An Armful Of Honors For Japanese Toy Company, Now Stateside, From Parents’ Choice, NAPPA, Tillywig, Hot Diggity and PAL Awards

New York, NY (June 20, 2017) – How’s this for a compliment? “Toddlers couldn’t wait to get their little chubby hands on the colorful 31-piece People Blocks set,” begins the glowing review by hard-to-get Parents’ Choice Awards. Judges from five very different parenting/toy panels gushed about building blocks, a rice-based Mochi plaything and Brain Builder baby toys. All brands come from People Toy Company, the beloved Japanese toymaker now available stateside. As some may summarize, people who get to play with People Toys are the luckiest people in the world!

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Parents’ Choice reviewers joined the National Parenting Product Awards, Tillywig Toy Awards, Hot Diggity Awards and PAL Awards with 2017 top honors for People Toy Company’s three brands – People Blocks, Mochi and Brain Builders.

“Every parent quickly learns that any toy that can fit in a baby’s mouth will end up in the baby’s mouth, probably sooner rather than later,” observed one Tillywig Toy Award judge when testing a Mochi Trumpet ($24.99) made from a rice-plastic technology born in a Japanese lab. The judge gave it a 2017 Tillywig Brain Child Award.

“Thanks to the embedded magnets, the building pieces make a satisfying “click” sound when connected, and little fingers don’t get pinched,” continued Parents’ Choice in their critique of People Blocks 31-Piece Set – Classic Colors ($59.99). “Our youngest testers built an array of houses, and practiced color, number and shape recognition. Slightly older builders made vehicles and set up obstacles to avoid on the roadmap. Dads were tasked with solving the puzzle of correctly putting the pieces back into the box.” The observer granted People Toy Company a 2017 Recommended Seal.

“I love how simple the set is, not too many pieces, simple to store and an activity that doesn’t take forever to set-up,” wrote one reviewer for the National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA). “Yet it allows more imagination from children and also allows them to switch gears easily. We did trucks, houses, people and animals with one toy. Which is unheard of with a lot of our other toys.”

Sherry Artemenko, Speech Language Pathologist and founder of PAL Awards cooed, “Can I just start with the fact that I like the name, ‘People Blocks?’ Right away we are pairing language and building for an open-ended STEAM experience! My little friend looked in the box and said, ‘I wanna do the playground,’ as she opened up the scene that looked like a sandbox off a city street. She was drawn to the magic of magnets as she experimented with the different shaped blocks with circles on the magnetized sides.”

Hot Diggity Awards wrote, “The People Blocks Zoo Animals ($34.99) set comes with 17 animal inspired shapes and zoo themed play mats. This set lets you be the zookeeper for the day and create all of your favorite animals. Great as your first set or as an addition, People Blocks are the right choice for STEM and block play. Play through the many stages of block play with the easy to use magnetic blocks.”

“It’s the ultimate in simplicity and interactivity,” boasts the judge from Tillywig Toy about the Brain Builder: Magic Reflection Ball ($8.99) “a dome-shaped reflective surface set in a suction cup-mounted base that affixes instantly to any smooth surface.” Tillywig granted it a 2017 Brain Child Award!

The People Toy Winners

People Blocks 31-Piece Set – Classic Colors • Ages 1 Year+ • $59.99

  • 2017 National Parenting Product Awards Winner
  • 2017 Parents’ Choice Award – Recommended
  • 2017 PAL Award

“I love the way your People Blocks grow with a child from 1-4 years,” kicks off the 2017 PAL Award review. “The magnetic feature makes early block building easier for a 1 year old and more creative design for pretend play for a 4 year old. Our little friend designed props for play on the playground mat and began some great storytelling, inspired by the blocks. Your creativity, hard work, and developmental focus is evident in this outstanding product.”

People Blocks 17-Piece Set – Zoo Animals • Ages: 1 year+ • $34.99
2017 Hot Diggity Seal Of Approval

“What makes it Hot Diggity Great? Children will have a fun time playing with these brightly colored blocks while learning about the cause and effect of magnets! The blocks connect securely making any animal creation topple-proof. Ideas for building are endless with the various shapes included in the set.”

