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The Second Annual Toys For Games Awards

Welcome everyone, to the home of the second annual Toys For Games Awards! We hosted the first award show last year in celebration of the one year anniversary of Toys For Games, and the response from the community was overwhelming. Sure, some people might not have fully agreed with the outcomes of the awards we gave out, but ultimately, I think it’s fair to say that the Awards as a whole was a success.

For those that missed the awards last year, this is essentially a celebration of the genre we love and adore so much. Toys-to-life are the foundation of Toys For Games, and because of it, it has allowed us to grow as a community and branch out more than we ever could have imagined. The core of the genre, including the franchises that have carried it into mainstream prominence, continue to be the center of attention when it comes to handing our awards here. Sure, we may have a few categories that are more focussed on our podcast and community itself, but it’s not like we can just overlook that kind of stuff, right?

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Tentatively scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 19th, the Toys For Games Awards will be recorded in lieu of the normal podcast for that week. If you’ve ever seen an award show, the basic format will be fairly similar – we’ll announce the categories and the nominees for each, and announce winners. What else happens throughout the show is anyone’s guess, but it’s probably safe to assume that plenty of fun will be had by all. Also, there is a very good chance that we will broadcast the show LIVE, so stay tuned for more details on that.

As anyone should know by now, everything we do here at Toys For Games is for the community that we are building, as well as the communities we are part of. Because of this, it seemed unfair to not include the community in the Awards in a major way, which is why we are reaching out and allowing everyone to participate and help determine the Award Winners. Below you will find polls for every single category, with all of the nominees listed. Vote for one category, or vote for all, but we encourage your voices to be heard! The voting will end on January 17th, and the final poll results will make up 1/3 of the final votes. Jason and Josh’s votes will make up the other 2/3 of the final votes for each category. We may completely agree with the community votes, but we may vote totally different as well, meaning the only way to truly know who will win each Award is to listen to the show!

Also, we only selected figures and games that were released within the calendar year of 2016. While many upcoming figures look extremely great and could easily be nominated for these awards, we chose to only select stuff that was released in the year for which the awards are meant for.

So, without further ado … The categories and the nominees!


1

While not all of these options were technically released in 2016, there was new content released for the games which made them qualify for this awards. The nominees for the Best Toys-To-Life Game of the Year are:

2016 Toy-To-Life Game of the Year

  • Skylanders Imaginators (58%, 326 Votes)
  • LEGO Dimensions (22%, 125 Votes)
  • Disney Infinity 3.0 (10%, 54 Votes)
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot (7%, 41 Votes)
  • Beasts of Balance (3%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 562

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2

You have to admit, Skylanders put out some really cool and unexpected figures in 2016. The nominees for the Skylanders Figure of the Year are:

2016 Skylanders Figure of the Year

  • Crash Bandicoot (47%, 240 Votes)
  • Kaos (23%, 115 Votes)
  • Chain Reaction (13%, 67 Votes)
  • Starcast (12%, 60 Votes)
  • Double Dare Trigger Happy (5%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 509

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3

Even though Disney Infinity closed its doors in 2016, they still managed to release some excellent figures before the end. The nominees for the Disney Infinity Figure of the Year are:

2016 Disney Infinity Figure of the Year

  • Ant-Man (31%, 138 Votes)
  • Black Panther (29%, 126 Votes)
  • Dory (16%, 71 Votes)
  • Baloo (14%, 63 Votes)
  • Alice (10%, 43 Votes)

Total Voters: 441

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4

Sure, LEGO Dimensions’ figures are just Minifigs, but let’s be real here: these figures are far and above better than your basic LEGO Minifigures, in more ways than one. The nominees for the LEGO Dimensions Figure of the Year are:

2016 LEGO Dimensions Figure of the Year

  • Sonic the Hedgehog (47%, 214 Votes)
  • Harry Potter (21%, 97 Votes)
  • Supergirl (14%, 63 Votes)
  • Slimer (10%, 46 Votes)
  • Finn the Human (9%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 460

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5

The craze might not be there as it was the year before, but the amiibo figures released in 2016 continued to impress. The nominees for Amiibo Figure of the Year are:

