There is no doubt that 2020 was a very different year in many ways. The impact on retail could not have been more pronounced - with online sales accounting for just under half of the market in 2020.
As such, the TRA’s Toy of the Year committee adopted a different approach to the selection process for its awards this year.
Toy suppliers and retailers have played a major part in keeping the nation’s children smiling, entertained, healthy and educated resulting in a 5% increase in the overall sales achieved in a very difficult year, heavily influenced by Covid-19.
Four outstanding categories which have played their part in delivering this growth, all of which have outperformed the overall market.
The TRA recognises that multiple suppliers have played an integral part in each of the categories, but the selection panel has decided to highlight a ‘winner’ in each of these categories to represent the largest overall contribution to the category in a unique year for the industry.
GAMES & PUZZLES
This was a key performer in the overall market. As well as helping educate and entertain children, this category topped the growth (year on year) performance with various suppliers driving this increase. Ravensburger, Orchard, Gibsons Games, Asmodee, Hasbro and Tomy (Drumond Park) all performed superbly well.
The panel has chosen RAVENSBURGER as its standout performer in this category.
BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION
Hornby with its Airfix range added a different dimension to this category with notable ranges from K’Nex and Geomag.
The winner in this category is LEGO. Delivering remarkable growth consistently over the last 10 years, Lego outperformed the market and is to be commended for keeping the nation's children (and kidults) entertained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and various lockdowns.
OUTDOOR & SPORTS
In a category that benefitted from people having to stay at home, it was inevitable that growth would be achieved in this area. Many products helped with our children’s mental and physical health - bicycles, trampolines, skateboards, as well as outdoor ranges from the likes of Little Tikes.
The standout performer in this category was MOOKIE TOYS for its swingball range.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Again, a variety of suppliers contributed to making this category such a success. These were Galt, Crayola, John Adams and Spin Master with its Kinetic Sand, to name but a few.
The winner in this category is HASBRO for its domination in the arts and crafts sector through its Play Doh brand.
Many other suppliers contributed to the success of 2020 and the panel recognised the most notable listed below, with the reasons noted alongside. These will all receive a “Highly Commended” certificate this year.
BANDAI for its launch of the Cocomelon range.
CHARACTER OPTIONS for continued success with its Peppa Pig, Goo Jit Zu and Pokemon ranges
FUNRISE for its Fart Ninja line
GOLDEN BEAR for its Hey Duggee and Bing ranges
MGA ENTERTAINMENT for its L.O.L. Surprise! range
MATTEL for its success with its Barbie, Hot Wheels and Star Wars’ The Child ranges
SPIN MASTER for Paw Patrol
VTECH for its varied pre-school learning range
ZURU for the successful launch of its 5 Surprise Mini Brands range
LICENSES continued to play a big part in 2020. In addition to licenses already mentioned, Frozen, Super Mario and Harry Potter continued to deliver throughout the year.
The TRA sincerely hopes that ‘normal service’ resumes in 2021 when we can revert to our customary criteria and identify the actual toy winners and allocating awards accordingly. In the meantime, we wish you all a successful and healthy 2021.