After waiting nearly four decades, Barbie won the British Association of Toy Retailer’s 1996/97 Toy of the Year award. Officially 37 years of age, this is her first time as the overall winner; she has been Doll of the Year and Best Girls’ Toy a number of times.
BATR Chairman Barry Walker said “Barbie has been a phenomenal success story, almost always in our top 10 toy chart. She’s now more than a toy. She’s achieved cult status.”
Her hot rival Action Man (Toy of the Year in 1966) won Boys’ Toy of the Year.
And what of Buzz Lightyear? Unable to get into the chart due to severe stock shortages, Buzz was undoubtedly the most sought-after toy of the year. Almost every year some toy misses the award because of drastic shortages due to unexpected high demand – remember Tracy Island from Thunderbirds a couple of years ago? So the BATR has come up with a new award to cover this unfortunate situation – the BATR Pimpernel Award.
Barry Walker says the toy will no doubt be used in future years as making buying decisions early in the year to allow for manufacture is as difficult and as risky as playing the futures market and the trade will get it wrong from time to time.
The BATR Toy Awards 1996/97
|BATR Toy of the Year||Barbie (Mattel)|
|Boys Toy of the Year||Action Man (Hasbro)|
|Game of the Year||Jenga (MB Games)|
|Most Innovative Toy||Puzz3D (Waddingtons)|
|Activity Toy of the Year||Megasketch (Tomy UK)|
|Best New Toy Range||Football Figures (Corinthian Marketing)|
|Baby Doll of the Year||Baby Born (Max Zapf)|
|BATR Pimpernel Award|
For the most elusive toy of the year
|Buzz Lightyear (Toy Options)|