News & Interviews

Over 400 Interviews, Articles and Stories! Over 350 authors! 5 Newsletters!

Newsletters for industry, consumers, social media influencers and educators cover many aspects of play and

the interesting stories behind the playthings we love! 

Our newest project to celebrate the People of Play to go live soon! Read all about it HERE.  

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Business of Play News

Industry News - interviews, news, information about get-togethers we're hosting and more.

Importance of Play News

For consumers and anyone interested in toys and games and 

meeting the people behind the the products.


Legends and Legacies Profiles

There are many great stories and then there are those which are EPIC! 

ChiTAG White Papers

Interested in getting into the toy and game industry?

Our Inventor & Innovation Conferences Experts weigh in on industry topics. 


Media Contacts: Scott Goldberg Building Off the Success of the Young Inventor Challenge, Inventors 8-22 Years Old Are Invited to Showcase Original Tech Inventions at Chicago Toy & Game Fair CHICAGO (October 25th, 2016) ― The Chicago Toy & Game Group announces that registration is open for the first-ever Young Tech Challenge, now through November 6, 2016. The Young Tech Challenge, presented by Spin Master, invites inventors from the ages of 8 to 22 years to bring together imagination, play and tech to create a playful tech product. Contest entrants will showcase their original tech ideas “science fair style” to a panel of play industry experts on Sunday, November 20, 20

Pramod Sharma

Pramod Sharma is CEO and Co-founder at Osmo. After graduating from Stanford, he spent many years at Google architecting book scanning machines and held senior management roles in Search, Gmail & Distributed Computing. Osmo, an educational gaming company, is using its proprietary reflective artificial intelligence, to fuse physical play with digital engagement. It allows any object - tiles, pen & paper, blocks, toys, you name it, to interact with the iPad. This hands-on play promotes creativity, problem solving and social interaction. Osmo is using the screen to create a new healthy, hands-on learning experience. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. Learn more about Osmo at www.pla

Johanna M. Cook

National cooking personality and host, Johanna M. Cook has been captivating audiences with Momma Cuisine since 2009. The brand’s mission is to simply get families across America making Great Everyday Meals with simply, affordably and elegantly. Momma Cuisine’s vision is to connect with their targeted consumer base of busy moms by providing exclusive access to the best of what brands can offer. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Nicole Brady

Nicole was born and raised in Iowa, which explains her love for bacon. She is currently enjoying her 9th year blogging about family-friendly products with a focus on the toy & game industry. When not writing, she is raising two lovely gamers with a husband that helps (sometimes). Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Melissa & Gracie Hunter: Mommy and Gracie Show

A teen girl and her mom sharing their love of dolls and toys on YouTube. We love dolls of all kinds and spending time together on YouTube. We are the most unprofessional reviewers on YouTube! YouTube: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Kris McDonald

Kris McDonald is the Digital Lifestyle Expert behind the blog,, where she utilizes her background in IT to share her obsession with technology through tips, tricks, and reviews. She’s a Chicago area mom to two sets of twins, photographer, gadget addict, & travel addict. Stalk her everywhere @LittleTechGirl. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Keriann Wilmot

Keri is a pediatric occupational therapist and mom, who is the co-founder of She is also the Toys Expert at Keri offers practical ways for families to play by sharing fun play tips and toy recommendations for kids of all ages and abilities. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Katherine McHenry

Katherine McHenry is the founder and toyshopkeeper of Chicago’s award-winning Building Blocks Toy Store. She loves to inspire and empower everyone of all ages to play everyday. Currently, her favorite ways to play are riding her scooter, playing board games, adult coloring, doing jigsaw puzzles, playing Pokemon Go, and telling corny jokes. ​ Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

James Zahn

James is an entertainment writer, media personality, adventurer & raconteur, who, along with his wife, is raising The Rock Daughters™. He consults for toymakers, serves on The Toy Insider Parent Panel, and occasionally still battles Decepticons, The Empire and C.O.B.R.A. when not playing PAW Patrol. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Holly Rust

Holly is a native Texan but currently resides in the great city of Chicago with her husband and two sons. She's a writer, author and global entrepreneur. She is the creator and voice behind Mother’s Guide To Sanity, a lifestyle blog where she shares stories about raising two rambunctious toddlers all while trying to manage a career. Her essays can be found in several anthologies. You can also find her work on Dot Complicated, Scary Mommy, Hearst Digital Media, Good Housekeeping, TODAY Parenting Team, MSN, Yahoo and many more. Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Elisa All Schmitz

Serial entrepreneur Elisa All Schmitz previously founded iParenting Media, a “Best of the Web” dotcom acquired by Disney, where she served as Director of Disney Interactive Media Group. Elisa has been a newspaper columnist, magazine editor, radio and video host. She has a BA from UW-Madison and MSJ from Northwestern University. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Cheryl Leahy

Cheryl is a former marketing professional turned blogger/ media personality. She believes that keeping your personal sense of self and style is the key to living life fabulously as a mother and focuses on affordable luxury, style secrets and the millennial mom life. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Beth Engelman

Beth Engelman is Mommy on a Shoestring! She believes you can live large without breaking the bank. She writes a column for the Chicago Tribune Media and is a frequent contributor to several local TV programs. If you want to learn how to turn old puzzles pieces into stationary or make a candy wrapper belt, Beth is your girl. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Alison Ray

