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! 

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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. 


CHITAG YOUNG INVENTOR CHALLENGE NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR ORIGINAL TOY AND GAME CONCEPTS FROM 6-18 YEAR OLD ASPIRING INVENTORS CHICAGO (September 25, 2018) ― Following a record year for finalists entering into licensing deals with toy and game industry giants, registration is now open for ChiTAG’s 12th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC). The annual competition provides an opportunity for children ages six to 18 to present original toy and game inventions to industry professionals, the media, and consumers. The deadline for online submissions is October 31, 2018. Hosted by the Chicago Toy & Game Group, the goal of the Young Inventors Challenge is to inspire creativity and innovation an

Adam Borton - Have Faith in the Theory and the Process

Many professional sportspeople proclaim that they need to have faith and trust in the process, especially when either coming back from injury or during a bad run of results - this also applies to toy and game invention. When you’re just starting out and maybe you’re having a rough time getting licenses or things just aren’t going as well as you hoped, it’s important to trust in proven theories. While they may make it harder in the short term, in the long term they will eventually produce results. I have listed 3 theories below that I have read and applied throughout my time as a toy and game inventor - when the going gets tough, keeping faith that these are the correct things to do has helpe

Manish Kumar, Geo Chem, on Toy Safety and Tests

Toy safety is regulated by various national and international legal requirements. It is becoming increasingly stringent and complex. To reduce the risk of product recalls, product liability, litigation; Geo Chem offer a comprehensive testing and Inspection service. You can assure not only your customers, but also your partners in the toy industry, suppliers and retailers that you care about the safety of your product. The toy directive relates to all products intended for children up to 14 years of age, from teddy bears to remote control toys. These directives are there to ensure that the safety and health of children is not at risk from the predictable use of t


2018 TOY & GAME INNOVATION (TAGIE) AWARD FINALISTS ANNOUNCED CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP OPENS ONLINE VOTING TO CONSUMERS, THE INDUSTRY AND MEDIA CHICAGO, Ill. (September 20, 2018) – The Chicago Toy & Game Group today announced the finalists for the 2018 Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs). The TAGIEs, now in its 11th year, recognize the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. Following a public voting period, winners will be revealed Friday, November 16, 2018 at the TAGIEs ceremony and gala, held annually during Chicago Toy & Game Week (ChiTAG), the night before the start of the ChiTAG’s epic consumer fair at Navy Pier. Visit

Carle Wunderlich - Get Out in Front of Customers!

What do you do in the industry? I am a Manufactures Rep. I represent around 20 different Toy and Game lines. We sell to the independent retailers in IL & IN. What is your claim to fame in the industry? The fact I’ve been in the toy business for 38 years. My father and grandfather were retailers and carried toys in their stores. I have stuff about them and the toy business going back to the 1940’s. Now, my son is the 4th generation of Wunderlich that is in the toy business. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? After college I worked for a Dept. Store in South Bend IN as a men’s clothing buyer for a several years and I was transferred back to the Chicago area to be a toy bu

Shari Spiro - Making Poker Chips for Michael Jordan and More!

What do you do in the industry? I am the CEO and founder of Ad Magic Games, Breaking Games, and Breaking Toys. Ad Magic is a manufacturer of Card and Board Games primarily, Breaking Games is a publisher and distributor of games, Breaking Toys is involved in manufacturing and distributing toys and electronic game and toy accessories. I also own Print and Play games, a prototype facility in Vancouver Washington that also does print on demand games. What is your claim to fame in the industry? Printing Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens, Joking Hazard, Secret Hitler, Game of Phones, developing and printing Fake News, Expancity, Rise of Tribes and Poop the game. I would like to think

JM Duparc - Identity, Trivia, Costumes and Rockstars

What do you do in the industry? I’m Chief Creation at Identity Games. So I get to invent myself, with my team and I do our Inventor Relations. What is your claim to fame in the industry? Haha, I still consider myself to much of a rookie in this industry so I don’t have a claim to fame yet but I’m very proud of Boom Boom Balloon and Escape Room. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? For me it was the childhood dream. Big was my favorite movie and to the frustration of my parents and teachers I turned everything into a game. I literaly turned tests at school into games and emptying the dishwasher was also a favorite. it cost a few dishes, it never made life easier (especially

PlayMonster 5 Second Rule Marketing Team

Nominated for 5 Second Rule Bio: With the launch of the 2018 edition, the 5 Second Rule marketing team ramped up its marketing efforts to give the game some love and fame! Ellen Degeneres plays 5 Second Rule on her show with various celebrities, and the video clips on YouTube get millions of views and lots of shares. There have even been celebrities who have come back on the show and requested a rematch with Ellen! 5 Second Rule was also on over one million Musselman’s package in late summer, and is a part of a huge Halloween promotion with a popular restaurant

Jakks Pacific, Seven Towns, Make-a-Mask

Nominated for FanHeads™ Bio: Get it. Wear it. Game on with FanHeads™ Football helmets, a new way for football fans to show their team spirit! Specially made from a strong and durable paper laminate, they are perfect for Games, Tailgates, Parties, and Display! FanHeads™ helmets are lightweight and adjustable to four sizes (S, M, L, XL) and are comfortable all season long! FanHeads™ are officially licensed product of the NFL representing all 32 teams, and 69 of the top collegiate NCAA football teams.

