An acrylic trophy is an alternative to the traditional glass, or crystal trophy. Acrylic glass can be molded into a variety of forms, and corporations will often create custom promotional items shaped like their products. They are manufactured by pouring acrylic casting resin into a mold.
Acrylic trophies can be manufactured in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. The most common styles are clear rectangular “Billboards”, star shapes, circles, and pyramids. These are often engraved with corporate logos and personalized with the name of the recipient. They are also used in awards ceremonies for many organizations.
Embedments are acrylic trophies that have an item embedded into the resin. Many materials can be placed in an embedment – paper, metal, acetate sheets, etc. This creates the effect of an item floating within the acrylic statue.
Deal toys are acrylic trophies used in the financial industry in recognition of sales achievements. Deal toys are most commonly used within the financial community, especially among investment banks, as a means of celebrating successful transactions. Since their beginnings in the 1970s, deal toys have become a fixture in the investment banking community, and as multi-national and cross-border transactions have become increasingly common, they have done much to popularize the use of acrylic in gifts and trophies internationally.
Deal toys are commonly made from Lucite, a branded form of acrylic developed by DuPont. One of the earliest uses of Lucite was in windshields for fighter planes during World War II. Following the war, DuPont promoted various consumer applications of Lucite, including its use in lamps, beer taps, hairbrushes, and jewelry. By virtue of its versatility, Lucite opened up a range of possible design options for deal toys and trophies, often resulting in keen competition among investment banks for the most creative and sophisticated pieces.
As a result of the banking crisis of 2008, investment banks closed fewer deals, and deal toy budgets were reined in accordingly. With an increase in deal-making activity in early 2013, many deal toy design firms reported a corresponding upsurge in both the number and size of orders. A recently cited example of the resurgence of the deal toy is the one commemorating the landmark initial public offering of Facebook, designed by the New York-based firm, The Corporate Presence.
- "Seal that deal with . . . a toy duck", Leah McGrath Goodman. Published: February 26, 2008.Financial Times 
- "Another Wall Street Casualty: The Art of the ‘Deal Toy’", Ianthe Jeanne Dugan. Published: February 11, 2009.The Wall Street Journal 
- "Wall Street ‘Deal Toy’ Indicator Flashes a Bullish Sign", Katie Little. Published: March 5, 2013.CNBC 
- "Congrats on Your Mega-Deal", Rob Walker. Published: May 27, 2013.The New Republic 
Rosato, Dominick V. Plastic Encyclopedia and Dictionary. Hanser Publications, 1993.