Pokémon recognized as License of the Year in the 2022 Toy of the Year Awards

The Pokémon franchise has taken out top honours at The Toy Foundation’s 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, beating out other household names such as Barbie, Blue's Clues, and Masters of the Universe to take home the title of License of the Year, which recognises a brand's broad success in product development and merchandising.

The Toy of the Year awards are considered highly prestigious within the industry, and are billed as that industry's equivalent of the Oscars. Finalists were chosen by a panel of industry experts from over 600 nominations of products and brands. All nominees had to have been available at retail in the United States on or before November 1st, 2021. The finalists were unveiled on November 8th. The final selection process involved a weighted ballot process which was conducted between November 8th, 2021, and January 4th, 2022. This process incorporated both votes from the general public (10%), and votes from industry representatives from retailers (30%), media (30%), and Toy Association members (30%).

Pamela Mastrota - Executive Director at The Toy Foundation said:
"We are thrilled to unveil this year's much-anticipated TOTY winners, all of which are outstanding examples of the toy community's talent in designing innovative, magical, and creative playthings for kids and adults alike"

The Pokémon Company International has credited the franchise's success at these awards to their strong performance across their 25th anniversary year, with NPD tracking data showing that the Pokémon brand was the highest selling toy brand in the United States for 2021 thanks to a combination of the surge in sales for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and new licensed products from companies such as Funko. Pokémon also had several highly publicised licensing tie-ins across 2021, though of the ones cited in the press release, only the McDonald's Happy Meal promotion could really be considered to fall under the "toy" category. That promotion infamously resulted in a lot of unhappy meals for young Pokémon fans across the United States as stocks quickly sold out to scalpers.

Amy Sachtleben - Director of Licensing at The Pokémon Company International said:
“At The Pokémon Company International, we aim to deliver the joy of Pokémon to fans around the world through our products, and being recognized as the License of the Year at the 2022 Toy of the Year Awards is a wonderful way to celebrate the culmination of a landmark 25th anniversary year for the brand and its partners.”
“We look forward to giving broad global audiences more ways to engage with the property through exciting collaborations and merchandise.”

About The Toy Foundation
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501 (c)3 children's charity whose mission is to provide philanthropic support and the vital commodity of play to children and families under stress and in dire situations, across the country and globe. TTF's donations represent the charitable works of TTF and the toy industry. Last year, TTF provided $360K in cash grants to nearly 4 million children severely impacted by the pandemic. Since its inception in 2003, TTF's signature Toy Bank has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million underserved children coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, living with domestic violence, and/or dealing with natural disasters. TTF is also broadening its mission to provide grant funding to children's hospitals to encourage healing through play and to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and pipeline of talent for the toy industry.
Archaic Written by Archaic


Dorothy Feb 19, 2022
Weird to call it "License of the Year" and not "Brand of the Year."
takoyaki Feb 19, 2022
Wow! I think I contributed to that--I have some Pokémon funko pops haha! That's a cool accomplishment~

Great article!