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.

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.