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:
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
Best Preschool Toy
Winner – Little Love 3 in 1 Push Chair by VTech
Highly Commended – Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag by Mega Brands
Best Arts & Crafts Toy
Winner – Edible Sweet Art Chocolate Coin Press by Tobar
Highly Commended – Jelly Fun Jelly Slush Maker by John Adams
Best Wheeled Toy
Winner – Despicable Me Folding Scooter by H Grossman
Highly Commended – 3-in-1 Step ‘n Ride Lion by Bright Starts
Best for Imaginative Play
Winner – Adventure Pack JetPack by Harry and Jack
Highly Commended – Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen by Plum Products
Best Games & Puzzles – The Young Ones
Winner – Pig Out! By John Adams
Highly Commended – Jumbo ZIP-IT by Bananagrams
Best Games & Puzzles – 8 Years and above
Winner – Accentuate by Accentuate Games
Highly Commended – Hotel Tycoon by Esdevium Games
Best Electronic Toy
Winner – Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech Electronics
Highly Commended – LeapPad3 by LeapFrog
Best Construction Toy
Winner – Kinetic Sand by Spinmaster
Highly Commended – Mega Bloks 123 Thomas Learning Train by MegaBrands
Best Educational Toy
Winner – Sparkup: The Magical Book Reader
Highly Commended – Appletters by Bananagrams
Best Plush Toy
Winner – Ultimate Spider-Man Go Glow Pal by Worlds Apart
Highly Commended – My First baby Annabell Newborn
Best Outdoor Toy
Winner – Mini Hornit by Hornit
Highly Commended – A.I. Copter from TX Juice by Wow! Stuff