An award-winning Certified Meeting Planner, Alison transitioned a sixteen-year career as a professional meeting & event planner and CEO of Metropolitan Marketing & Event Group to launch So Chic Life in 2009. With a proven background in event marketing, managing and overseeing domestic and international travel for Fortune 500 companies, Alison is an event strategist and brand ambassador connecting lifestyle brands with their targeted customers and influencers through an online audience of over 100,000. Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:


FAN-FAVORITE TOYS & GAMES BECOME PART OF THE FABRIC OF FUN AT THE FIFTH ANNUAL PLAYCHIC FASHION SHOW A New Day and Location Delivers the Same Haute Couture Fashion Looks Inspired by Toys & Games on Friday, November 18, 2016 at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. CHICAGO (October 20, 2016) ―The PlayCHIC Fashion Show, the style-savvy jewel in the crown of Chicago Toy & Game Week since its debut five years ago, moves to a new day and location this year, bringing its flair for the fabulous to the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 8 p.m. This year, as always, the PlayCHIC runway will feature playful fashion designs inspired by some of the hottest toy brands of the 2016 holiday s

Elisa All Schmitz - Making life better in 30 seconds

What was your favorite toy or game as a child? I loved Monopoly – great training for my career as an entrepreneur! What inspires you? Bringing others together. I love building communities – personally and professionally. I light up when I get to share great information and it helps people. I built my entire career around empowering others with knowledge! Where did you grow up and how did that influence who you are today? It’s more about who I grew up with that influenced me. My mother is from Puerto Rico and my father is from Croatia. I’m a first generation American. My parents and grandparents taught me the value of hard work and that the American Dream is very much alive and well, if you p


Media Contacts: Scott Goldberg CHICAGO (October 13, 2016) ― The Chicago Toy & Game Group announces that registration is now open for the 10th annual Young Inventor Challenge, now through November 1, 2016. The Young Inventor Challenge invites girls and boys between ages 6 and 18 years to use their imaginations, critical thinking skills, and love of play to invent their own original toy or game. Contest entrants will showcase their original toy and game ideas “science fair style” to a panel of play industry experts on Saturday, November 19, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG). ChiTAG, the largest toy and game fair in the U.S. that is


Chi cago Toy & Game Week Rings in the Holiday Season November 17-20, 2016 with a fun-filled weekend of activities open to the public and perfect for the whole family. CHICAGO (October 4, 2016) ― Gear up for a week of fun, because Chicago Toy & Game Group is announcing a lineup of blockbuster events for kids and their families this November in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Presenting a host of industry events throughout the week, the Chicago Toy & Game Group invites the public to attend play-focused festivities including the Innovation and Play in Education Conferences, Toy & Game Innovation (TAGIE) Awards Gala featuring PlayCHIC, the haute couture fashion show and the 14th annual Chic


THE CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP ANNOUNCES 2016 TOY & GAME INNOVATION AWARD NOMINEES CHICAGO, Ill. (October 4, 2016) – The nominees for the ninth annual Toy & Game Innovation (TAGIE) Awards ( are in! At this year’s awards ceremony, excellence will be recognized in the categories of Digital/Toy Game Design, Game Design, Toy Design, and Rising Star Inventor. The nominees for these categories have been selected by their industry colleagues, and now the public is invited to place their votes before the annual award show takes place this November as part of the 14th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair. The 2016 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Award nominees are: EXCELL

Preparing your Talking Points for Media

Lucky Penny Shop is a YouTube toy & game product reviewer with over 1,841,183 subscribers and 1,091,465,336 views. We asked them for their thoughts on what media, bloggers and product reviewers want to know when they visit your booth at the fair. As we get ready for another great year at ChiTAG, we like to review our notes and literature gathered at last year's fair. Our goal is to collect the best product information to share with our viewers, that may be seeing these toys for the first time! To accomplish this, we have come up with a simple list of talking points that vendors can use as a guide when discussing the key features of their toy products. OUR TALKING POINTS What is the target a

Ishkabibbles - Just for Fun!  

Play in Education News

For educators, librarians, homeschooling families and parents

who are interested in using play to aid learning.

ChiTAG Group Media Reach:

​Newsletters Email Subscribers

All Industry 40,000+

Educator 135,0000+

Inventor 15,000+

Consumer 15,000+

Blogger, Social Media Influencer 5,500+ email; 6,500+ handles

Scouts (Boy & Girl) 2,100+

Media List 7,500+

Combined Direct Newsletter Reach 220,000

Newsletter, In-Person and Social Media Reach

Newsletters 217,000

Postal Mail Addresses All Industry 33,000+

Twitter ChiTAGWeek 15,600+

Facebook ChiTAGWeek 6,300+

Facebook Mary Couzin 1,800+

Instagram ChiTAGWeek 1,600+

Pinterest ChiTAGWeek 370+

Pinterest Mary Couzin/Chicago Toy & Game Fair 1,900+

LinkedIn Toy, Game, Play Innovators Group 3,000+

LinkedIn Mary Couzin 18,500+

Events Attendance 35,000+

ChiTAG Group Reach 325,000+