All artist or company based awards require that the individual or brand was active within the eligibility period (January 1st to December 31st of last year). Unless specified otherwise, all specific release based awards require that the platform in question was either initially released or had at least one new edition released within the same eligibility period.
Artist of the Year
Recognizing a single artist, artistic duo, or collective who designed and/or produced a variety of outstanding new releases last year as well as garnering a strong base of followers and a steady demand for new material.
Brand of the Year
Celebrating a designer toy company whose product releases last year have been consistently outstanding, of high quality, and had a breadth of diversity. While their toy releases are the most important other aspects will be considered, including events, sponsored promotions, and other supportive contributions to the Designer Toy community.
Toy of the Year
The Toy of the Year recognizes a singularly outstanding platform, whose design and manufacture was 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.
Presented in recognition of an artist who gained significant industry-wide notice last year. While they could be relatively new to the scene or a professional who struggled for years, their dedication to Designer Toys and making a place for themselves within the community is honored with this award. Not only should they have had a variety of outstanding releases last year, but also an increased fan base and overall visibility.
This award celebrates the single toy platform that has most captured the attention and imagination of the Designer Toy community last year. The Fan Favorite is a piece that has a wide-spread appeal, as well as demand that has not wavered even after it was first released.
Celebrating the achievement of a singular toy platform, 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 production quality will be taken into account, including the sculpt, materials used, paint application and packaging design. Everything about this item should be top-notch.
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.
As organizer of these Designer Toy Awards, Clutter has recused themselves from being nominated in this category.
Acknowledging an excellent and innovative collaboration between two or more artists, the final result of this joint venture should be something that neither collaborator would have been capable of achieving alone, indicating the necessity of working together.
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.
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 last year and will include the merits of concept, paint execution, additional sculpting (if applicable), and overall attention to detail.
Best DIY Platform
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 last year and it must have become (or remained) an important part of the customizing community.
Best Media Tie-in
Presented to an outstanding Designer Toy release with a design derived from an officially licensed (or creator approved) entertainment property: film, television, video game, 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
Whether a production platform 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 1/6th Scale
Presented to the best toy released last year 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.
Celebrating the most innovative plush Designer Toy platform to be released during the eligibility period, these elevated 'stuffed animals' are judged on design, construction, material usage, durability, and overall execution.
Presented to the best Designer Toy platform cast in resin, this category considers the quality of the finished piece, the sculpted design, and innovative use of color dies and paints.
Presented to the best Designer Toy manufactured platform 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.
Please note: This category is only open to platforms cast in sofubi. Pieces made out of "Western vinyl" (usually from China) should be entered in the Best Vinyl category.
Best Toy Store
This category honors a brick-and-mortar (physical store) retailer that specializes in Designer Toys and has distinguished itself with outstanding activity last year. Nominees will be judged on knowledgeability, the range and selection of products offered, the overall store appearance and presentation, and any special events and/or shows the location hosted.
Best Online Toy Store
Celebrating the outstanding achievement by an online retailer that specializes in Designer Toys and has been active last year. Criteria for consideration include range and selection of products, overall website presentation, ease of use, and customer service.
Presented to the best Designer Toy platform manufactured using "Western vinyl," which typically means manufactured in China. The manufacturing quality, sculpting, and innovative color variations will all be considered for this award.
Please note: This category is only open to platforms cast in "Western vinyl" (usually from China). Pieces made out of sofubi (Japanese vinyl) should be entered in the Best Sofubi category.
Awarded to the individual who's shown long-term dedication, creativity, inspiration, and effort within the industry. With a large number of 'unsung heroes' out there, it is our hope that this award will — in some manner — ensure that these tireless artists receive the recognition they deserve.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Some Designer Toys are iconic in the community but were released well before the beginnings of the DTAs. The Hall of Fame will induct at least one toy every year that was released at least 12 years previous and was pivotal in helping form the industry into what it is today.