About the Awards

About The Awards

As the only program of its kind, the Best Toys for Kids Award is intended to heighten consumer awareness of the value of creative, open-ended play and the role that independent, locally owned toy stores play in providing children quality playthings that promote happy, healthy, and productive childhoods.

All ASTRA members are invited to participate in the nomination process. All nominated products are reviewed by the Best Toys for Kids Committee, a group of ASTRA retailer members, who compile a list of finalists. Winners are then selected by a vote from ASTRA's retailer membership. The final award list is circulated to local and national media in the fall. There is no cost to enter or cost to any product winners.


Each ASTRA member manufacturer, sales representative, affiliate, inventor and retailer member can nominate up to ten new products at a time. It is not required that members submit all nominations at one time.

Members are encouraged to consider the entire spectrum of the toy industry – not only ASTRA manufacturer products – when nominating products. If a non-ASTRA-member manufacturer product is nominated, the manufacturer will be invited to become a member of ASTRA.

All nominations must be specific individual products and must adhere to the criteria established by the Best Toys for Kids Committee in order to be considered.


Only nominees that sufficiently meet the criteria will be eligible to become a finalist and award winner. In order to be considered for the Best Toys for Kids award, products must be:

  • NEW: A Best Toys for Kids nominee in all categories except Classic Play should be a new or relatively new release, introduced to the general retail market in the fall of 2018 or later and brought to the market no later than September 2019.
  • UNIQUE: A Best Toys for Kids nominee should be a novel design, either as an original concept or a significant new rendition.
  • AVAILABLE: A Best Toys for Kids nominee should be in good supply, ready to ship by September 2019 to any and all credit-worthy independent specialty toy retailers.

  • SIGNIFICANT: A Best Toys for Kids nominee should be meaningful within the industry, whether it is thought-provoking or groundbreaking.