The International Toy Research Association (ITRA) is an association, which was created in 1993 for the purpose of promoting, stimulating and encouraging toy and play research all over the world in order to broaden and spread knowledge about toys and promote the development of good toys for children


The ITRA World Congress takes place every three years in a different location at which the ‘ITRA – BTHA Prize for outstanding toy research’ is awarded to two recipients.

The ITRA – BTHA Prize sponsors two awards at each ITRA World Congress. One award of £500 is given for the best student research on toys and one award of £1,000 to a senior scholar or practitioner on the uses, design or effects of toys. Recipients also receive a travel grant to present their research at the ITRA congress.

The Purpose of the ITRA – BTHA Prize is to recognise outstanding toy research. To qualify for the prize, the work must have been conducted or published since the previous ITRA World Congress and be submitted by the researcher or nominated by a member of ITRA.

Eligibility: Papers, either published or unpublished, in any area of toy research are eligible. Research on the uses, design, and effects of toys in child development, education, science, and medicine will be considered for the awards. Theoretical and historical papers are also considered as long as these are linked to potential research.

Evaluation: The Awards Committee — Gilles Brougére (France), Jeffrey Goldstein (Netherlands), Cleo Gougoulis (Greece), Sudarshan Khanna (India), and Stephen Kline (Canada) — evaluates applications on the basis of originality, the significance of the work, creativity, methodology, clarity of presentation, and importance.

The next ITRA World Congress will take place in 2017.

Previous BTHA-ITRA Award Winners:

Senior Prize

2008  Jan Phillips. Accomplishing family through toy consumption. In Karin M. Ekstrom & Birgitte Tufte (eds.) (2007) Children, media and consumption. Goteborg, Sweden: NORDICOM

2011  Prof. Minna Ruckenstein. Toying with the world: Children, virtual pets and the value of mobility.’ Childhood (2010)

2014  Marc Steinberg. Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (2012)

Student Prize

2008  Hyun-Jung Oh. The phenomenon of dolls’ houses: Putting together memories and fantasies. MA thesis, Anthropology, Material & Visual Culture, University College London

2011  Vasanti Jadva. Infants’ preferences for toys, colours, and shapes: Sex differences and similarities.’  Archives of Sexual Behaviour (2010)

2014  Koumudi Patil. Craftsmanly thinking: Studying the dilemma of change and identity in Banarasi Khilonas (toys) Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, India (2013)