March 3, 2008 The annual Toy Of The Year (TOTY) is always a deusy – this year the crown went to Spin Master’s Air Hogs Havoc Heli Laser Battle Set – two radio-controlled helicopters with their own infrared laser targeting and hit recognition system. The Most Innovative Toy of the Year and the Educational Toy of the Year Awards both went to the same toy - Fisher-Price’s Smart Cycle Physical Learning Arcade System - a stationary bike and computer game console that gets junior so involved in the action that he doesn’t realize he’s pedaling his little legs off.
It’s a great idea – the easiest way to get fit is to find something that’s physically demanding and fun to do, and the Smart Cycle seems to have all the bases covered for ease-of-use - just plug the stationary bike into the TV's A/V jacks.
The winners of the 2008 T.O.T.Y Awards are:
Toy of the Year – Air Hogs Havoc Heli Laser Battle, Spin Master, Ltd
Most Innovative Toy of the Year – Smart Cycle™ Physical Learning, Fisher-Price
Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year, for toys designed for infant and/or preschool children – Moon Sand Adventure Island – Spin Master Ltd.
Electronic Entertainment Toy of the Year, for toys that merge high-technology with creativity and imagination- Power Tour Electric Guitar – Tiger Electronics
Educational Toy of the Year, recognizing a toy that, through play, helps children develop special skills and/or knowledge - Smart Cycle™ Physical Learning – Fisher-Price
Activity Toy of the Year, recognizing a toy that inspires creative play through various forms of activity- LEGO City – LEGO Systems, Inc.
Game of the Year, including board, CD-ROM, electronic and card game formats – Rubik’s Revolution – Techno Source
Specialty Toy of the Year, for toys distributed primarily through specialty retailers – Snap Circuits – Elenco
Outdoor Toy of the Year, focused on toys designed for outdoor play - RipStik® Caster Board – RipStik USA
Girl Toy of the Year, for toys developed specifically for girls of any age - Littlest Pet Shop: Display & Play Round & Round Pet Town Playset – Hasbro, Inc.
Troop Groovy Girls – Manhattan Toy
Boy Toy of the Year, for toys developed for boys of any age – Transformers Movie Deluxe Figures – Hasbro, Inc.
Property of the Year, for the licensor that had the greatest success spreading its brand or property throughout the industry while generating interest and excitement—Hannah Montana – Disney Consumer Products
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon