PJs Welcome at This Year’s Virtual TOTY Gala; Reserve Your Free Ticket Through Feb. 9

toty-2021January 26, 2021 | While the dress code for this year’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards gala might be a bit more casual (PJs welcome), the “Oscars” of the toy industry will live on in an exciting new virtual format that invites play-lovers around the world to the industry-exclusive party for the first time ever. So, what can attendees expect to experience at the upcoming event on Friday, February 12? Here is everything you need to know:

The Virtual TOTY Awards

  • A pre-show party will begin on a virtual platform at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern), where attendees can enjoy a magic show, learn how to whip up a themed cocktail (or mocktail) with a mixologist, and put their toy trivia skills to the test. Registered attendees should look out for an email in the coming weeks with additional pre-show details.
  • The one-hour awards program will begin promptly at 4 p.m. (Eastern).
  • Winners will be revealed across 16 categories, which have been updated over the years to ensure the awards program remains representative of advancements and innovations across the toy industry.
  • Consumer votes will decide the People's Choice Award, while the coveted Toy of the Year Award is selected by a panel of retailers, journalists, and industry analysts from among the category winners.
  • The program will also celebrate and support the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation and commemorate four industry trailblazers into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.


  • Tickets for the 2021 TOTY Awards are free but must be reserved in advance.
  • The last day to register for your ticket is February 9.
  • Attendees will receive additional details on how to access the awards program in the weeks leading up to the event.
  • While tickets are complimentary, a suggested donation or purchase of an ad for the digital TOTY Tribute Book helps to support the ongoing philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation.

Honoring the Foundation

  • One hundred percent of the awards program’s proceeds support the Foundation in its mission to deliver the magic of play to millions of children under stress and in dire situations across the country and globe through industry-wide toy donations and cash contributions.
  • The TOTY Awards program is a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation. Since 2003, the Toy Foundation has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million deserving children and families in underserved communities around the world.
  • Companies looking for a valuable way to promote their brands – and contribute to a good cause – have until February 5 to reserve ad space in the Foundation’s 2020 Tribute Book, the official event program for the TOTY Awards ceremony. Contact Elizabeth Max, senior foundation manager, for more information.

“The TOTY gala will certainly look different this year, but we can’t wait to gather the toy and play community together for a global celebration of the talent and innovation of our industry and the work of The Toy Foundation,” said Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “The new format is a particularly exciting opportunity for us to share this typically industry-only event with families everywhere.”

Over the past two decades, the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards have been unveiled during a sold-out gala in New York City that celebrated the top toys of the year and helped kick-off the largest toy show in the Western hemisphere, Toy Fair New York. To learn more about this year’s new virtual format and the TOTY Awards, visit TOTYAwards.org.