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Peacock Plugs Playthings

Talk about product tie-ins: On Dec. 4, NBC will telecast the first ever Ultimate Toy Awards Show, a collaboration with sponsors including Toys "R" Us Inc., Hasbro and Mattel INc. The show comes, of course, at the heart of the holiday toy-buying season and, while none of the sponsors has product-placement deals, they’re certainly putting their commercials where the market is.

The Toy Awards are the brainchild of kids-show maker DIC Entertainment and Toy Wishes magazine, which debuted in 1999 as the only publication aimed at helping consumers sort out all the stuffed animals, robots, games and fads out there.

The special will feature adults recalling their favorite toys growing up (Mattel’s Barbie, perhaps? Or Hasbro’s G.I. Joe?) It will also name the Ultimate Toy of 2004 in various categories and one absolute ultimate got-to-have-it plaything.

Beginning Oct. 5, there will be a Web site where the public can preview and vote on the nominees. The industry’s toy press (real journalists who just happen to cover the toy industry, not lifelike action figures) also get to vote.

The special will be produced by Dick Clark Productions and taped at the NBC Universal theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood.