The Best Toy Awards in Canada
The effectiveness of toy awards has been a topic of discussion around our office for many years. Yes, awards can certainly help boost sales. But how effective are they really? There are so many toy awards out there, it can become confusing to parents and grandparents.
Like most things in life – there are the good ones and there are the bad ones. Some toy awards have very little impact on sales. However, a select few toy awards do have a great impact on sales. I suspect much of their effectiveness (or lack thereof) comes down to testing methodology.
Unlike the United States, in Canada there are significantly fewer toy awards. In Canada, without a doubt the most effective toy awards are those issued by the Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC).
The CTTC was founded back in 1952, and is a non-profit organization completely run by volunteers. Their mission is to evaluate toys and games on the basis of design, function, durability and play value - which ultimately enables parents to choose good toys. They do this by putting toys into the hands of the children themselves.
Toys and games are tested for a period of six to twelve weeks in a home environment. This is done to replicate the circumstances under which consumers would normally be playing with these same toys and games. Parents are instructed to treat the items being tested as if they were their own (i.e. do not influence the children in how often and in what manner they play with the items).
The results are compiled and published in the CTTC’s annual Toy Report. No amount of lobbying can sway the results. If a game receives a CTTC award, it is truly a deserving product. This is what makes the CTTC awards so valid.
Three of our products were bestowed with CTTC awards this year. PicWits! (published by MindWare) was given a Best Bet Award. Catch The Thief (published by SmartLab Toys) was given a 3-Star Seal. And last but not least, Silent But Deadly (published by Outset Media) was given a 3-Star Novelty Seal.
The Canadian toy industry owes a big “thank you” to the hundreds of volunteers who spend many hours making the CTTC such a vital and effective organization. Another “thank you” is owed to the many organizations and businesses who donate their services and other resources to this non-profit organization.