Slow Toy Awards Return to Challenge the Toy Industry Once Again

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The team behind the ground breaking Slow Toy Movement are thrilled to announce that their Awards programme is back and officially open for entries tomorrow. Now in its third year the activity promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

The inspired campaign, which has captured the attention of the global toy industry since its launch in 2011, aims to challenge what are considered the mainstream must have toys. With a new category this year and an enviable panel of prestigious judges, the 2014 Slow Toy Awards are set to cause a wave of excitement across the UK and world once more.

Brand new for 2014, the Slow Toy team are excited to unveil a new craft category. Although craft toys may not stand the test of time physically, they still ignite the imagination, inspire creativity and give children the freedom to develop at their own pace. The Slow Toy Team felt that craft products reflect the messaging behind the Slow Toy Movement concept and wanted to give this sector the opportunity to be recognised for an award. The 2014 Slow Craft Toy, will be a separate accolade to the original Slow Seven and will add an exciting dimension to this year’s awards.

Just like previous years the 2014 Slow Toy Awards aim to recognise the ‘real toys’ on the market that are well made, inspire the mind and provide children far more than the noise and flashing lights commonly associated with the toys of today.

Commenting on the third Slow Toy Awards, Founder of the original Slow Toy Movement, Thierry Bourret said: “We have been inundated with requests and queries about the 2014 awards and I am delighted to announce they are now officially open for entries. Following the feedback from last year’s awards, we found a lot of brands wanted to enter craft toys, however because of our criteria for durability, these toys didn’t make the shortlist. Although craft toys may not stand the test of time physically, they are fantastic Slow Toys in other aspects, so I am thrilled to unveil the new craft category.

He continued: I am overwhelmed with the success of the Slow Toy Awards, the reaction to the campaign has exceeded my expectations tenfold and I am so excited that the awards are taking place again this year. I can’t wait to see what entries we get and to award the Slow Toy recognition to eight toys that inspire the mind and have true play value!”

As of 9am tomorrow (17.07.14) the awards are open for entry up until the deadline at 5pm on 17th August. Simply email ENTER to slowtoyawards2014@gmail.com for the entry form. 

To ensure we do not alienate anyone and welcome all brands both big and small, the awards are free to enter. However it should be noted that 5 non-returnable samples will be required for those who are shortlisted and there is also a small fee to pay if you win to contribute to publicity.

2013 Winners

Here are the 2013 Slow Toy seven as announced at Harrods today.

 

Moover Dolls Prammoover

The striking Moover Dolls Pram is a true design classic and a stylish addition to any home.  The simple and distinctive curved shape and bold colours appeal in equal measure to parents and toddlers.  Its quality craftsmanship ensures that this timeless classic can withstand years of boisterous love. Described by one mother as ‘quite simply the most beautiful dolls pram I have ever seen’, the Moover Dolls Pram is every little girl’s dream with its beautiful curved design, heart shaped peep hole and roomy carriage – perfect for pushing along treasured dolls and teddies!  Destined to become a modern heirloom, this stylish pram effortlessly blends traditional craftsmanship with bold contemporary looks.  The Moover Pram comes in a choice of two colours and, reassuringly for today’s environmentally aware parents, it is lovingly crafted from wood sourced from sustainable plantations. £74.95

 

East Coast Activity Cubeeast

The Activity Cube is part of the colourful Rest & Play range from East Coast Nursery. The 5-in-1 toy offers hours of fun, and the generous size and variety of activities allows two or more children to play together. The irresistible, chunky sliding bead coaster and tactile peg maze will amuse younger children, and will help to develop their fine motor skills; while the brightly coloured xylophone and chalk board will bring out the creativity in older children.  Moving the hands of the colourful clock face will begin as a fun activity, but can later become a useful learning tool. Solidly made from wood and using child friendly, non-toxic paint, the Activity Cube is sure to be an instantly popular toy, and will become a long-term favourite for boys or girls.  The bead coaster can be placed upside-down inside the cube for easy storage, but we bet it will spend most of its time up and ready for play! £39.99

 

GALT Tiny Trikegalt

The traditional wooden Tiny Trike from Galt Toys is an ideal first ride-on toy for young children, to discover the freedom of movement and develop their motor skills.

 The Tiny Trike is a Galt classic that was first introduced into the Galt range in the 1960s. This retro toy has now returned due to popular demand from parents and children. The latest version has had somewhat of a make-over and is tipped to once again become a firm family favourite this Christmas, providing hours of triking fun!