2016 Amiibo Figure of the Year

  • Wolf Link (37%, 161 Votes)
  • Boo (23%, 102 Votes)
  • Shovel Knight (21%, 92 Votes)
  • Ryu (14%, 62 Votes)
  • Waddle Dee (5%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 439

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6

The only thing better than collecting toys-to-life figures might be finding and collecting variants of the figures we already know and love. Also, before you ask, Green Arrow is on the list because he is BASICALLY a variant of Legolas when it comes down to it. The nominees for the Variant Figure of the Year are:

2016 Variant Figure of the Year

  • Dec-Ember (27%, 130 Votes)
  • Gold Mega Man (20%, 98 Votes)
  • Solar Flare Aurora (19%, 93 Votes)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (18%, 90 Votes)
  • Green Arrow (16%, 76 Votes)

Total Voters: 487

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7

2016 was a huge year for the toys-to-life genre, so narrowing down the biggest stories of the year wasn’t an easy task by any stretch. We did our best throughout 2016 to cover all the stories, so here are the nominees for the Biggest Toys-To-Life Story of the Year:

2016 Biggest Toys-To-Life Story of the Year

  • Cancellation of Disney Infinity (59%, 307 Votes)
  • Crash announced for Skylanders at Sony's E3 Stage Conference (24%, 125 Votes)
  • Nintendo doubles down on Legend of Zelda amiibo (7%, 34 Votes)
  • LEGO Dimensions reveals "Year 2" (6%, 32 Votes)
  • The evolution of the genre begins (4%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 521

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8

All of the games in the genre put out fantastic looking figures in their own right, but let’s find out which franchise stood out the most for figure design. The nominees for the Best Looking Figures of the Year are:

2016 Best Looking Figures of the Year

  • Skylanders Imaginators (54%, 291 Votes)
  • Disney Infinity (20%, 107 Votes)
  • Amiibo (19%, 102 Votes)
  • LEGO Dimensions (6%, 30 Votes)
  • Beasts of Balance (2%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 542

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9

The only thing better than the designs of the figures is the packaging they come in. While most of the time the boxes get ripped open and thrown away, there is something visually pleasing about well-designed packaging. The nominees for Best Packaging of the Year are:

2016 Best Packaging of the Year

  • Skylanders Imaginators (65%, 338 Votes)
  • Amiibo (15%, 77 Votes)
  • LEGO Dimensions (10%, 53 Votes)
  • Disney Infinity (6%, 32 Votes)
  • Beasts of Balance (3%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 518

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10

If anyone knows how important community is, it’s us. While our community encompasses everyone, each franchise has their own community as well. The nominees for Best Community of the Year are:

2016 Best Community of the Year

  • Skylanders (53%, 289 Votes)
  • Amiibo (14%, 76 Votes)
  • LEGO Dimensions (11%, 61 Votes)
  • Disney Infinity (11%, 59 Votes)
  • Lightseekers (10%, 56 Votes)

Total Voters: 541

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11

Ambassadors for the toys-to-life genre are incredibly important. These folks have done exceptionally well at bringing the games and/or figures to mainstream audiences, and introduced this genre to people who wouldn’t have noticed it previously. The nominees for Toys-To-Life Ambassador of the Year are:

2016 Toys-To-Life Ambassador of the Year

  • John Vignocchi - Disney (35%, 150 Votes)
  • Greg Miller - Kinda Funny (23%, 98 Votes)
  • Dan Ryckert - Giant Bomb (18%, 76 Votes)
  • Andy Robertson - Forbes (13%, 58 Votes)
  • Griffin McElroy - Polygon (8%, 35 Votes)
  • Brandon Jones - Easy Allies (3%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 431

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12

Communities are only as strong as the leaders they have, and these wonderful people have been the best leaders for their respected communities for a myriad of reasons. The nominees for Toys-To-Life Community Leader of the Year are:

2016 Community Leader of the Year

  • Matt Sonnenberg (75%, 420 Votes)
  • Jason Ganos (8%, 46 Votes)
  • Infiniteer Adventures (7%, 39 Votes)
  • Ken Pescatore (5%, 28 Votes)
  • Lauren Musni (4%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 558

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13

We have an affinity for social media, as we wouldn’t be here without it ourselves. Having a good social media presence is important in this day and age, and these are the best in the genre. The nominees for best Social Media Account of the Year are:

2016 Social Media Account of the Year

  • @Skylanders (57%, 253 Votes)
  • @LEGODimensions (15%, 69 Votes)
  • @_Lightseekers (13%, 57 Votes)
  • @OriginalFunko (10%, 46 Votes)
  • @BeastsOfBalance (5%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 446

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14

You can’t have a successful toys-to-life genre without good retailers to sell the product, right? The nominees for the best Toys-To-Life Retailer of the Year are:

2016 Toys-To-Life Retailer of the Year

  • Toys "R" Us (40%, 196 Votes)
  • Amazon (27%, 132 Votes)
  • GameStop (20%, 96 Votes)
  • Target (7%, 34 Votes)
  • Best Buy (7%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 492

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15

Artists who are customizing the figures we love and adore are only making collecting and admiring art more enjoyable. These extremely talented and hardworking artists have used paint, clay, and imagination in order to transform standard plastic figures into works of art. While everyone deserves recognition, we have to pick the best of the best. The nominees for Toys-To-Life Customizer of the Year are:

2016 Customizer of the Year

  • GandaKris (42%, 136 Votes)
  • The Game Changers (26%, 83 Votes)
  • Custom Conquest (TJ) (12%, 39 Votes)
  • Kiick_Ash (11%, 37 Votes)
  • AKSHOP08 (9%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 323

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16

As everyone should know, we don’t JUST talk about toys-to-life figures. We, and everyone else out there, collects more than just toys-to-life, and so it’s important to have this category as well. The nominees for best Non-Toys-To-Life Collectible of the Year are:

2016 Non-Toys-To-Life Collectible of the Year

  • Funko POP! Vinyls (34%, 139 Votes)
  • LEGO Minifigures (23%, 96 Votes)
  • World of Nintendo Figures (21%, 87 Votes)
  • TSUM TSUM (13%, 53 Votes)
  • Shopkins (9%, 36 Votes)

Total Voters: 411

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17

Okay, so subscription boxes might have been a guilty pleasure for us in 2016, as they were for many others as well. The nominees for best Subscription Box of the Year are:

2016 Subscription Box of the Year

  • Disney Tsum Tsum Box (28%, 74 Votes)
  • Collector Corps (22%, 60 Votes)
  • Blue Apron (20%, 54 Votes)
  • Smuggler's Bounty (18%, 49 Votes)
  • Legion of Collectors (12%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 269

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18

If there is one thing that can be said about Jason Grier, it’s that he likes to create sites and accounts for all the things he wants to talk about and share information about. The nominees for best Inquirer Site of the Year are:

2016 Inquirer Site of the Year

  • Skylanders Inquirer (51%, 198 Votes)
  • Jason Inquires (15%, 57 Votes)
  • Brick Inquirer (13%, 52 Votes)
  • Lightseekers Inquirer (10%, 40 Votes)
  • Infinity Inquirer (10%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 386

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19

As mentioned before, Toys For Games had a big year, as we expanded from just a podcast and a website, into a network. While we definitely aren’t done growing, 2016 was a pretty solid start of the T4G Netword. The nominees for best Spin-Off Podcast of the Year are:

2016 Spin-Off Podcast of the Year

  • Tales From Godric's Hollow (41%, 112 Votes)
  • Collector's Edition (22%, 59 Votes)
  • Gotta Watch 'Em All (18%, 50 Votes)
  • Joys of Games (15%, 40 Votes)
  • Triple P (now "Talkin' Back") (5%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 274

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20

If you’ve listened to our show even once, you’ll know that we can’t stay on topic to save our lives. We go off on tangents and into sides of mountains more times than you can count. Narrowing it down to specific topics would be impossible, so we came up with vague tangents we tend to go to the most. The nominees for best Tangent Topic of the Year are:

