Furby, VTech and Smyths triumph at 2012 Toy Industry Awards

Toy Fair, 22-24 January 2013, Olympia, London
Toy Industry Awards, 22 January 2013, Upper West Hall, Olympia, London

22 January 2013: Furby (Hasbro), VTech and Smyths Toys triumphed at this evening’s annual Toy Industry Awards winning Toy of the Year, Supplier of the Year and Toy Retailer of the Year, respectively.

Organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association with the Toy Retailers Association (TRA) – the awards were presented at a prestigious event held in the brand new Upper West Hall of London’s Olympia following the first day of the 60th annual Toy Fair, which is currently taking place at Olympia in West London.

BTHA Chairman Frank Martin announced the winners of the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards, including two Judges’ Special Recognition Awards presented for outstanding achievement in toy retail, which went to Toy Barnhaus (Toymaster Group) and Harrods’ Knightsbridge store.

TRA Chairman Alan Simpson unveiled the Supplier of the Year Awards. Two TRA Special Recognition Awards were also presented to iMC Toys and John Adams. The full line up of winners follows:

Toy Retailer of the Year Winners

Independent Toy Retailer of the YearMIDCO Toymaster
Specialist Multiple Toy Retailer of the YearSmyths Toys
General Multiple Toy Retailer of the YearASDA
Online Toy Retailer of the YearThe Entertainer
Judges Special Recognition AwardToy Barnhaus
Judges Special Recognition AwardHarrods (Knightsbridge)
Overall Toy Retailer of the YearSmyths Toys

Toy Supplier of the Year Awards

Collectable Toy of the YearMoshi Figures, Vivid Imaginations
Construction Range of the YearLEGO Friends, LEGO
Game of the YearAngry Birds Knock on Wood, Mattel
Pre-School Toy of the YearJake and the Never Land Pirates Pirate Ship Bucky, Mattel
Girls’ Toy of the YearMonster High Ghouls Rule Doll Assortment, Mattel
Boys’ Toy of the YearWeb Shooting Spider-Man, Hasbro
Doll of the YearLalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls, MGA Entertainment
Lifestyle Toy of the YearLeapPad2, Leapfrog
TRA Special Recognition AwardiMC Toys
TRA Special Recognition AwardJohn Adams
Supplier of the YearVTech
Toy of the YearFurby, Hasbro

Frank Martin, Chairman of the BTHA:
“On behalf of the BTHA, I would like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s Toy Retailer Awards. It was pleasing to see an increase in the number of entries, especially from the Independent sector. The judges had to deliberate long and hard to finalise the retailer shortlists because of the very high standard of entries received. Congratulations must also go to our worthy runners-up who, it should still be remembered, were the best in their categories, and our sincere thanks to everyone for their participation.”

Alan Simpson, Chairman of the TRA, added:
“In a year which has continued tough for the industry, exceptional marketing by retailers and suppliers alike has generated a better than expected outcome. Undoubtedly this has been assisted by the development and further launch of tablets joining must have adult products in 2012 which open up exciting platforms for play in the future. Imagination is the essence of toys and we have seen some stars deriving from strong licences, innovative design and timely reprises. Other traditional areas need to rise to the challenge too and as we continue to tour Toy Fair this week retailers will be looking for evidence that will write an even better story for traditional and new toys in 2013”. The TRA Chairman, Alan Simpson, expressed his view of 2012 retailing, “the uncertainties of retailing in our threatened economy led many to cut prices too soon again, fearing for their survival. This damages the industry and confuses consumers about the real value of our goods. Businesses not only need cash flow but profits in order to survive, and children need toys for play, for life and for learning”.