Posted by Miranda July 12, 2012

After collecting hundreds of entries in all of the Designer Toy Award categories, we are proud to present to you the OFFICIAL NOMINEES for The DTAs 2012.

To narrow down the entries we created groups of nominating committees comprised of artists, bloggers, brand owners and collectors, to validate and classify the entries based upon the requirements for each category. 

We divided the committees with a particular attention to reducing conflicts of interest; so a brand owner wouldn’t weigh in on brand of the year, a blogger on best blog, etc. These committees then narrowed down the field of entries to the top five, or top ten choices (Five for board, 10 for public, where available). These choices have become the official nominees for 2012.

Voting for the winners of The Designer Toy Awards 2012, is now open at Support your community, lend your vote and help spread the word. You can vote once per day in each category.

Congratulations and Good Luck to all of the well deserved Nominees.

Without further ado... 

ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Top 10 Public Voted)

This award recognizes an artist who not only has designed and/or produced outstanding new releases during the eligibility period, but has also garnered a strong base of followers and a steady demand for new material.

BEST 1/6th SCALE (Top 4 Board Voted)

Presented to the best toy released during the eligibility period that was manufactured in a 1/6th scale (typically 12" tall humanoid figures). These pieces are usually noted for featuring a lifelike attention to detail, including custom tailored apparel, impeccable accessories, and multiple points of articulation for realistic poseability.

BEST BLOG (Top 10 Public Voted)

This award recognizes outstanding work by any news outlet with a main focus on Designer Toys. The category is not only open to traditional blogs but also podcasts, video blogs, or any other online resource for industry news. Nominated websites should have brought intelligent, informed, and diverse reporting to the Designer Toy niche.


Acknowledging an excellent and innovative collaboration between entities, whether an artist working with a brand, a gallery or another artist. The final result of this collaboration should be something that neither collaborator would have been capable of achieving alone, indicating the necessity of working together.

BEST COLLECTION (Top 6 Public Voted)

Awarded to the toy collector who owns the most impressive Designer Toy collection around. But size isn't all that matters: rarity and impressiveness of pieces are also taken into consideration.

BEST CUSTOMIZER (Top 5 Board Voted)

Celebrating outstanding achievement within the thriving base of active customizers, this award honors a single artist who has transformed existing Designer Toys into individually expressive art objects. Consideration will be based on the artist's output during the eligibility period and will include the merits of concept, paint execution, additional sculpting (if applicable), and overall attention to detail.

BEST DIY PLATFORM (Top 10 Public Voted)

DIY Platform toys are one of the industry's greatest additions, allowing artists from every walk of life to use the form as a canvas. This category recognizes the best platform toy that is sold as a blank toy, without any paint applications or graphic designs. The DIY platform toy must have been actively sold during the eligibility period and it must have become (or remained) an important part of the customizing community.


Presented to an outstanding Designer Toy release with a design derived from an officially licensed entertainment property: film, television or anything else. Nominees in this category will be judged not only on their quality as a toy but also their representation of the original property.

BEST MINI SERIES (Top 5 Board Voted)

Whether a platform, originally sculpted or customized toy series, this category acknowledges excellence in 2" to 5" mini figures that have been produced in multiple quantities. Aspects considered in judging include quality of manufacturing, design, packaging, and even innovative use of the smaller size.

BEST ONLINE TOY STORE (Top 10 Public Voted)

Celebrating the outstanding achievement by an online retailer that specializes in Designer Toys and has been active during the Eligibility Period. Criteria for consideration include range and selection of products, overall website presentation, ease of use, and customer service.

BEST PLUSH DESIGN (Top 5 Board Voted)

Celebrating the most innovative plush Designer Toy product to be released during the eligibility period, these elevated 'stuffed animals' are judged on design, construction, material usage, durability and overall execution.

BEST SELF-PRODUCED (Top 5 Board Voted)

This award recognizes a single toy that was completely designed and manufactured by the artist's own hand, regardless of material used (i.e., resin, vinyl, wood, paper). Pieces nominated for this award will have not only their overall design judged, but also the quality of the finished product and the choice of materials used to make it.

BEST SOFUBI (Top 10 Public Voted)

Presented to the best Designer Toy manufactured using a sofubi (Japanese soft vinyl) style of production. This category celebrates the manner in which Japanese production techniques, factories and design styles have become a mainstay for the Designer Toy market. The manufacturing quality, sculpting and innovative color variations will all be considered for this award.

BEST TOY FROM A COMIC (Top 5 Public Voted)

mics are a primary source of inspiration in our popular culture and this is often reflected in the Designer Toy releases. This award is presented to an outstanding toy whose design was derived from an officially licensed comic book property. Nominees to this category will be judged not only on their quality as a toy but also their representation of the original property.

Best Toy Store (Top 10 Public Voted)

This category honors a brick-and-mortar (physical store) retailer that specializes in Designer Toys and has distinguished itself with outstanding activity during the eligibility period. Nominees will be judged on how knowledgeability, the range and selection of products offered, the overall store appearance and presentation, and any special events and/or shows the location hosted.

BRAND OF THE YEAR (Top 5 Board Voted)

Celebrating a designer toy company whose product releases during the eligibility period have been consistently outstanding and active. The quality of their products will be considered, as will other aspects, including events, sponsored promotions, and other supportive contributions to the Designer Toy market.


Presented in recognition of an artist who has gained significant industry-wide notice during the eligibility period; their struggle and dedication will be honored with this award. Not only should they have had outstanding product releases during this time period, but also an increased fan base and overall visibility.

Fan Favorite (Top 10 Public Voted)

This award celebrates the single toy that has most captured the attention and imagination of the Designer Toy community during the eligibility period. The Fan Favorite is a piece that has a wide-spread appeal, as well as demand that has not wavered after it was first released.


Celebrating the achievement of a singular toy, released during the eligibility period, whose final form excelled in manufacturing value and revealed a meticulous attention to detail. All aspects of the release's overall product quality will be taken into account, including the sculpt, materials used, paint application and packaging design. Everything about this item should be top-notch.

TOY OF THE YEAR (Top 5 Board Voted)

The Toy of the Year recognizes a singularly outstanding product, whose design and manufacture is of the highest quality and execution. This award celebrates a Designer Toy that captured the imagination of the fans and became a popularly demanded item.


Winners will be announced at the DTA Ceremony on Saturday October 13th, during NYCC, in New York City. 

We look forward to seeing you all there.



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