2016 Tangent Topic of the Year

  • Movies (27%, 76 Votes)
  • Disney (25%, 72 Votes)
  • Shopkins (13%, 37 Votes)
  • Food (12%, 35 Votes)
  • Sports (9%, 26 Votes)
  • Family (7%, 21 Votes)
  • Weather (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Traveling (2%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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21-new

In 2016, we had some AMAZING guests on the show for interviews. Not only that, but we had quite a lot of amazing people on our show, and we can only hope to replicate that in 2017. But first, we need to decide who made the biggest impact on our show. The nominees for the best Interview/Guest of the Year are:

2016 Interview/Guest of the Year

  • Matt Sonnenberg (Collection Crossing) (58%, 259 Votes)
  • Greg Miller (Kinda Funny) (11%, 50 Votes)
  • Alan, Chris, Jane, Crow (Lightseekers) (9%, 39 Votes)
  • Jason Ganos & Lauren Musni (Nintendo Wire) (8%, 37 Votes)
  • Robert Welkner (Coin-OP TV) (4%, 16 Votes)
  • Alex Fleetwood (Sensible Object/Beasts of Balance) (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Lloyd Hannesson and Will Kelly (DisneyInfinity.tv) (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Patrick Klepek (Waypoint) (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Brandon Jones (Easy Allies) (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Christian Spicer (DLC/Department of Parenting podcasts) (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Can & Cem (Toyji) (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 444

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22

We’ve had a lot of running gags on the show, some of which span back to 2015, because we can’t let go of a good thing, ever. The nominees for the best Running Gag of the Year are:

2016 Running Gag of the Year

  • The Thrillipede Clock (47%, 138 Votes)
  • ShopkinsINQ (17%, 50 Votes)
  • AsAMatterOfMatt.com (15%, 43 Votes)
  • Our Unfounded Love for Jimmy from LEGO Dimensions (12%, 34 Votes)
  • "Sea of Options" (7%, 20 Votes)
  • AtariAlex's Giveaway Periscope Stream (3%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 295

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23

2016 was an awesome year for us here at Toys For Games. You, the community, are the reason why we had such an incredible year. While every day was special, there were certain highlights from this past year. The nominees for best Toys For Games Highlight of the Year are:

2016 Toys For Games Highlight of the Year

  • E3 Coverage (49%, 119 Votes)
  • PAX East panel about toys-to-life (19%, 47 Votes)
  • Episode 100 (19%, 45 Votes)
  • PAX West panel about customizing (7%, 17 Votes)
  • PAX West panel about collecting (6%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 242

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24

We try not to focus on the negatives too often around here, because being positive and constructive are much more appealing to not only us, but the community as well. However, some disappointments were too frustrating not to mention. The nominees for the Disappointment of the Year are:

2016 Disappointment of the Year

  • Skylanders Battlecast (36%, 137 Votes)
  • Amiibo lost its hype (19%, 73 Votes)
  • Disney's Playmation (19%, 72 Votes)
  • Several LEGO Dimensions bugs (16%, 62 Votes)
  • Infinite Arms (9%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 378

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26

Love has been a reoccurring theme on our show over the last year, and thanks to a suggestion from a great community member, we decided to make it a category for these awards! The nominees are:

2016 Love Story of the Year

  • Josh + Pain-Yatta (47%, 80 Votes)
  • Jason + GameStop Girl (24%, 41 Votes)
  • Josh + Harry Potter (13%, 23 Votes)
  • Jason + Amy (13%, 23 Votes)
  • Jason + Pretzel Girl (3%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 172

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25

Last year, we awarded John Vignocchi from Disney Infinity with the first ever Superstar of the Year award. Who are we going to give it to this year? You’ll have to tune in to find out!


Thank you all in advance for your participation in the Second Annual Toys For Games Awards, and we look forward to delivering a fun and entertaining show while doing our very best to celebrate and honor every aspect of the toys-to-life genre, the franchises and the communities involved with all of them. We love you, and wouldn’t be here without each and every one of you.

Written by Josh Brown

Josh has been a fan of video games for ever, and toys just as long, so the combination of the two was a perfect match. Starting back with the original Skylanders game, Josh has been committed to the support of the toys-to-life franchises and game genre, and Toys For Games is the culmination of 5+ years with the growing community.

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