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FamilyFun Magazine unveils the 2005 Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Award Winners After More Than 1,400 Children Vote for the Toys That Will Top Their Wish Lists This Holiday Season


NEW YORK, Oct. 4 -- FamilyFun magazine announces the 21 winners of its 14th annual Toy of the Year (T.O.Y.) Awards, a nationally recognized toy test during which children play with and vote for their favorite toys. In past years, many FamilyFun T.O.Y. winners have gone on to become the hottest sellers of the holiday season. The ten highest ranked toys were also announced today during a fun-filled event at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan in New York City.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a FamilyFun T.O.Y. Award is “a laurel as coveted in the toy industry as the Oscar is in Hollywood.” After more than 30,000 hours of play testing, children at 17 KinderCare Learning Centers across the country voted to select the winners of the nation’s most rigorous toy competition. This year, 170 manufacturers submitted 520 toys for review. Of these toys, 63 were selected as finalists and 21 received the sought-after T.O.Y. Award. The finalists and winners are featured in the November issue of FamilyFun magazine. Submissions were considered in categories -- including Learning Toys, Playmates, R/C Toys, Arts and Crafts, Building Sets, Games, Role Play, Playsets, and Tech Toys -- in four age groups. The independent testing firm, Digital Research, Inc., oversees the toy testing program for FamilyFun.

Several past T.O.Y. winners, such as Bratz dolls and a Rescue Heroes playset, have become must-have toys. This year’s number one toy is the Knights’ Empire Castle from Playmobil, a large castle kids build themselves that features all the medieval amenities: a moat, a drawbridge, a catapult, a working hoist, a secret trapdoor, a king’s throne, a prisoner’s dungeon, and a breakthrough wall that buckles under attack.

The Top 10 FamilyFun T.O.Y. Award Winners of 2005 are...

1. Knights’ Empire Castle (Playmobil)

2. 3-D Pool Table (Zocker Toys)

3. Shake ’N Go Speedway (Fisher-Price)

4. ChatNow (Tiger Electronics)

5. Slurpee Drink Maker (Spin Master)

6. Darth Vader Voice Changer (Hasbro)

7. Go Go TV (Toy Quest)

8. Pyrates Dread Eye’s Phantom (Mega Bloks)

9. Nylint Rock Crawler (Funrise)

10. Card Kit (American Girl)

“For the fourteenth year in a row, we are delighted to still be parents’ and children’s leading resource for recognizing and selecting the top toys of the year in time for the holiday season,” said Alexandra Kennedy, vice president and editorial director, FamilyFun magazine. “Our credibility lies in the hands of the children. By having them determine which toys are winners, parents can be sure their gift will be a hit.”

The complete list of the 21 winning toys, broken down by age group and by category:

AGES 3-4

Games: Buckaroo (Milton Bradley)

Learning Toys: Pretend & Play Trace & Learn Cake (Learning Resources)

Role Play: Darth Vader Voice Changer (Hasbro)

Playsets: Team Talkin’ Tool Bench (Playskool)

Playmates: Rescue Pets (MGA Entertainment)

Activity Toys: Shake ’N Go Speedway (Fisher-Price)


AGES 5-7

Pretend Play: Knights’ Empire Castle (Playmobil)

Arts and Crafts: Lite Brite FX Flash Art (Hasbro)

Activity Sets: Doctor Dreadful Freaky Food Lab (Funrise)

Learning Toys: Leapster L-Max Learning Game System (LeapFrog)

Games: Alfredo’s Food Fight (Fundex Games)

Playmates: Scamps: My Playful Pup (Tiger Electronics)

Tech Toys: Go Go TV (Toy Quest)


AGES 8-9

Games: Bumparena (Cranium)

Electronic Toys: ChatNow (Tiger Electronics)

Activity Sets: Slurpee Drink Maker (Spin Master)

Interactive Toys: Call Upon Yoda (Hasbro)

Building Sets: Pyrates Dread Eye’s Phantom (Mega Bloks)


AGES 10-12

Games: 3D Pool Table (Zocker Toys)

Activity Sets: Card Kit (American Girl)

R/C Toys: Nylint Rock Crawler (Funrise)

In addition, is holding its 2nd annual Video Game of the Year Awards ( ). A sister program to the T.O.Y. Awards, the Video Game of the Year 2005 Awards highlight the best family-friendly video games on the market, showcasing games that are rated E (Everyone) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Winners of the awards will be announced Nov. 15.