Brain Builders: Magic Reflection Ball • $8.99 • Newborn+
2017 Tillywig Brain Child Award

“Little ones respond to Magic Reflection Ball with seemingly endless fascination, pulling, touching” begins Tillywig’s review, “and tapping it as they watch the ever-changing reflection respond to their every move… This ability to go from portable to stationary in the blink of an eye makes Magic Reflection Ball an invaluable asset to families at home and on the go, particularly when dining out. A brightly colored rim encircles the reflective dome with a tactile-rich surface that, with each touch, emits a gentle, rattle-like sound. Young ones find these multi-sensory interactions to be deeply compelling and gleefully entertaining. Mom and Dad bask in knowing they’ve provided a mentally and physically stimulating play environment for their child.”

Mochi Trumpet • $24.99 • Ages 3 months+
2017 Tillywig Brain Child Award

“The Mochi Trumpet’s design and functionality puts mouth-centric entertainment,” Tillywig reviewer writes, “at the forefront in the form of a small bugle that emits a surprising range of sounds and is made predominantly from rice (more on that in a moment). Infants’ natural sucking and teething motions quickly lead them to discover that breathing in or out through the Mochi Trumpet produces a range of whistling sounds that surprise and delight while inspiring deep curiosity. In addition to mentally- and physically stimulating sound-play, the Mochi Trumpet offers soothing relief to teething babies through built-in ridges that massage the gums. Parents will enjoy peace of mind knowing that the Mochi Trumpet is made using a rice-plastic technology that is 51% rice and contains no toxic paints or adhesives whatsoever.

The Awards Programs

The Parents’ Choice Awards evaluation process is a lengthy and confidential one. We don’t offer
“feedback” to producers or manufacturers because we don’t work for them. We work for parents,
caregivers, librarians and educators. Only 20% or so of those items submitted to the Parents’ Choice Awards™ program receive a commendation!

Integrity and honesty are at the core of what NAPPA stands for. For over 26 years, the National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA) has been ensuring that parents purchase the highest quality products that help them connect and enjoy time with their families. NAPPA’s team of independent expert judges, along with parent and child testers, select the best music, toys, apps, games, books, baby gear and other family must-haves to be award winners through year-round product testing.

Each year, the Tillywig Awards program delivers to consumers, retailers, and the media information on the best children’s products, baby & parenting products, and educational products available in today’s marketplace. A Brain Child Award is given to products “that nurture your child’s intellectual or emotional development.”

Products that are awarded with a Hot Diggity Awards Seal-of-Approval have been put through a rigorous evaluation program. In addition to reviewing toys, games and pet products, the program shares their winner list with partner The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association which serves more than 1,800 specialty retailers in the U.S.

The Play On Words PAL Award is the only industry recognition focusing on the best toys, games and books that not only entertain, but also inspire kids and caregivers to engage in rich communication and interaction. In a world that runs on words, finding fun ways to build kids’ speech and language early on is invaluable to their future academic success.

People Toy Company ( are the exclusive importers of the Asian toymaker that offers brain-stimulating baby products. Two building block sets from People Blocks – Zoo Animals and Classic Colors — join award-winning brands Mochi and Brain Builders. All are available online at and your favorite local toy store. For the latest toy news, follow People Toy Company on your favorite social media outlet – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr or Instagram.

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Beloved Japanese company People Co., Ltd launched in 1977 and started their toy business in 1982. It has finally arrived in the U.S. and created the People Toy Company pedigree product line. The company’s three core offerings are Brain Builders, Mochi and People Blocks series. People Toy Company proudly creates fun and educational baby products for the discerning parent. The Mochi series is the winner of the prestigious 2015 Kids Design Award. Another point of pride is their almost-entirely female staff including our COO Kogure Masako and executive officers Fujita Junko and Odagiri Hiroko.

Written by Matt

Dad blogger at ~ communications consultant, collaborator and PR pro ~ recovering hop grower and contributor to numerous local guides ~ husband and dad of 4, living in southwest Wisconsin. I love having fun with my family, writing, traveling, shopping, consulting and sharing my honest opinions. See me in action on Discover Wisconsin (at 00:04:00). I am PR friendly, contact me at or