Year