September 26, 2011, The editors at Disney FamilyFun magazine today announced their 20th annual Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Award winners, which were narrowed down from a pool of more than 300 entries after extensive evaluation by parent and child testers across the country. Published in FamilyFun’s November issue, on stands October 18th, the top 30 toys of the holiday season were selected as T.O.Y. Award winners for their innovation, durability, play value, safety – and, of course, fun factor. While notable toy manufacturers like Mattel, LEGO, LeapFrog, and Razor made the list, hidden gems from independent, smaller companies are also winners — a hallmark of the FamilyFun awards.
“After compiling all of the feedback from our family testers, it was clear which toys were a hit and are destined to be hot holiday picks this coming season — toys that both kids and parents will love,” said Ann Hallock, Creative Director at FamilyFun. “The trend for tablet-like toys, and toys with downloadable apps such as LeapPad Explorer, was in full force this year. On the flip side, family games, such as Perplexus Epic and Richard Scarry’s Busytown Busy, Busy Airport Game, continued to be a big hit as families look for low-cost, low-tech ways to have fun together,” she adds.
Top 10 FamilyFun T.O.Y. Award Winners for 2011:
- Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Starter Set – A classic is taken to new heights — off the floor and onto the wall! Kids will love having their cars perform stunts on a vertical surface. Mattel; $30; Ages 4 to 10 (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Meon Deluxe Animation Studio – Budding artists will enjoy exploring the possibilities this innovative art set offers. Once kids have made an illuminated creation with the glowing strands, they can play one of five games. Skyrocket Toys ; $35; Ages 5 and up (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Perplexus Rookie and Perplexus Epic – Two versions of this toy — one for older kids and one for younger — challenge players to navigate a metal ball through a round, 360 degree maze of obstacles. PlaSmart; $20 Ages 4 to 8, $30 Ages 8 and up (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Alien Mothership 7065 – This building set is truly out of this world! Space-lovers will delight in constructing an extraterrestrial transport, complete with spooky sound effects. LEGO; $60; Ages 8 and up (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Whipple Deluxe Pastry Set – With this sweet craft kit, kids can create confections — play food, necklaces, a jewelry box shaped like a cake — that look good enough to eat. (Just don’t be tempted!) International Playthings; $35; Ages 7 and up (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Bogo – A modern day pogo stick, Bogo offers an exceptional bounce that’s higher and smoother than young jumpers have ever experienced. Razor; $90; Ages 6 and up (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- LeapPad Explorer – With this kid-friendly tablet, little ones will enjoy emulating their parents while having fun testing out the device’s art studio, e-books, games, and video functions. LeapFrog; $100; Ages 4 to 9 (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Richard Scarry’s Busytown Busy, Busy Airport – Favorite characters are ready to visit far-flung lands in this cleverly-designed game, which has players flying round the world and collecting souvenirs. Wonder Forge; $20; Ages 3 to 7 (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Pirate Ship – Those itching to hit the high seas can get their fix by building and coloring a kid-size cardboard model ship. Land ho! Box Creations; $40; Ages 3 to 8 (Check out zooLert tracker…)
- Head Shotz Twin Battle Pack – Finally, a toy that kids are supposed to wreck! This R/C set pits two robots with interchangeable battle arms against one another. Silverlit; $40; Ages 5 and up (Check out zooLert tracker…)