Playing The Judge: The Who, What, And Why Behind
Parents today want toys that are both fun and educational for their children. Toy manufacturers want toys that are big hits with both kids and parents.
Enter in the Toy Awards. There are several awards given each year for Best of Breed toys, but they all judge toys on different criteria. Some may judge from a kids point of view, while others may be from an educators point of view, while others judge toys based on an adults view of what a kid would like.
We have listed some of the best known toy awards and how those awards judge toys.
Family Fun Toy Award
This toy award is given out by the Family Fun magazine, which is a magazine for parents with children. The Family Fun Toy Award is broken into categories for both age and style of toy, plus a Top Ten list which includes all the toys together. Family Fun Toy Award only judges toys that have been introduced by toy makers for the upcoming year.
Family Fun Toy Award is judged solely by children and goes through two rounds of voting. The first round is with a group of 100 - 200 children conducted at a research firm. The toys that are voted as the children's favorites then go onto round two. Round two consists of a group of 1000-1500 children at day-care centers trying and voting for their favorite toys.
All the votes are then tabulated and the results are published in the Family Fun magazine and on the Family Fun website.
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards is also referred to as the Oppenheim Awards. This award is given out by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio which is an independent consumer review company run by a mother and daughter team with a background in child development. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio not only gives out the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards but also releases their reviews of all the toys they have judged.
The award is broken down into developmental stages as well as categories. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards only judge toys that have been introduced by toy makers for the upcoming year.
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards is judged by both adults and children. There are two rounds that determine the winners. The first round is done by a panel of Oppenheim experts who look at the quality and safety of a toy as well as the developmental appropriateness of a toy.
If the toy passes the first round, it is then sent to the second round, which is tester families who then try the toy for several weeks. The toy is then rated by both the parents and the children.
All of the reviews are combined and the winners are determined. The results of the reviews are then published in the annual Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and are announced on the NBC's Today Show.
Dr. Toy Award
This awards is given out by the Dr. Toy website. Dr. Toy is actually Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, the director for Institute for Childhood Resources. The award is broken down into toy style categories with a Best of Best category. The Dr. Toy Awards judge toys that are submitted by toy manufacturers and are deemed suitable for possibly being a Dr.
Toy Award winning toy.
Dr. Toy Award is judged by adults. If the toy is accepted to be judged, it is reviewed by members of the Institute for Childhood Resources and "Dr. Toy". The reviewers are looking for toys that will help develop a healthy play atmosphere for children.
The results are then re-reviewed and the final determination of who the winners are is made. The results are published on the Dr. Toy Website.
Great American Toy Test
This award is given out by KTVU, Channel 2 of San Francisco, CA. It is held annually. The award is broken down into toy style categories with a Best of Best category. The Great American Toy Test judges toys that are submitted by toy makers.
Great American Toy Test is judged by both children and adults. The toys are shipped to day-care and latchkey centers all over the United States where children play with the toys while being observed by their teachers and care takers. The toys are then reviewed by both children and adults for a wide range of standards including short- & long-term interest, quality and fun.
The results are combined and the results are announced on a KTVU news broadcast and published on the KTVU website.
T.O.T.Y. Award stands for, quite simply, the Toy of The Year Award. This award is given out by the Toy Industry Association. This award is broken down into toy style categories with a top award given to one toy. T.O.T.Y. Award judges all toys that are being sold in North America during that year's judging.
T.O.T.Y. Award is judged by adults. The adults are members of the Toy Industry Association. The toys can be nominated for final voting by either Toy Industry Association members without a fee or any non-member who is willing to pay the $50 nomination fee. The nominated toys are then voted on by all members of the Toy Industry Association.
The results of the final vote are tabulated and the winners are announced at the annual T.O.T.Y. Awards Ceremony, where the winners will be inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The results are also published on the Toy Industry Association website.
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval is given out by The National Parenting Center. The award is broken down into toy style categories and by developmental stages. The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval judges all toys that have been introduced by toy makers for the upcoming year that are submitted to The National Parenting Center.
The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval is judged by both adults and children at a testing facility run by The National Parenting Center. Toys are judged on gathered information, observation of play interaction and playing with the toy. The results are created from both statistical data from surveys about the toy and tester comments.
The final results are published by The National Parenting Center in both publications and on their website.
Now that you know a little more about how different toy awards are given and judged, you will be better able to choose which of these awards will help you choose the right toy for your child.
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