The Teddy Bear of the Year (TOBY) competition rewards and encourages excellence in conception, design and execution of teddy bears and soft-sculpture animals. Photos of all the entries are reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges, who evaluate each submission on overall aesthetic appeal, excellence in concept, design, and execution, and quality of material 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
1. From Oct. 15, 2013, through Dec. 20, 2013, go to www.teddybearandfriends.com and click on the TOBY 2014 link to enter online.
2. Be sure to read all the rules before entering, and make sure the online form is complete and accurate before submitting your entry. The information submitted will be used in the magazine and in promotional materials for nominated and winning entries. Any entry form that is not accompanied by photos and an entry fee will be invalid and not viewed by the judges. A separate online form must be filled out for each piece entered.
3. The entry fee must be included. 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. Each entry must be accompanied by a paid entry fee or it will be disqualified.
4. Include two photos. See the full contest rules below.
5. Everyone who enters the 2014 TOBY Awards will receive a discount coupon good toward the purchase of your next 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 coupon and subscription per artist or company.
6. Entries must be received by Dec. 20, 2013.
Oct. 15, 2013 2014 entries open
Dec. 20, 2013 Deadline for entries
Jan. 3-9, 2014 Judging period
Jan. 18, 2013 Industry’s Choice winners announced at the San Diego Teddy Bear Show
Apr. 9, 2014 Public’s Choice nominees & ballot appear in Teddy Bear & Friends’ June 2014 issue
July 1, 2014 Deadline for Public’s Choice voting
Aug. 2014 Public’s Choice Awards announced at the Teddy Bear Artist Invitational
Oct. 8, 2014 Public’s Choice winners announced in TB&F Dec 2014 issue
TOBY 2015 entries open
Entries that do not conform to the following rules will not be processed or seen by judges. If you have questions not addressed here, please contact Joyce Greenholdt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-445-5000 ext. 150.
Definitions of terms and categories
For the purposes of this contest, the following definitions apply:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. A teddy bear is 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. Entries in category 10 may be created in whole or part from alternate substances (e.g., wood, felt, clay, yarn, wool).
4. “Friends” are soft-sculptured playthings or collectibles resembling animals other than bears and having an external covering of plush or other fabric (including real fur or leather). “Friends” can be jointed, partially jointed, or unjointed. “Friends” entered in category 10 may be created in whole or part from alternate substances (e.g., wood, felt, clay, yarn, wool).
5. Dolls are jointed or unjointed playthings or collectibles produced from any material in a human image. No dolls may be entered in any category.
6. Dressed vs. Undressed: In general, a bear wearing one accessory, such as a hat, collar, bow, etc., is considered Undressed, particularly when the accessory covers one-third (1/3) of the bear or less. 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. Props, which are items used to create a scene, may be used only in the Set or Vignette category.
7. Miniature, Small, Large: Miniature entries must be 5 inches or smaller. Small entries are over 5 inches and less than 14 inches. Large entries are 14 inches or larger. (See Measurements below.)
8. 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.
9. Sets are defined as a pair or group of bears and/or “friends” conceived as belonging together, introduced together, and/or sold primarily or exclusively together. Each teddy bear and/or “friend” may be entered only once. If a teddy bear or “friend” is entered as part of a set or vignette, it cannot be entered in any of the other categories, and vice versa. Any teddy bears and/or “friends” entered in the Set or Vignette category must be regularly offered for sale in the same combination presented.
10. All entries for the 2014 TOBY Awards must have been first introduced on or after January 1, 2013, and made available for sale during 2013. Bears and “friends” introduced and made available for sale in 2013 which have already been sold are eligible.
11. The entry must be a new, original design and not a variation or re-costuming of a previous design.
12. 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.
13. Entrants may submit as many entries as desired in each category, but each teddy bear and/or “friend” can only be entered once.
14. It is not required that entering artists make the costumes, clothing, and/or accessories displayed on 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.
15. Any substantial changes made in costume, materials, or retail price from the original entry are grounds for disqualification of the entry.
16. 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.
17. Each entry must be accompanies by a paid fee; a fully completed entry form, and two photographs as detailed in rules 20-21. Forms that are incomplete, missing photographs, or not accompanied by the entry fee will be ruled invalid.
18. You must submit a separate entry form and photos for each bear or “friend” you enter.
19. 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.
20. Each entry must be accompanied by two clear color photographs (one full body and one close-up of the face), sized at least 900 by 1,200 pixels (3 inches by 4 inches at 300 dots per inch). No prints, disks, transparencies or slides will be accepted. These photographs become the property of Jones Publishing, Inc., and may be used for promotional purposes or in Teddy Bear & Friends. If nominated, your photo will be used in Teddy Bear & Friends.
21. Entries must be photographed against a plain, flat, solid-color background. Each entry must be photographed separately. Only props or accessories sold with the teddy bear/”friend” are permitted in the photograph.
22. The above instructions must be followed to be considered for nomination. Entries must be received by December 20, 2013, to be considered.
23. Judges will rate bears on the following criteria:
• Overall aesthetic appeal
• Excellence in concept, design and execution
• Quality of material and workmanship
24. Bear/Animal Details: When preparing to enter online, have the following information ready:
• Name of bear/animal
• Height (in inches)
• Edition size (if limited or OOAK)
• Retail price (in U.S. currency)
• Body material and color
• Paw pads material and color
• Eyes material and color
• Special features and/or costume description
• One full-length and one close-up photo (at least 1,200 by 900 pixels)
Each bear or “friend” must be designed by the artist and at least 50% of each bear or “friend,” including the head, must be constructed by the artist. Collaborations are allowed, but all contributing artists must be acknowledged.
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)
10: Bear or “Friend” using Nontraditional Materials (any size, dressed or undressed, made wholly or in part from nontraditional materials such as (but not limited to) crochet, needle felting, polymer clay, or wood)
11: Set or Vignette (two or more bears and/or “friends,” any size, dressed or undressed. Pieces and props may be arranged to make a scene. Pieces must be conceived, designed, and available for sale as a set (see rule 9).
A single bear or animal created for sale by a manufacturing or importing company, not by the designing artist.
12: Manufactured Bear (any size, dressed or undressed)
13: Manufactured “Friend” (any size, dressed or undressed, no bears)
Click here to go to the 2014 TOBY Award competition entry page!