Get Ready to Enter the 2019 TOBY Awards
The Teddy Bear of the Year (TOBY) competition celebrates excellence in conception, design, and execution of teddy bears and soft-sculpture animals. Photos of all the entries are reviewed by teddy bear artists and other professionals within the industry, who evaluate each submission on overall aesthetic appeal, excellence in concept, design, and workmanship. The highest-scoring creations in each category receive the TOBY Industry’s Choice Awards and become the nominees for that year’s TOBY Public’s Choice Awards. Teddy Bear & Friends readers then vote for their favorite nominee in each category to determine the Public’s Choice winners.
How to Enter
Go to www.teddybearandfriends.com from Nov. 29, 2018, to Feb. 7, 2019, and click on the TOBY 2019 link to enter online. The deadline for entering the 2019 competition is Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.
Be sure to read all the rules before entering. After paying the entry fee, you will receive a link to the online entry form. Make sure the form is complete and accurate before submitting the form. The information and photos submitted may be used in the magazine, the website, and in promotional materials. A separate online form must be filled out for each piece entered.
The fee for the first entry is $65. Additional entries are $35 each. Payment must be made by credit card. These fees are nonrefundable. Fees are applied to the contest’s administrative and publicity costs.
Include two photos. See the full contest rules below.
Everyone who enters the 2019 TOBY Awards will receive a discount offer good toward the purchase of a display ad in Teddy Bear & Friends as well as a free one-year subscription (or renewal) to Teddy Bear & Friends (print edition for addesses in the United States; digital only for foreign addresses). Limit one discount and subscription per artist or company.
Entries must be received by Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.
Nov. 29, 2018: TOBY 2019 competition begins accepting entries
Feb. 7, 2019: 2019 TOBY Awards entry deadline
Feb. 26-March 12, 2019: Industry’s Choice judging
May 1: Industry’s Choice winners/Public’s Choice nominees and ballot appear in Teddy Bear & Friends July 2019 issue; online voting for Public’s Choice opens
July 1: Deadline for Public’s Choice voting
Aug. 17: Public’s Choice winners revealed at Teddy Bear Artist Invitational (TBAI) in Syracuse, New York
September: Public’s Choice winners announced in TB&F November 2019 issue
Entries that do not conform to the following rules will not be processed or seen by judges. If you have rules questions not addressed here, please contact Joyce Greenholdt at email@example.com or 715-445-5000 ext. 150.
1. All entries for the 2019 TOBY Awards must have been first introduced and made available for sale on or after Jan. 1, 2018. Creations entered in previous TOBY Award competitions may not be entered again. Bears and “friends” introduced and made available for sale in 2018 which have already been sold, or which have won awards in other competitions, are eligible.
2. Artists may submit entries which were created as collaborations. All participating artists must be identified, but it is not necessary to detail the contributions of each artist.
3. Entrants may submit as many entries as desired in each category, but each creation can only be entered once.
4. It is not required that entering artists make the costumes, clothing, accessories, and/or props displayed on/with their bears or “friends.” However, as much as possible, the designer and/or maker of such costumes, clothing, and accessories should be identified on the entry form.
5. Any substantial changes made in costume, materials, or retail price from the original entry are grounds for disqualification of the entry.
6. For your protection, please do not submit entries in the image of or with the name of trademarked characters unless you hold a license to create the characters.
7. Each entry submission must have a fully completed entry form and two photographs as detailed in rules 10-12. Entries submitted with incomplete information or missing photographs will be ruled invalid.
8. You must submit a separate entry form and photos for each bear or “friend” you enter.
9. If a submission entered into a category is deemed inappropriate by the staff of Teddy Bear & Friends, the magazine has the right to disqualify the bear/animal or move it to a different category.
10. Each entry must include two clear color photographs (one full-length photo showing the complete entry and one close-up of the face), with the longer side of the photo sized at least 1,200 pixels (4 inches when reproduced in print). If you have technical questions regarding the photo requirements, please contact Joyce Greenholdt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-445-5000 ext. 150.
11. Entries should be photographed against a simple, plain background that is well-lit or has good natural light. Photos should not include digital special effects or frames. Each entry must be photographed separately. Only props or accessories sold with the teddy bear or friend are permitted in the photograph. Photos must not include any text, logos.
