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. 

TAGIE Awards WINNERS ANNOUNCED

(Lifetime Achievement Honoree Adi Golad flanked by David Norman and Michael Kohner) 2017 TOY AND GAME INNOVATION AWARD (TAGIE) WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT 15th ANNUAL CHICAGO TOY AND GAME WEEK CHICAGO, Ill. (November 21, 2017) – The winners of the 10th annual TAGIE Awards honoring innovation and excellence in the toy and game industry were announced at a gala on Navy Pier in Chicago on Saturday night. Attended by industry luminaries and sponsored by heavyweights like Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and Cartamundi, the evening’s events included a keynote address by Gary Swisher, SVP of Inventor Relations and Head of Gaming for Mattel, and culminated with Lifetime Achievement Awards being given to industry lege

Tonda Bunge Sellers, Smart Play Expert

Tonda Bunge Sellers, Smart Play Expert Tonda Bunge Sellers has spent the last 20 years exploring 21st-century learning and entertainment. As a knowledge broker and industry influencer, she infuses her Texas-size passion and entrepreneurial spirit into play. She is currently producing global industry events, Kids@Play and FamilyTech Summit with Living in Digital Times at CES, where she provides a global voice for innovation. Prior to working with Living in Digital Times, Tonda served as President of Digital Kids Media, which connects a global community of experts to inspire and advance business in the ever-changing world of kids’ digital lives. Tonda created bi-annual conferences that attract

Jim Harrison - Ten Tips for Testing

So – you’ve invented a game. It may be your first, or you may have been through this process many times before, but there will always come a time (if this is going to be a real game) when you have to bring it out of the back room / shed / inventor cave where the magic begins, and put it in front of regular folks. And no, people, your loving family does not count. They will support you, help you, even criticize you, but they will never be truly objective, and that is what you need. Play-testing is an essential part of creating a game. It isn’t always easy, and may not always be fun, but without it, it may be impossible to discover all the flaws – and all the potential – in your new baby. N

Perry Kaye - Prototypes: Looks vs Functions

(Daymond John with Perry Kaye) Prototypes: Looks vs Functions I have seen some pretty nice looking prototypes that don't work. And I have seen some pretty ugly prototypes that work like a charm. Which is better? Seems like a silly question but each has its advantages. Obviously, you want to have a beautiful working prototype, but those are costly. And in many cases unnecessary. The truth is you never want to make a prototype the same way you make a production unit. Production units often use hard tooling like steel molds. And while these lower per unit cost they increase production cost. Your millionth unit may cost a penny but the first unit, including the mold costs, might cost $50

Adi Golad, Founder of Goliath: A Toy Industry Giant

Adi Golad, Founder of Goliath Games Goliath: A Toy Industry Giant Born Entrepreneur With an old bicycle wheel and a wooden stick as his only toy, Adi Golad, the oldest of three brothers, grew up in impoverished Israel where food was rationed and only a few children owned toys. Despite his environment, Adi made the most of his childhood by honing his entrepreneurial skills. Between the ages of three and five, Adi sold his first ‘hot’ toy, his Dad’s handgun, for 2.5 cents; he rented his bicycle to neighbor kids for one piece of candy per spin around the block; and, at five, he was picking cactus fruits to satisfy local demand. At age six, he retired to pursue his academic career. Pivotal Years

Tom Carsello - Times are Changing Fast!

Tom Carsello – SVP of Retail at Creata USA Inc. What was your favorite toy or game as a child? Growing up the toy that stands out with the fondest memories was this amazing table top game. I have lots of great memories playing this hockey table top game with my brothers, sisters, and friends. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? Interesting story for me; I was designing Kodak point and shoot cameras for a Hong Kong based company called Haking. It was my first gig out of college and during my time at Haking I self-taught myself how to use a 3D solid/surface software package called Euclid. I was ready to move on after 10+ years at Haking and had heard from my brother-in-law

Nicholas Cravotta and Rebecca Bleau - Contracts Are Your Friend

Contracts Are Your Friend There’s a lot of anxiety that comes up around contracts, especially if you’re new to the toy and game business. There are lots of stories about companies trying to get the most they can for themselves at the expense of inventors. Certainly, there are companies who still take such a “power” approach to contracts. However, there is a growing trend of using contracts to help build the relationship between company and inventor. Rather than focusing on maximizing short-term gains (i.e., squeezing all you can from the concept currently being licensed), more and more companies are recognizing that the greatest gains arise from a long and fruitful relationship. One of the w

Stacy and Max - Not Parent Approved!