Suitable for children over 12 months, the trike is built from hardwood for strength and durability with safety steering lock and dual front wheels for added stability. With so much fun to be had, they won’t even realise they’re honing key movement and balance skills as they travel, reverse, turn and park all over the house and garden. £39.99

 

HABA My First Play World Fire BrigadeBild für die Haba Firmenfamilie

HABA’s My First Play World Fire Brigade is a self-contained fire station that houses all little one’s need to tackle fearsome flames. This fantastic set includes mini wooden fire-fighters, fires, a ladder as well as an axe to help any daring rescuer break down the door to tackle the flames! There is also a fire truck with an extendable bendy hose that is ready to squirt water on any imaginary fire that may come its way. Children can fold down the play set front to expose a fire station backdrop complete with fire hydrants and alarm to add to the play value. £34.99

 

Meccano Multi Models Setmeccano

Multimodels 15 Model Set is 100 per cent Meccano, featuring our iconic metal 'nuts and bolts' construction system, all with a modern twist. The real value of Multimodels is components build into at least 15 different, hard wearing and durable models. The really clever part is that once you've finished playing with one model, take it apart and build it into something new – using the same parts! Alongside traditional silver Meccano components, we've introduced pale blue metal parts and bright orange flexible plastic cables, gears and wheel hubs to give models a cool and contemporary finish. Meccano Multimodels 15 Model Set challenges children's problem solving capabilities, as well as developing manual dexterity and encouraging creative play. Models are only limited by your imagination – from a fully functioning digger with bucket to bulldozer, fighter jet, robot and helicopter. Multimodels 15 Model Set includes 252 parts and suitable for children aged 8 years and over. Meccano lets you build, play, deconstruct, reconstruct and play over and over again! £22.99

 

Fat Brain Toys TWIGfatbrain

Twig! A gratifying new branch to the Classic Building Block family tree! It's a building set that really offers you the freedom of exploring the-inside-and-the-out of fun designing. Wondering what makes Twig blocks so special? It's not the green conscious design and packaging, the colors, or even the shapes, it's your hands and mind in concert with the finest materials for amazing building. With Twig, you create using your mind's eye… Your mind finds satisfaction in sorting colors, finding solutions for intermixing pieces of varying depth, accommodating diverse interior dimensions and shapes, and making final adjustments to your masterpieces. Twig construction sets refine small motor abilities and helps develop skills in logic, problem solving, visual-spatial ability, creativity and ingenuity, sensory awareness, language & vocabulary proficiencies, cooperative and independent play skills, and artistic expression. £32

 

Bigjigs Around the World Train Setbigjigs

Travel into an exciting world of geographical discovery with this award winning train set from Bigjigs Toys. A mini sized adventure with a big personality this 78 piece train set will take you on a journey past some of the world's most famous iconic landmarks including Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Sydney Opera House and even the great Pyramids of Egypt! Not only can youngsters take a journey past the landmarks, but they can also get involved with building them as they assemble and dissemble using velcro. Suitable for tiny train enthusiasts ages 3 years and up this wonderful wooden railway set will delight and enlighten curious minds as they explore and learn about the world around them. What's more… this set is compatible with most other major wooden rail systems making it simple to expand your set for further adventures.  Made from high quality, sustainable sources this train set will last for years to come. Happy travels! £49.99

 

The Slow Toy Awards; a bit about the judges!

As you are all aware, this Thursday marks the day that the winners of this year’s Slow Toy Awards are revealed. That’s right! After months of guesses and speculation, the final Slow Seven will be unveiled and the winners will be transported to the heart of our campaign for real toys. Not only that, but this year the ceremony is taking place in the Toy Kingdom at Harrods! The seven winning toys will be available to buy over the Christmas period, so that’s some of your stocking fillers taken care of! All of us here at Asobi would just like to take a moment to thank all of the amazing judges, who together with their little helpers have thrown the final Slow Seven into the limelight.

Kate Carter is the Life and style editor of the Guardian online. Together with her little one, she has been busy testing out each and every one of the nominated toys looking for inspiration, educational value and high-quality manufacturing. It’s no secret that Kate loves to run, and she has recently taken part in The Royal Parks half marathon.

Liat Hughes Joshi is a London-based journalist and author of Raising Children: The Primary Years and What to Buy for Your Baby. As well as having many features in well-known publications such as The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times, she is also a children’s product specialist for AOL UK’s parenting website, making her the perfect candidate for uncovering this year’s Slow Seven.

Nina Hinchliffe is a fun-loving, North-Yorkshire mum and talented author of Monster’s Fun House, a blog dedicated to reviewing the best in children’s toys and developments. Parents have come to rely on Nicola for her honest and personal reviews, so we knew she’d make a fantastic judge on this year’s panel.

Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood are well-known children’s television presenters, and we’re thrilled to have them both on the judging panel. If you’re a fan of The One Show, you’ll know that Angellica is a regular reporter attracting an audience of over 5 million every night at 7pm on BBC 1. As for Michael, he is currently hosting the Heart Breakfast Show which goes out to Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Again, thank you to the amazing judges and of course thank you Harrods for joining us in our campaign for slow toys. We can hardly contain our excitement! The winners of the #SlowToyAwards will be announced this Thursday at 10am, so make sure you’re tuned in to Asobi’s twitter feed!

 

The Slow Toy Awards are coming back in 2013

After a phenomenal reception in 2012, the team behind the ground breaking Slow Toy Movement are thrilled to announce that the Slow Toy Awards will be returning this year and the promise to be bigger and better than ever!

Following the overwhelming success of last years’ awards, the Slow Toy team have been inundated with queries and requests about the movement and the winning toys of 2012. Press coverage is still coming in and it is fair to say the Slow Toy campaign truly has inspired both the industry and the nation! This news announcement is sure to create a real buzz across the toy world once more as the excitement builds – the search to find this year’s Slow Seven begins in May, dates to be announced.

The 2012 Slow Toy awards attracted the attention of both national and international media and it is thanks to this wise reaching support that the team have been able to secure such a significant group of judges for this year.  This panel includes Kate Carter, the life and style editor at the Guardian online, Liat Hughes Joshi, parenting journalist and published author of ‘What to Buy Your Baby’, Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, the much loved TV presenters and mummy blogger Nicola Hinchcliffe from ‘Monsters Funhouse’.

The Slow Toy movement and its awards aim to recognise the ‘real toys’ on the market that are well made, inspire the mind and provide children far more than the noise and flashing lights commonly associated with the toys of today. The disappearance of the educational abacus, the beautifully crafted wooden toy and the much loved dolls house that encourages creativity and imagination is still very much the issue at the heart of this campaign. The winners of this year’s awards will not only get a badge of honour from the slow toy awards, they will be sold in a prestigious store in the run up to Christmas.

Commenting on the second Slow Toy Awards, Founder of the original Slow Toy Movement, Thierry Bourret said: “I am overwhelmed with the success of the Slow Toy Awards, the reaction to the campaign as exceeded my expectations tenfold and I am so excited that the awards are taking place again this year. I can’t wait to see what entries we get and to give the Slow Toy recognition to seven toys that are well made, inspire the mind and have true play value!”

For more information, please email slowtoyawards@gmail.com

2012 Awards

The original concept was to raise awareness of the increasing presence of battery operated plastic toys that distract children with countless functions and the subsequent move away from traditional toys. The disappearance of the educational abacus, the beautifully crafted wooden toy and the much loved dolls house that encourages creativity and imagination is very much the issue at the heart of this campaign.
The Slow Toy movement and its awards aim to recognise the ‘real toys’ on the market that are well made, inspire the mind and provide children far more than the noise and flashing lights commonly associated with the toys of today.
These toys have been awarded by the judging panel for encouraging traditional play, boosting creative thinking, inspiring the developments of one’s own imagination. They are not made of plastic, are without batteries and are sold in independent toy shops. They are durable, stand the test of time, without thousands of different functions and, are officially Slow Toys!
Following some vigorous judging by the panel, which included: Peter Jenkinson from Toyology, Al Boxall-Gordon from IzziwizziKids, and three mummy bloggers: Nicola from ‘Monsters Funhouse’, Fiona from ‘Mummys Little Stars’ and Kate from ‘What me and the Boys say’ we have our winners of 2012:

The Wonderworld Eco House, by Wonderworld
The Wonderworld Eco House is made entirely from sustainable rubberwood and is essentially a traditional dolls house with furniture and a family, but with a modern twist. All sides of the house are open to allow easy access for small hands and encourage children to play together, whilst the Eco features help to teach children about the environment and ways in which they can save energy around the home. Included in the Eco House are recycling bins, a water butt, solar panels, an electric bike, wind turbine, 3 family members and furniture. And the best bit, for every tree used in manufacture, another 2 are planted in conjunction with Thai farmers
RRP: £112

