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Spielwarenmesse has announced the winners of its ToyAwards, whittling 772 entries from 422 exhibitors down to just five winners. 

Judged by 16 experts including scientists, market researchers, educationalists, international sales agents, a blogger and a toy safety expert, the winning toys were assessed on originality, safety, potential at retail, fun factor, accessibility of the play concept as well as workmanship and quality. 

The winning products for 2020 are: 

Baby & Infant (0-3 years)

Playmobil 1.2.3 Aqua, Playmobil

Playmobil 1.2.3 Aqua from Playmobil is a compact water play world for toddlers. The crank on the side produces a stream of water in which figures and boats merrily spin around. The play features, which train toddlers’ fine motor skills, are all marked red. The basic set comprising steps, boats and figures can be expanded to include a water wheel, a slide and much more. Praising the concept, the jury stated: “Outstanding features include its high-quality design and intuitive functionality.”

Preschool (3-6 years)

Knight’s Castle Ball Track, Gollnest & Kiesel

The modular Knight’s Castle Ball Track from Gollnest & Kiesel is designed as an impressive fortress with lightweight wooden elements. With a simple connector mechanism, the towers and elements can be reconfigured in many different ways. The coloured wooden balls roll from tower to tower at lofty heights. The jury concluded: “The lords of the castle can develop their motor skills and sense of three-dimensional space.”

School Kids (6-10 years)

Balloon Puncher, Silverlit Toys Manufactory

The Balloon Puncher from Silverlit Toys Manufactory brings fun and action to the playroom. Two balloons are clamped onto the remote-controlled bodies as heads. The aim of the game is to make the opponent’s balloon burst by boxing with one’s own Balloon Puncher. Explaining its choice, the jury stated, “the mix of a balloon bursting game and technology coupled with the amusing concept make Balloon Puncher a very entertaining game.”

Teenager & Adults (10 years and older)

Mystery House: Adventures in a Box, Cranio Creations

Mystery House: Adventures in a Box from Cranio Creations brings the fun and excitement of Escape Rooms into the home. The cards are placed in the mysteriously designed 3D playing field according to coordinates. Each player can take a peek and look for clues. When they find one, they type the card’s coordinates into an accompanying app on the tablet to receive items that help solve the puzzle. The jury praised the product, adding, “the game contains an endless number of possibilities.”

Startup (for companies trading for less than five years)

Calculix number bricks, ESM Visions

Children can learn arithmetic through play with the Calculix number bricks from ESM Visions. The wooden building blocks are shaped into different numbers. When stacked, all the different combinations of one result will come to the same height. For example, 2+2+2 hits exactly the same height as 3+3. The instructions also clearly and simply explain subtraction, multiplication and division. The jury described it as, “a beautifully designed game with great educational value.”

The 2020 ToyAwards panel was made up of the following people: 

  • Dr. Maria Costa, AIJU Technological Institute, Research Manager
  • Axel Dammler, iconkids & youth, Managing Director
  • Andrew Dobbie, Gameplan Europe, Managing Director
  • Konstantin Frishberg, Detsky Mir, Director Toys and Games Department
  • Dr. Thomas Märtz, VEDES, Chief Executive Officer
  • Jörg Meister, little big things, Managing Director
  • Nadine Müller, Premini, Managing Director
  • Thorsten Paedelt, duo schreib & spiel, Managing Director
  • Jochen Pohle, EK/servicegroup, Head of Department in the business area family
  • Andreas Schäfer, idee+spiel, Managing Director
  • Dean Smith, jaZams, Co-owner
  • Vincent Stozicky, JouéClub, France, Commercial Director
  • Marietheres Waschk, Education Officer of Jugendzentren Köln (youth centres in Cologne)
  • Rainer Weiskirchen, TÜV Rheinland, Press Officer
  • Thomas Wodzicki, Freelance play educationalist for various institutions in Germany and abroad
  • Tracy Wood, Toybuzz, Managing Director
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