If you caught the latest episode of the all-new North Pole Podcast over the weekend then you too likely know something you didn’t know before: it’s called Toyvember.
Since the podcast was released the North Pole Post Office has just been slammed with questions all about Toyvember. People out there just really, really want to know about it.
I apologize for not telling you about it before. Honestly, Toyvember is just one of those things elves do that I did not think would be of any interest to anyone else.
If you have not listened to the podcast (you should). But for those who did not, let me explain: Toyvember is a long contest that Santa calls about once a year to develop new toys. Elves call it the 13th month on their calendar but there is no actual date or time set aside for Toyvember. It happens when Santa says it happens.
As a toymaker, Santa is constantly seeking creative new ideas for toys. That is why he goes out to meet so many children each year. They give him tremendous ideas for new toys.
But elves are toymakers, too. They have great ideas as well. So Santa hosts this contest he calls Toyvember and pretty much everything stops at the North Pole for elves who enter in the contest. For the duration of the contest elves focus on planning new toys, building new toys and showing off their new toys to other elves. Toys are demonstrated over at the North Pole Convention Center and elves compete for followers to play with their toys and to back their toys as new ones that Santa might want to make in his workshop.
Over the course of history many now-popular toys came from Toyvember. North Pole Historian Elf Dr. Grant Smedley, who was featured on the podcast, mentioned a few of them. I would just tell you that everything from board games to dolls to even video games have come from Toyvember.
Toyvember this year was held back in May and it ran for about 41 days — which is about average. Some years it goes on for nearly 60 days and other years it is very brief. This year was about average. The toy that won Toyvember this year is another video game but it is unlike any video game you have ever seen before. It runs off of voice commands and high technology that can be summoned anywhere at any time. If you walk into a room and see one of your friends you can challenge them to a game by simply calling it up on your phone. It then projects an incredible 3D-hologram of the game interface for everyone who has the code (if you don’t have the code, you won’t see anything). The game is then played with your whole body — not just your hands.
Santa likes the game because it is physical. But he hasn’t said when or if he will actually produce it. It did win Toyvember and Elf Herman Heeblesmidt won the contest and takes a coveted spot in Santa’s workshop as an elf. (That’s quite the prize!)
But that is as much as I can tell you about that particular toy, for now.
But for Toyvember — yes, when it happens again next year I will let you know. It rarely happens at the same time year after year. I’ve seen it as early as January and as late as October. I’ve never seen Santa call for Toyvember in November or December.
Another popular question is if all elves participate in Toyvember. The answer, of course, is no. But the important thing to remember is that if you are an elf you are invited to join in Toyvember. So even an elf who, say, drives a truck or shovels snow can be a toymaker and win Toyvember. In fact, many elves who work in Santa’s workshop may never have otherwise had that opportunity. Elf Herman, for example, is a web developer. He produced many of the maps you saw on our websites last year. This year he is working in the computer toys department at Santa’s workshop. Toyvember changed his life, as it can for any elf.
I encourage you to keep listening to the North Pole Podcast. You will likely pick up on a lot of things that I have not mentioned to you before.