Rory Story Cubes, by Coiledspring Games
A game of nine dice, each face with a different image on it! Players simply roll the dice and tell a story with the pictures in front of you. With over 10 million different combinations, you can be sure that you’ll never tell the same story twice! Instead of sitting in front of television
and watching a story unfold, a round of Rory’s Story Cubes will get children really thinking outside the box. A child’s imagination knows no limits, so the stories are sure to be
inventive, witty and highly original! All you need to play Rory’s Story Cubes is an active imagination and a sense of adventure!
RRP: £10

Triangular Activity Centre, by Bigjigs toys
The beautiful Triangular Activity Centre, which features a colourful abacus on one side, a blackboard on the other and wooden letter and pictures blocks on the other, is a great educational toy for children aged 1+. Each end also features colourful counting and animal sorters. This wonderful wooden toy offers a modern twist on a classic toy encouraging learning through play, enriching the educational experience.
RRP: £24.99

 

Oobicoo, by Totseat
Oobicoo is an enchanting, soft and huggable toy tot who at 60cm tall, is the perfect size to be an instant baby brother, sister or best friend to a toddler. Oobicoo was designed to be dressed in hand-me-down-baby clothes, a simple idea that encourages the reuse of outgrown baby clothes, providing Oobicoo with an instant wardrobe – all ready for imaginative play! And best of all with each sale, Oobicoo raises money for the Children’s Immunology Fund. Oobicoo encourages creativity and imagination and is ideal to help
develop communication skills. What’s even better is, Oobicoo is completely eco friendly having been manufactured from recycled and recyclable materials.
RRP: £46.80

Multi-solution Puzzle, by P’kolino
In four unique designs, the multi-solution puzzle is made from chunky durable wood, perfect for little hands. The puzzles develop a child’s ability to creatively solve challenges as they have many solutions holding their attention for longer. Best of all the clever designs mean age is not necessarily a barrier to enjoying the creativity of these puzzles. Imaginative, educational and a great design, these fun toys are the next generation of wooden puzzles.
RRP: £14.99

Wondecube, by My Wonder
The sheer delight little ones get from tearing wet wipes out of the packet is the inspiration behind this activity toy – a simply soft box with squares to pull out! Each square has a different feel and sound to explore and the pieces can be pulled apart, stuck back together
and rearranged in any order. Suitable from birth, it can help stimulate babies’ senses and develop their fine motor skills. It’s also designed to grow with the child. With a choice of
innovative add- on fillings, suited to each child’s needs – including numbers, letters, animals and storybooks – the adaptability and versatility of this simple cube is infinite. Ethically produced and eco-friendly, this wonderful box of tricks is educational and hours of fun and is a toy that will endure and amuse for years.
RRP: £14.99

Stacking Hoops, by Play to Z
A gorgeous and ethical sensory-rich alternative to a traditional stacking toy. Stacking hoops gives children the freedom to simply explore and play as they wish, exploring the hoops individually or following their own mission of stacking and sorting. The unusual sensory appeal of the carefully sourced items and fascinating stories ensure maximum appeal. This resource inspires discussion, investigation and imagination galore.
RRP: £48

Selfridges welcomes the Slow Toy Awards

The Slow Toy Awards, which opened only a few weeks ago, are well underway and have had an unprecedented response so far. The team are delighted with the significant level of interest from the toy industry, but some recent news is causing great excitement! Thanks to the involvement of one of the country’s leading department stores the first ever Slow Toy Awards are sure to be a huge success.

Having heard about the awards the team from the much loved and prestigious store, Selfridges, wanted to get involved, a development that will undoubtedly put The Slow Toy Movement on the map! The new partnership will not only see the top ten be unveiled at an official press event to be held at Selfridge’s toy department on 30th October, but the individual winners will also have their product on sale at Selfridges’s Oxford Street store for the Christmas season!

With entries flooding in and the recent developments the first ever  Slow Toy awards, which aim to recognise the ‘real toys’ on the market that provide children far more than noise and flashing lights as a form of entertainment, is set to be a big success. The team are passionate about bringing back the educational abacus, the beautifully crafted wooden toy and the much loved dolls house that encourages creativity and it is therefore wonderful to have such great interest in the campaign from the industry, as well as the commitment from one of the biggest names in retail!

Founder of the original movement, Thierry Bourret, comments: ‘To have our awards recognised by an establishment as prestigious as Selfridges is really something. My aim is to inspire the industry and put Slow Toys on everyone’s radar and I am confident we will achieve this goal. Looking at the current selection of entries, we already have a wonderful range of products so the competition is certainly going to be tough!

