All about the Rainbow Toy Awards

The Rainbow Toy Awards for Excellence have been recognised by the UK toy industry since 2009.  In 2013, the fifth year of the awards, the Rainbow Awards site began writing toy reviews.  Suppliers can send in toys for review at anytime during the year, it is a free service and the supplier will be an objective review of their product.

What’s more, each review is written by a parent and/or trained education professional, so each toy review will recommend further ways to use the toy, for an educational benefit or learning outcome, plus the Rainbow Buttons will disclose what skills would be practiced by using the toy.  A Rainbow Toy Review has real benefit to parents and carers, it’s not just a meaningless star rating.

The Skill buttons are:

 skills

Since 2009 Rainbow have organised awards for toy excellence, in 2011 these were re-branded as – The Rainbow Awards for Toy Excellence (or ‘The Rainbows’ for short) and in 2012 Rainbow 360 Media Ltd joined the team on the marketing of the awards.

The Rainbow Toy Awards reward the very best new toys, helping consumers to make smart choices in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.

Each toy entered is tested by children along with their carers or parents. We carefully select them for the correct age, gender and setting. Our specialist testers are from varied backgrounds allowing testing in group settings such as schools and childcare and also on an individual basis.

Most toys  tested will be reviewed by our various blogger testers and reviews will appear on their blogs.
Feedback is collated on each toy to enabling us to choose the top toys and present awards accordingly.
Each category has one overall Winner as well as one ‘Highly Recommended’ and there is an one overall Champion for the awards each year.

We don’t offer huge amounts of categories or many finalists in each category, so to win a Rainbow Toy Award is a real accolade and means the toy has fought off stiff competition.

The Awards this year were:

The 2014 Overall Champion

Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch champ

Best Preschool Toy

Winner – Little Love 3 in 1 Push Chair by VTech

Little Love pushchair_kidshot2 copy

Highly Commended – Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag by Mega Brands

mega brnds builders bag copy

Best Arts & Crafts Toy

Winner – Edible Sweet Art Chocolate Coin Press by Tobar

choc coin maker

Highly Commended – Jelly Fun Jelly Slush Maker by John Adams

rendered_box

Best Wheeled Toy

Winner – Despicable Me Folding Scooter by H Grossman

scooter copy

Highly Commended – 3-in-1 Step ‘n Ride Lion by Bright Starts

step ride lion copy

Best for Imaginative Play

Winner – Adventure Pack JetPack by Harry and Jack

HarryJacksJetPack copy

Highly Commended – Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen by Plum Products

Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen 41066 Cut Out - With Accessories copy

Best Games & Puzzles – The Young Ones

Winner – Pig Out! By John Adams

pig-out-game copy

Highly Commended – Jumbo ZIP-IT by Bananagrams

jumbo zip it copy

Best Games & Puzzles – 8 Years and above

Winner – Accentuate by Accentuate Games

accentuate copy

Highly Commended – Hotel Tycoon by Esdevium Games

hotel tycoon copy

Best Electronic Toy

Winner – Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech Electronics

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch3 copy

Highly Commended – LeapPad3 by LeapFrog

leap pad3

Best Construction Toy

Winner – Kinetic Sand by Spinmaster

kinetic sand copy

Highly Commended – Mega Bloks 123 Thomas Learning Train by MegaBrands

123 thomas train copy

Best Educational Toy

Winner – Sparkup: The Magical Book Reader

spark up magical book reader

Highly Commended – Appletters by Bananagrams

appletters copy

Best Plush Toy

Winner – Ultimate Spider-Man Go Glow Pal by Worlds Apart

spidey

Highly Commended – My First baby Annabell Newborn

baby ananabell copy

Best Outdoor Toy

Winner – Mini Hornit by Hornit

mini hornit copy

Highly Commended – A.I. Copter from TX Juice by Wow! Stuff

TXJ_AI_COPTER_COMPLETE_BOX copy

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Cision Top Ten Blogs – Our News!

Cision is the leading tool for PRs, press and the media in general and each month checks online to find the biggest influencers in each topic. With over 160,000 digital influencers listed by Cision – the Rainbow Awards were delighted to be listed as the number two social influencer this month!

Top 10 2014 copy

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You can hear us coming with our Mini Hornits….

The award winning Mini Hornit has been reviewed here – click the photo to read the review.

mini hornit copyWe even have a lovely video here:

 

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The Rainbow Awards 2014

The 2014 Overall Champion

Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch champ

Best Preschool Toy

Winner – Little Love 3 in 1 Push Chair by VTech

Little Love pushchair_kidshot2 copy

Highly Commended – Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag by Mega Brands

mega brnds builders bag copy

Best Arts & Crafts Toy

Winner – Edible Sweet Art Chocolate Coin Press by Tobar

choc coin maker

Highly Commended – Jelly Fun Jelly Slush Maker by John Adams

rendered_box

Best Wheeled Toy

Winner – Despicable Me Folding Scooter by H Grossman

scooter copy

Highly Commended – 3-in-1 Step ‘n Ride Lion by Bright Starts

step ride lion copy

Best for Imaginative Play

Winner – Adventure Pack JetPack by Harry and Jack

HarryJacksJetPack copy

Highly Commended – Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen by Plum Products

Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen 41066 Cut Out - With Accessories copy

Best Games & Puzzles – The Young Ones

Winner – Pig Out! By John Adams

pig-out-game copy

Highly Commended – Jumbo ZIP-IT by Bananagrams

jumbo zip it copy

Best Games & Puzzles – 8 Years and above

Winner – Accentuate by Accentuate Games

accentuate copy

Highly Commended – Hotel Tycoon by Esdevium Games

hotel tycoon copy

Best Electronic Toy

Winner – Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech Electronics

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch3 copy

Highly Commended – LeapPad3 by LeapFrog

leap pad3

Best Construction Toy

Winner – Kinetic Sand by Spinmaster

kinetic sand copy

Highly Commended – Mega Bloks 123 Thomas Learning Train by MegaBrands

123 thomas train copy

Best Educational Toy

Winner – Sparkup: The Magical Book Reader

spark up magical book reader

Highly Commended – Appletters by Bananagrams

appletters copy

Best Plush Toy

Winner – Ultimate Spider-Man Go Glow Pal by Worlds Apart

spidey

Highly Commended – My First baby Annabell Newborn

baby ananabell copy

Best Outdoor Toy

Winner – Mini Hornit by Hornit

mini hornit copy

Highly Commended – A.I. Copter from TX Juice by Wow! Stuff

TXJ_AI_COPTER_COMPLETE_BOX copy

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Overall Champion 2014

The Rainbow Toy Awards ceremony for 2014 is almost at a close and all that remains is to announce our overall champion for 2014.

It’s a toy that scored as near to perfectly as possible, a toy that scored more than every other toy in all of the categories, the testers said about this toy;

“All the children in the group aged 3-10 love this toy, the pre-installed games held their attention for a few hours. When I told them it could be plugged in and they could choose apps they were over the moon”

“An excellent price for what you get”

“Fab toy, loads of options to choose from and the added option to download is great. They really enjoyed taking photos, video and voice recordings – and if dropped it literally bounces!”

OVERALL CHAMPION 2014

Kidizoom Smart Watch

By: VTech Electronics

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch champ

 

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Awards Category: Wheeled Toys

This is our final category of the awards, until we discover who is the overall 2014 champion.

WINNER

Despicable Me Folding Scooter

By: H Grossman

scooter copyAge: 5 years+

RRP: £24.99

This flexible scooter folds for easy storage. Featuring the Minions from Despicable Me 2 – the scooter has adjustable handlebars so can grow with your child.  The anti slip foot plate makes it great for a whizz around the park!

More information at www.ozbozz.co.uk

Available at Argos, Amazon and Homebase

Buy online here

The testers said “My Daughter loved the fact that this was a Despicable Me scooter as she is a great fan. She played on this until I called her in for dinner. I can see her playing with this for a while to come.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED

3 IN 1 Step ‘n Ride Lion by Bright Starts

By: Kids II

step ride lion copyAge: 36 months

RRP: £39.99

Three ways to play, this king of the jungle grows with baby.  Sit, walk or ride your toddler is rewarded with lights and sounds.  Featuring a sturdy seat and easy grip handlebars or added safety.

More information from www.brightstarts.com

Available at Smyths and ASDA

Buy online here

The testers said “When Darcy first played with the Lion she loved it especially the lights and moving balls”

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Awards Category: Imaginative Play

Possibly our widest category is imaginative play, it’s a favourite with the parents as they all love to test within this section.  The toys this year have really appealed to everyone.

WINNER

Adventure Pack – Jet Pack

By Harry and Jacks

HarryJacksJetPack copyAge: 3-8 years

RRP: £29.99

The Jetpack has all the classical elements of a children’s bag but boasts a unique 3D design, which makes it really stand out.  The Jetpack has two rocket tanks, which open to reveal space for hiding treasured toys.  It’s a back pack and comes with a wrist strap too.

More information at www.harryandjacks.co.uk

Available at Amazon, Harry & Jacks Online and Loubillou.com

Buy online here

The testers said “My son got a lot of fun out of the Jetpack backpack, it was great for imaginative play and my son thoroughly enjoyed wearing it whilst imagining he was about to rocket off to space using the fun addition of the space adventure wrist strap to give him extra powers and boost to blast off into space.  I think the Jetpack will be enjoyed for years and the fact that is dual purpose, practical backpack with added imaginative play factor, means that it will be used again and again over the years as our spaceman grows up.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen

By: Plum Products

Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen 41066 Cut Out - With Accessories copyAge: 3 years+

RRP: £99.99

The first of its kind, this interactive wooden kitchen beautifully blends technology with tradition.  Crafted using the finest materials it features everything you would expect. .. and more!  Pop your tablet into the kitchen and using the free Plum app your kitchen will come to life.  Children will love to see and hear popcorn popping away!

More information at www.plumproducts.com

Available from Argos and Tesco

Buy online here

The testers said “My daughter loved pretending to cook and thought it was amazing that he was able to see food cooking using the interactive iPad feature. The kitchen is the first toy my daughter plays with it and returns to it frequently throughout the day, other toys such as dolls are involved by her making tea for them. I think this toy will be enjoyed and lots of fun for years to come.”

 

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