Max Revis (MR) on left and Stacy Katz (SK) on right! What was your favorite toy or game as a child? SK: It’s a tie between aggressive family game nights with Boggle and Slip N Slide (not an aggressive family game- thankfully). MR: Simon, Clue, and Spit (or speed with regular deck of cards). When Atari came out I was hooked on Space Invaders, Donkey Kong and Centipede. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? SK: I screen-banned my son for the weekend. I was a bit shocked when parents canceled playdates because they were too worn out to supervise the kids without screens. That left 48 hours of time to fill… what to do now? So a trip to the local toy store for a board game see

Lisa Guili, TAGIE Inventor Advocacy Honoree!

As general manager for Educational Insights, Lisa Guili has throughout her 24-year toy industry career developed a sharp eye for talent and good ideas, with a pulse on what will appeal to the market. She’s also well-known in the industry for being a strong champion for the inventors with whom she works. Lisa’s support of inventors is evident in every step of the process. Perhaps her ability to “think outside the box” is best illustrated by what’s on the box—that is, Educational Insights includes the game or toy inventor’s name, photo and bio on their packaging and in all aspects of the company’s marketing. The idea to do this came about at the New York Toy Fair in 2009. Lisa had been chattin

Bret Gould - Leveraging Emerging Technologies in Innovation

As an Inventor over the last 20 years I have developed a lot of interesting products. Every project is different, some coming together quickly but most requiring a long process of iterative prototyping and experimentation. The genesis of many great innovations can be the sudden availability of new technologies, components or materials that allow breakthroughs previously too impractical or expensive to enable viable product solutions. Some examples of my early successes were a combination of timing, opportunity and a new generation of battery chemistry. In the late 1990s the only mass market flying toys available were rubber band powered balsa wood planes and some very basic offerings by Este

Jeff and Mindy Glickman - Randomness and Uncertainty White Paper

Overview: Life has uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen. It is unsettling, but exciting. One of the best ways we prepare for uncertainty in life is through play. Uncertainly is modeled in the playing of many games. The roll of the dice, the deal of the cards or the tile picked from a bag – all of these are forms of uncertainty. This paper will examine different ways of dealing with uncertainty in games, and their effect on the play. Randomness Is A Type Of Uncertainty: The biggest difference between uncertainly in life and in the playing of games can be explained by the concept of randomness. Uncertain things can be random, but most uncertain outcomes are NOT random. Randomness, o

PLAYFOAM AND NEIGHBORHOOD PARENTS NETWORK PARTNERSHIP OFFERS FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS FREE EARLY

PARTNERSHIP WITH PLAYFOAM AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARENTS NETWORK OFFERS FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS FREE EARLY ACCESS TO THE 2017 CHICAGO TOY AND GAME FAIR Families Can Beat the Crowds and Discover Toys and Games that Support Their Needs from Influential Occupational Therapist, Helen Sadovsky Chicago, IL (November 7, 2017) - Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG) will once again offer families with special needs free early access to its marquee consumer fair thanks to partnerships with Playfoam and the Neighborhood Parents Network, a nonprofit that connects a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city. In addition to allowing families to enjoy the

ChiTAG 2017 Kicks off the Holiday Season

PR Contact Emily Blosser Brilliant PR & Marketing emily@brilliantprm.com ChiTAG 2017 Kicks off the Holiday Season Bringing More than 30,000 Consumers, Media and Members of the Toy and Game Industry to Chicago’s Navy Pier, Nov. 16-19th CHICAGO, IL (September 21, 2017) – From larger-than-life Soggy Doggy and Build or Boom games, giant Automoblox track, Princess Etch-A-Sketch to the Rummikub National Championship, the Illinois State Yoyo Competition and the opportunity for inventors to develop their ideas, expand their networks and pitch industry heavyweights, the 2017 Chicago Toy & Game Week (November 16-19) has so much more to offer than just the latest and greatest playthings. It is a one-of

Kim Vandenbroucke - Game Themes: Everyday Experience Doesn’t Equal Appeal

There are days when “adulting” just sort of stinks. I’m sure you know the kind of day I’m talking about -- the ones where work was boring, traffic was terrible, the mail was filled with bills larger than you expected, your taxes are due, you forgot to pay for insurance and you were in a fender bender. Over the years, I’ve heard from several new inventors/designers that “everyone has to deal with (insert unpleasant part of life) so it will appeal to everyone!” or “nurses/teachers/name-a-profession will love my game because they deal with this stuff all the time!” It’s key to remember that people often play games to escape from the humdrum of work and life. Who exactly would you want to com

Ishkabibbles - Just for Fun!  

Play in Education News

For educators, librarians, homeschooling families and parents

who are interested in using play to aid learning.

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