Also contributing to the event, advertising agencies ZenithOptimedia, Grey Global Group and Universal McCann and McCann Erickson will be collecting toys to donate to Toys for Tots as part of a special toy collection drive in partnership with FamilyFun magazine.

For more information about FamilyFun magazine’s Toy of the Year Awards or to arrange an interview with a FamilyFun spokesperson, please contact Lauren Grande at Southard Communications at 212-777-2220 or via email at


FamilyFun magazine -- With a circulation of 1.9 million readers, FamilyFun is the nation’s leading magazine for families with children ages 3 to 12 years old. Published by Buena Vista Magazines, Inc., a subsidiary of Disney Publishing Worldwide, its lively and informative content focuses on making the most of family time together. Other FamilyFun brand initiatives include activity stations at Walt Disney World, FamilyFun craft kits, and an ongoing book series, including the successful FamilyFun Cookbook. -- Produced by Disney Online, is the premier online family resource for creative solutions, combining award-winning content and related community features focused on great ideas, practical advice, and “fun stuff to do.” The site’s popular “Solution Centers,” which offer parents real answers in real time, include “Parenting,” “Recipes,” “Travel,” “Arts & Crafts” and “Parties.” Disney Online also produces, the leading kids’ and family entertainment destination on the Internet. features exciting neighborhoods that live within the gates of Disney’s virtual theme park, housing a variety of wholesome, original content that consistently reflects the magic of Disney. Disney Online works closely with The Walt Disney Internet Group, which provides integrated strategic and operational Internet services for The Walt Disney Company’s Internet initiatives.

KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc. -- -- a part of the Knowledge Learning Corporation family of schools, is a leading provider of early childhood care and education to children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years in the United States. KinderCare operates a total of 1,245 early childhood care and education centers.

Digital Research, Inc. (DRI) is a full-service marketing research firm located in Kennebunk, Maine. DRI has been retained by FamilyFun since 1992 to conduct the T.O.Y. Awards. DRI is a member of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and subscribes to CASRO’s Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research. DRI is located on the Web at

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is a not-for-profit institution, founded in 1973, to engage children and families in a partnership of learning through interactive exhibits and educational programs. CMOM inspires children and families to learn about themselves and our culturally diverse world through the arts, literacy, media & communications, science & the environment, and early childhood education.

Toys for Tots -- The U.S. Marine Corps’ premier community action program and one of the nation’s flagship Christmas charitable causes, Toys for Tots, is dedicated to “delivering a message of hope and bringing the joy of Christmas” to America’s needy children. Toys for Tots began with a single local campaign in Los Angeles in 1947, and was increased to campaigns in 74 communities in 1948. Fifty-six campaigns later in 2004, local Toys for Tots campaigns will be conducted in 476 communities throughout the nation -- the most extensive coverage in the history of the program.

Grey Worldwide New York -- Grey Global Group ranks among the largest global communications companies in the world. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). Grey Global Group operates branded independent business units in many communications disciplines including general advertising, public relations/public affairs, healthcare marketing, brand development, relationship marketing, sales promotion and interactive marketing, and on-line and off-line media services.

McCann Erickson Worldwide -- McCann Erickson Worldwide is the world’s leading global advertising agency network, with operations in more than 130 countries and a client roster that includes preeminent global marketers and many of the world’s most famous brands. The agency is a unit of McCann Worldgroup, one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world, which is part of the U.S.-based Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG).

Universal McCann -- Universal McCann is one of the world’s largest media service firms providing strategic services and consultancies in the areas of traditional and non-traditional media planning and buying, communications architecture, digital technologies, and research/modeling. Universal McCann is part of McCann Worldgroup, a division of The Interpublic Group of Companies.

ZenithOptimedia -- ZenithOptimedia is one of the world’s leading global media services agencies with 169 offices in 59 countries.


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