November 8, 2021 – A little board game crossover here. The Toy Foundation unveils finalists for 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. These nominees span all different categories but the game of the year, grown-up toy of the year and stem toy of the year all have board games in them that may be of interest to you.

The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a children’s charity whose mission is to provide philanthropic support and the vital commodity of play to children and families under stress and in dire situations, across the country and globe. These awards and the ceremony are a big fundraiser for their organization.

Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry (their words), the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top playthings on the market.

Below are the categories that have board game related content. Other categories include action figure of the year, collectible of the year, construction toy of the year, creative toy of the year, doll of the year, infant/toddler toy of the year, license of the year, outdoor toy of the year, playset of the year, plush toy of the year, preschool toy of the year, specialty toy of the year and vehicle of the year. Check out the full list of nominees.

For families and children’s (ages 0-14) games including board, card, electronic, or other physical game formats and puzzles, exclusive of video or app games

  • A Game of Cat and Mouth by Exploding Kittens
  • Crossed Signals by Mattel
  • Disney It’s a Small World Game by Funko Games
  • GibGab by Fat Brain Toy Co.
  • Hedbanz Blast Off! by Spin Master
  • Marvel Villainous by Ravensburger
  • Monopoly Builder by Hasbro

Toys and games developed primarily for grown-ups/kidults, including party games, board games, collectibles, arts and crafts, and more. These toys are often fueled by fandoms, social media, and adult humor while they are not “adult toys” nor sexual in nature

  • Disney Castle Collection by The Walt Disney Company
  • EXIT: The Game Season 5 Bundle by Thames & Kosmos
  • Hot Wheels R/C 1:10 Tesla Cybertruck by Mattel
  • Kinetic Sand Kinetic Kalm Zen Box by Spin Master
  • LEGO Botanical Collection Flower Bouquet by The LEGO Group
  • Rambler 16 by Razor
  • The Beatles Collection Magna-Tiles Structures by CreateOn
  • The Goonies: Never Say Die by Funko Games

Toys that encourage kids to develop, strengthen and integrate skills across science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics

  • Bill Nye’s VR Space Lab by Abacus Brands
  • Candy Claw Machine: Arcade Game Maker Lab by Thames & Kosmos
  • GraviTrax Speed Set by Ravensburger
  • Gridopolis by Gridopolis Games
  • LEGO CREATOR 3-in-1 Ferris Wheel by The Lego Group
  • Smartivity Pinball Machine by Smartivity Labs/Elenco
  • VTech Marble Rush Ultimate Set by VTech

“Each and every finalist announced today demonstrates the incredible ability of toys and play to bring inspiration, laughter, and learning to children of all ages!” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We congratulate the outstanding finalists and look forward to announcing the winners in each category, as well as the coveted overall ‘Toy of the Year’ winner and ‘People’s Choice’ honoree, at our gala in February. As the most critical annual fundraiser for The Toy Foundation, that night will be especially meaningful for the toy community, with 100% of the gala’s proceeds benefitting programs that deliver toys, funds, and the healing power of play to children in need.”

This year’s TOTY finalists were selected from 623 nominees submitted in 16 different categories. Twenty-three judges, including toy and play experts, retailers, academics, and journalists reviewed and ranked the products in categories relevant to their areas of expertise before determining the finalists. They considered each product’s creativity, design, and play value.

Winners will be announced at The Toy Foundation’s TOTY Awards gala on Friday, February 18, 2022. The celebration will include the induction of four industry trailblazers into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame and shine a spotlight on the inspiring philanthropic work of the toy industry and The Toy Foundation.

What do you think of the finalists for 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards in board game related categories? Let us know in the comments below!