Bang Zoom

Nominated for Lil' Gleemerz (Mattel) Bio: Bang Zoom Design Ltd. is a Cincinnati-based product invention company. We develop big ideas and turn them into marketable businesses. With an emphasis on the toy industry, we have licensed over 250 inventions. Other recent products for 2018: Imaginext Jurassic World T-Rex (Fisher Price), Treasure X (Moose), Hairdorables (Just Play), Hot Diggity Dance & Play Mickey (Just Play), Minnie Mouse Helper Scooter Plush (Just Play), Little Live Pets Surprise Dragon (Moose), Little Live Pets Rollie My Kissing Puppy (Moose), Jurassic World Gyrosphere RC (Mattel), Handimonium Game (Mattel), Yelllies! (Hasbro), Barbie Dreamtopia Flying Wings Fairy (Mattel), Barbie

Sydney Wiseman

Nominated for Fingerlings Bio: Sydney Wiseman is a key Brand Manager for WowWee, and the creator of the award-winning Fingerlings toy line, among other inventions at the company. She plays a significant role in the development, play spec and marketing strategy of new WowWee consumer product. Sydney’s day is spent contributing to and integrating cutting edge R&D and making it viable and marketable for sales. Her creativity and love for innovative products, coupled with her practical experience in the Toy Industry contribute to WowWee's product ideation and improvement, as well as reaching the consumer across different markets. Sydney graduated with honours from McGill University in 2011 and w

Hasbro Marketing and Rhett and Link

Nominated for Online Influencer Video Campaign Bio: We know that that people are passionate about playing games and that gaming brings families and friends of all ages and generations together for fun and meaningful social interaction. Our goal is to provide families with gaming experiences that are fun to play, fun to watch and fun to share. Earlier this year, Hasbro announced a multi-year relationship with comedians Rhett & Link that includes co-developing new gaming experiences and branded content. To pique the interest of their fans, Hasbro and the pair will create one-of-a-kind content to launch the brand’s new games on the duo’s daily episodic YouTube series, Good Mythical Morning

JMP Creative's Social Media Team

Nominated for Orbeez Wow World campaign Bio: Most YouTube channels consist of repurposed TV spots and how-to videos, JMP’s social media team designs and delivers magical and inventive content. Our YouTube playlists focus on new and innovative ways to play and experience the product and Brand! JMP also influence audiences to mimic our content directions in the form of challenges and more. Content is important, but the true value lies in fan engagement! In addition, through influencer outreach and development of inspiring videos, we help fans create their own user-generated content. As a result, our brands’ fans have generated billions of YouTube views

Illustrator: Sabrina Miramon Collaborators: Chris D’Angelo, Greg Stata, Kelly Miele (Graphic/Packag

Nominated for Shadows in the Forest Illustrator Bio: Sabrina Miramon is a French artist and self-taught illustrator currently living in the UK. Since 2006 she has worked in several major game & animation studios, but in 2015 she took the leap into freelance illustration. She has since worked on many international projects illustrating board games, books, backgrounds and video games. Her clients have included: Ankama, Nickelodeon, Lego, Virgin, Asmodee, Days of Wonder, Blue Orange games, Thinkfun, Capstone... When she's not working, she can be found looking at pictures of fluffy dogs on the internet, reading and playing video games

Prospero Hall

Nominated for Disney Villainous Bio: We love games that are rich and textured experiences. We design gameplay that is strategic, clever and captivating. We make games in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary process that includes the diverse perspectives of many people. Prospero Hall is the name we give to that collaborative effort.

Geizi Guevara, Mike Freeth, Patrick Murray, Chris Wickman

Nominated for The Cat Game Bio: Wanting a break-frame package for our hair-raising drawing game (with cats), we decided to do a version where it looked like each buyer would be the new proud owner of a cat - stuffed into every box. (Air holes were extra.) Eschewing bullet points, bursts, images and other info, we went for a powerful, eye-catching first read of uniqueness and fun! Marketing and costing was on board to not reduce any of the fun out of the package, and the vision went on shelf practically as it was conceived! Pow!

Elan Lee and Matt Inman

Nominated for Bears vs Babies Bio: After the explosive success of their first game, Exploding Kittens, game designers Elan Lee, and Matthew Inman, launched their second title, Bears vs. Babies. In this game, players compete to protect the cute, innocent, adorable bears from the horrible babies. Stitch together a Handsome Salmon armed with knives and burritos, or a Pomeranian of Light and Wonder in business attire who can run at the speed of light to prepare your bear armies for battle Covering the box in fur required the team to invent an entirely new production process and earned them dozens of emails from Amazon corporate featuring colorful phrases like “fur contamination hazard”.

Shoot The Moon

Nominated for Little Live Wrapples with Moose Toys Bio: 2018 is going to be a great year for Shoot the Moon. We are very excited about our product line and our business partners are doing a great job developing and promoting the products. The development team at Shoot the Moon has really delivered this year and we are thankful to have such a professional team. It is so much fun being inventors when your product portfolio includers Hatchimals, Little Live and Lazer Tag! Products from the past year: Hasbro – Nerf Laser Ops SpinMaster – Hatchimal Baby Moose – Little Live Wrapples, Little Live Cutie Pup, Little Live Dancing Unicorn, Little Live Busy Bubs, Real Robots MiBro, Real Robots Yak Bot C

Marissa Louie

Nominated for Animoodles: Iris Unicorn, Hazel Sloth, Randy Orangutan, Brady Lion, Miguel Frog, Sophie Elephant Bio: Marissa Louie is the CEO and Chief Designer at Animoodles, the original magnetic mix and make stuffed animals. A former designer at Apple, Marissa collaborated with veteran artists from Disney and Pixar to develop Animoodles. It began with a childhood dream— Marissa saw the need for stuffed animals that inspire creativity in children. She later identified that stuffed animals could have an interactive mix-and-make play pattern if they had strong magnets inside each of their cuddly parts. Animoodles became the #1 classic toy on Kickstarter in 2017, and now inspires creativity in

Ishkabibbles - Just for Fun!  

Play in Education News

For educators, librarians, homeschooling families and parents

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