Do you remember the ‘80s film Big starring Tom Hanks? I watched it with the babes recently and, apart from a couple of awkward moments (e.g. the love scene), it was a wonderful trip down memory lane.
If you’ve never seen it, Big is about a 12-year-old boy who wishes to be ‘big’ and winds up in a grown man’s body, having to navigate his way through New York life and work. He gets a job in a toy company and soon he’s rising to the top, based on his ability to engage with toys on a level his adult colleagues can’t match.
The film Big came to mind when we attended the Toy Testers 2015 awards at the O2 Cineworld over half term. The Toy Testers Awards are the first and only awards given to toymakers by the people who matter most — children!
It’s a simple but clever concept that’s well executed, with a range of toys judged in categories like Best Pocket Money Spend and Most Awesome Gaming Toy. The Toy Testers consist of 100 kid testers (so sweet and funny in their reviews) and an ‘expert’ panel of Head Toy Testers who award the best toys of the year.
The show was hosted by kids TV presenter Nigel Clarke and much of the action happened on the big screen, from the kids’ reviews to a mini film about the toys themselves. Between awards, there were interactive games and prizes to be won… the only dodgy moment was a near stampede for free toys at the end!
In our efforts to cut down on clutter, and focus on experience-based gifts rather than more ‘stuff’, I’ve avoided buying many shiny new toys for the kids, and I felt slightly out of the ‘toy market loop’. So it was interesting to see what new gizmos are pressing the buttons of smallies and ‘tweens in 2015.
I was impressed by the GoGoHeads scooter toys the babes picked up at the event — deserved winners of the Plush Toy category. Unsurprisingly, the boys loved all the racing toys and Jed was quite taken with the Meccanoid robot (Toy of the Year).
The Top 10 Toys of the Year as Voted for by Kids:
1 – Meccanoid
2 – WowWee R.E.V.
3 – Teksta Scorpion
4 – Sands Alive Animal Set
5 – Sick Bricks
6 – Sphero BB-8
7 – Real FX
8 – HoverTech Battle FX
9 – WowWee MiPosaur
10 – Anki Overdrive
You can see a full list here of the Top Toys of 2015 as Voted by Children
Become a Toy Tester!
ToyTesters.tv, created by Gemma Clarke, is an online platform offering kids across the UK an opportunity to become Toy Testers. Selected children take part in market research, video reviews, and receive VIP invitations to events. ToyTesters.tv works with a broad range of toy companies including LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro, WoWee and Moshi Monsters. To join the Toy Testers.tv club and become an official tester of great toys, fill in the Toy Tester application form