Dora's Talking Kitchen wins two 'Toy of the Year' awards
By Mike Hanlon
February 13, 2006
February 14, 2006 With all the glitz and glamour of awards season in full swing, honors were bestowed Saturday night on America's preschool sweetheart -- Dora the Explorer -- when she won her second 'Toy of the Year' (T.O.T.Y) Award as "Most Popular Property" of the Year by the Toy Industry Association. As the star of Nickelodeon's highly popular preschool series, Dora the Explorer, Dora also received the prestigious "Best Girl Toy" award at the TIA gala which every year celebrates the most innovative toys. Dora continued her winning streak, claiming the "Property of the Year" prize for the second year in a row. The honor is reserved for the licensor with the brand or property that generated the most interest and excitement throughout the toy industry. By focusing on licensed product that delivers to girls high quality play experiences consistent with the show's values, Dora has resonated with both girls and their parents.
Dora's Talking Kitchen, a best-selling Fisher-Price product in 2005, took the honors for "Girl Toy of the Year" -- awarded to the best toy developed for girls of any age. The kitchen enjoyed tremendous success at retail as it conveyed the same emphasis on bilingual skills, combined with fun and adventure, as the popular Nick Jr. program.
"We're thrilled that Dora the Explorer continues to be associated with some of the most innovative and creative toys on the market," said Leigh Anne Brodsky, President of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. "Dora is part of the lives of millions of kids around the world and we're proud of our products that are both educational and fun," she said.
In addition to the toy honors, Dora the Explorer has also recently been bestowed with other awards that recognize the importance of the series for today's preschoolers including a 2006 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children's Animated Program.
"The Toy Industry Association is excited to honor Dora the Explorer for the second consecutive year at the T.O.T.Y awards," said Tom Conley, President of the Toy Industry Association. "Dora provides kids with incredibly creative playthings and it's a pleasure to present her with both the 'Property of the Year' and 'Best Girl Toy' awards in our industry's own version of the Oscars," he said.
Dora the Explorer first aired on Nickelodeon in August, 2000 and quickly became a preschool hit. The play-along, animated adventure series stars Dora, a seven-year-old Latina heroine whose adventures take place in an imaginative, tropical world filled with jungles, beaches and rainforests. Dora explores her world just as preschoolers do everyday, and the show is designed to actively engage its audience in an interactive quest using a variety of learning techniques.
In each episode, Dora teaches a Spanish word or phrase to the viewers and then asks them to use it to solve a problem and forge ahead. Ultimately, Dora and her best friend, Boots, triumph, and the story always ends with a "We Did It!" anthem.
About Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products manages the third largest licensing business in the world with $5 billion in retail sales in 2005, from such properties as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. The department handles the merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV.
Nickelodeon, now in its 26th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films.
Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 89 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for ten consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.