The awards:

The judges: Al Boxall-Gordon from IzziwizziKids, Peter Jenkinson from Toyology and three mummy bloggers: Nicola from ‘Monsters Funhouse’, Fiona from ‘Mummys Little Stars’ and Kate from ‘What me and the Boys say’

The criteria:

×           Encourages traditional play

×           Boosts creative thinking

×           Inspires the developments of one’s own  imagination

×           Not made of plastic

×           Without batteries

×           Sold in independent toy shops

×           Durable, stands the test of time

×           Without thousands of different functions

To enter simply email the name of the brand, product, stockists, cost and why you feel it should be awarded a Slow Toy accolade. The competition will close at midnight on 14th of September. entries@slowtoymovement.com

The secon Slow Toy Awards open

Following their success in 2011, the team behind the ground breaking ‘Slow Toy’ movement are returning to inspire the industry once again and this year the campaign has developed significantly as they announce the launch of the first ever Slow Toy Awards – which open today!

The original concept was to raise awareness of the increasing presence of battery operated plastic toys that distract children with countless functions and the subsequent move away from traditional toys. The disappearance of the educational abacus, the beautifully crafted wooden toy and the much loved dolls house that encourages creativity and imagination is very much the issue at the heart of this campaign.

The Slow Toy awards aim to highlight the ‘real toys’ out there that provide children far more than noise and flashing lights as a form of entertainment. The awards will be judged by a panel of four significant figures from the industry that will endeavour to uncover the ten toys that promote traditional play, encourage a child’s own imagination and are well made.

The panel, which includes; Basil Snooks from Eric Snooks in Bath, Lucie Toogood from Selfridges, Al Boxall-Gordon from IzziwizziKids, and three mummy bloggers: Nicola from ‘Monsters Funhouse’, Fiona from ‘Mummys Little Stars’ and Kate from  ‘What me and the Boys say’ will be searching for products that meet the following criteria:

  • Encourages traditional play
  • Boosts creative thinking
  • Inspires the developments of one’s own  imagination
  • Not made of plastic
  • Without batteries
  • Sold in independent toy shops
  • Durable, stands the test of time
  • Without thousands of different functions

To enter simply email the name of the brand, product, stockists, cost and why you feel it should be awarded a Slow Toy accolade. The competition will close at midnight on 14th of September. entries@slowtoymovement.com

Commenting on the first Slow Toy Awards, Founder of the original Slow Toy Movement, Thierry Bourret said: ‘ This is such an exciting development. I was inspired to launch the Slow Toy movement last year when I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of proper toys on the market and disappointed that a plastic poo-ing dog was the predicted the dream toy for 2012.

He continued: ‘I just believe our children deserve better than this and should play with toys that inspire their minds and encourage creative play. I cannot wait to see the entries and for the panel to select this years top ten Slow Toys’

The beginning

Is the ideal toy for your child this Christmas really a battery operated dog that poos…seriously?!

What happened to the rocking horse, the educational abacus, the classic wooden toy, the much loved train set or the ever so tradition Jack in a box? Why do the toys of today require multi coloured plastic structures, countless functions and noises going off left right and centre? Well not forever thanks to some of the most significant individuals in the toy sector campaigning for change.

Today sees the official launch of the Slow Toy Movement, an inspired concept that aims to promote well made toys that are sourced ethically and leave plenty to kid’s imagination. Banished are the fast paced, 84 functions plastic monstrosities that are the talk to today’s Dream toys predictions for this Christmas.

The Slow Movement is set to be the next big cultural movement for the toy industry. Much like what Carlo Petrini did for the food industry with his Slow Food Movement that defended good food and the enjoyment of eating back in 1986, this campaign in much the same way aims to support and promote toys sourced ethically and toys that let the child develop at their own pace. Children should never be in a race to talk or walk first, this is not a competition. Development should be left to follow it’s own pace. There should be a time to play and a time to study, work and develop.

Our launch is very much in response to the 2011 Dream Toys announcement where a plastic toy that poos made the top of the selection. This was held as, and I quote here: “amazing technological advancements from the toy industry. This doesn’t mean to say that the toys are ‘techy’; rather that technology has been used to enrich the whole experience of play. Wow, if this is technological advancement, I will eat my hat!

We are on the hunt to produce a list of the best slow toys of this season and want some help!

So can you name 12 toys, launched on the UK market this year that fit in the slow toys definition of:

  • not made of plastic
  • ethically sourced
  • fun to play with
  • without batteries
  • sold in independent toy shops
  • durable
  • without thousands of different functions

Send your entries to thierry (at) asobi (dot) co (dot) uk by the 8th of November. Clearly mark in the title of the email “Slow Toys Nomination”. The list will be published on the 9th of November noon.