Eh-oh! It's the Teletubbies!

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La-la and Po have swept aside all competitors to win the top award in the UK toy industry, the British Association of Toy Retailer’s (BATR) Toy of the Year 1997/1998.

The award was presented in front of an audience of around 600 from both sides of the toy industry at a gala dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London on Sunday 1st February 1998.

BATR chairman, David Fogel says, “In an industry dominated by powerful multi-national companies, I am delighted that our award has been won by a family-run British toy company, Golden Bear in Telford, with toys based on a British television programme.”

The originators of the ‘virtual pets’ craze raging around the world, Tamagotchi (Bandai) won most Innovative Toy of the Year, Hasbro’s Action Man Skydiver was Boy’s Toy of the Year, while a Spanish company, Famosa scooped Girl’s Toy of the Year with a doll that can change it’s expression. Star Wars Monopoly (Waddingtons) was voted Game of the Year.

Toy Options, with Buzz Lightyear in 1996 (which continued high sales right through 1997) and Spice Girls dolls which only arrived in December, won Toy Company of the Year award.

THE BATR TOY AWARDS 1997/98

AwardWinnerOther Nominations
BATR Toy of the YearTeletubbies (Golden Bear)
Most Innovative ToyTamagotchi (Bandai)Nano Pals (Playmates)
Barcode Truck (Lego)
Game of the YearStar Wars Monopoly (Waddingtons)Jenga (MB Games)
Goosebumps (Waddingtons)
Boys Toy of the YearAction Man Skydiver (Hasbro)Buzz Lightyear (Toy Options)
Micro Machines (Hasbro)
Girls Toy of the YearBaby Expressions (Famosa)Pet Doctor Barbie (Mattel)
Magic Moving Polly Pocket (Bluebird)
Pre-School Toy of the YearTickle Me Elmo (Tyco)Thomas the Tank Engine (Ertl)
Pooh Bear range (Mattel)
Activity Toy of the YearGet Set Chocolate Factory (Waddingtons)
Toy Company of the YearToy Options Limited
Suppliers of Buzz Lightyear and Spice Girls Dolls

Toy Shop of the Year Awards

AwardWinner
London & SEGamleys, Maidstone Branch
South WestHowley's, Weymouth
Midlands / Anglia & WalesArbon & Watt's, Grantham Branch
NorthBayley's Toymaster, Macclesfield
ScotlandJunners Toymaster, Elgin
IrelandToymaster at Monument House, Mallow, Co Cork.

Notes for Editors

The BATR represents over 75% of the UK toy trade with members including Toys R Us, Woolworths, Index, Hamleys, Early Learning, Safeway, Tesco as well as all the members of the Toymaster and Youngsters groups.