12. If you are not the photographer, you must have the right to license the images for reproduction or have the photographer’s permission to grant JP Media, LLC, the rights to use the images for promotional purposes and in Teddy Bear & Friends. If nominated, your photo will be printed in Teddy Bear & Friends and posted on the Teddy Bear & Friends website.
13. Entries will be rated on the following criteria:
- Overall aesthetic appeal
- Excellence in concept, design, and execution
- Quality of material and workmanship
14. Bear/Animal Details: When preparing to enter online, have the following information ready:
- Name of bear or “friend”
- Height (in inches)
- Edition size (if limited or one-of-a-kind [OOAK])
- Retail price (in U.S. dollars)
- Materials used to create the bear or friend (Example: “mohair with faux suede pads and glass eyes”)
- Costume and accessories description (if any)
- Any additional information, including credits for third-party materials or photo credits, if needed
- One full-length and one close-up photo
15. Definitions of terms and categories. For the purposes of this contest, the following definitions apply:
Artist: An artist is defined as someone who makes fewer than 1,000 bears or “friends” annually. Submissions in the artist categories must be designed by the submitting artist and at least 50% of each bear or “friend,” including the head, must be constructed by the artist.
Manufacturer: A manufacturer is defined as producing a total of 1,000 or more bears or “friends” per year. Manufacturer entries must be produced by the manufacturer and not the designing artist.
Teddy bear: A plaything or collectible produced in the image of a bear, with an external covering of plush or other fabric (including real fur or leather). A teddy bear can be jointed, partially jointed, or unjointed.
“Friend”: A soft-sculpture plaything or collectible resembling an animal other than a bear and having an external covering of plush or other fabric (including real fur or leather). “Friends” can be jointed, partially jointed, or unjointed.
Dolls are jointed or unjointed playthings or collectibles produced from any material in a human image. No dolls may be entered in any category.
Dressed vs. Undressed: In general, a bear wearing only one accessory, such as a hat, bow, brooch, etc., may be entered in an Undressed category, provided the accessory covers less than 25% (1/4) of the bear. However, if any accessory, dye, or article of clothing, alone or in combination, leads viewers to perceive the bear as a character or as wearing a costume (fictional character, clown, Santa, flower or fruit, historical figure, etc.), the bear is considered Dressed. A bear wearing wings is considered Dressed. Any props shown with a bear or “friend” must be offered for sale as part of the creation.
Miniature, Small, Large: Miniature entries must be 5 inches or smaller. Small entries are more than 5 inches and less than 14 inches. Large entries are 14 inches or larger. (See Measurements below.)
Measurements: In general, teddy bears and “friends” should be measured in a standing position from the top of the head (not ears) to the bottom of the feet.
Entries designed to sit (such as those with bent legs) should be measured from top of head to end of torso, plus the total length of legs.
Entries designed to stand on all fours (such as realistic bears) should be measured from nose to tail and from top of head to floor. The larger measurement determines an entry’s size category. All measurements must be in inches.
I. Classic/Cuddly Bears & Friends
1: Miniature Dressed Bear (5 inches or smaller)
2: Miniature Undressed Bear (5 inches or smaller)
3: Small Dressed Bear (over 5 inches; under 14 inches)
4: Small Undressed Bear (over 5 inches; under 14 inches)
5: Large Dressed Bear (14 inches or larger)
6: Large Undressed Bear (14 inches or larger)
7: Miniature “Friend” (5 inches or smaller, no bears)
8: Small “Friend” (over 5 inches; under 14 inches, no bears)
9: Large “Friend” (14 inches or larger, no bears)
II. Natural/Realistic Bears & Friends
10: Natural Bear (any size)
11: Natural “Friend” (any size)
III. Special Artist Categories
12: Nontraditional Materials (bear or “friend,” any size, dressed or undressed, made mostly from nontraditional materials including, but not limited to, felted fibers, yarn, polymer clay, or wood)
13: Set (two or more bears and/or “friends” presented as belonging together and/or sold primarily or exclusively together; any size, dressed or undressed)
14: Vignette (one or more bears and/or “friends” with costume, props and/or a background or base, arranged to make a scene)
15: Manufactured Bear (any size, dressed or undressed)
16: Manufactured “Friend” (any size, dressed or undressed, no bears)