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. 

Greg Kopec - Keep it Fun!

My advice to those new to the game… Keep it fun! As a professional inventor for nearly 30 years and owner of Tremendous Toys LLC, I’ve experienced far more rejection than acceptance but both have taught me valuable lessons and I’m always reminded to Keep It Fun! Some rejections and what I’ve learned from them include: “That’s been done, I remember it from Kenner’s line in 1951.” Due diligence goes a long way. Google and the associated Google patent search is your friend. Now I search high and low to make sure I’m not just recycling an old toy or game, especially one that didn’t do well the first time around. “That’s a creative way to use duct tape, but is it supposed to dangle like that?” No

Courtney Pearson - What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? When it comes to toys… and especially games… a good name can make the difference in a sale or it sitting on your rejection shelf. There are a million ways to brainstorm a name, but what happens when you find one you like? Now is the time to start your name hunt: Google, google, google! It may seem obvious, but not everyone thinks to google their new product’s name. When doing any search, make sure to try different variations in spelling, order, with and without quotation marks, etc. There are billions of things on the internet, so it is likely you will come across a version of the name. You should only avoid the name if the search reveals something big, not if it’s used on

Trina McFarland - Integrating Inventor Relations Polarities: The Hunter and The Gatherer

Integrating Inventor Relations Polarities: The Hunter and The Gatherer Inventor Relations, Product Acquisition, Innovation Programs, etc. Companies call us a few things, but the role is essentially the same. I could blather on about the lifecycle of our role (identifying needs, communicating strategy, sweeping, presenting, tracking, negotiating, and mediating), but I think it’s more interesting to consider the IR role in a new way, as I might discuss it with my grandpa. My grandpa is a total hippie cowboy weirdo. Like peace pipe smoking, state archery champion, nudist, retreat to the dessert for a few weeks with a gallon of water and box of matches kind of guy. He used to read me excerpts f

2018 Toy and Game Holiday Gift Guide & the People that Invented Them

2018 Toy and Game Holiday Gift Guide & the People that Invented Them In honor of our Toy & Game Innovation Award Finalists and the holidays being right around the corner, we put together the BEST 33 TOYS & GAMES straight from #ChiTAG. Below are the nominee inventors and their respective toy and game inventions. Which include some of the hottest toys and games on the market! Experience and test out some of these toys and games in person at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair November 18-19. Not to mention knock out all your holiday shopping! So grab your tickets before it’s too late. Happy Holidays and we can’t wait to see you at ChiTAG! Now let’s hear from our Inventor nominees and where you can get

Paul Fish - The Evolution of Collectible Games

The evolution of collectible games has run from traditional toys, such as marbles, to trading card games, like Pokemon, and now to innovative hybrid brands, such as Bakugan and Beyblade. Key Strategies for Collectible Gaming Brands There are several strategies that have led to success in collectible gaming: Deliver a unique mechanical feature that can apply to highly differentiated characters & situations Deliver action & competition to overcome limitations in humor-based play Feature a hybrid play pattern of character product and gaming Re-invent a classic enduring play pattern Ensure that there are visual, thematic and game-play reasons to buy deep into the line Ensure that each SKU is hig

Nancy Zwiers - On Collaborative Invention and More!

What have you done in the industry? I started in the toy industry in 1990 as a Sr. Product Manager at Mattel, both over-qualified and under-qualified at the same time, having spent time in the more traditional consumer package goods industry for some years. After 9 years at Mattel, I started my own company, Funosophy, Inc. in 2000. A virtual organization with a few employees and many independent contractors, Funosophy consulted with companies big and small (over 200!), represented licensors/inventors, did design and development, conducted and published research, wrote articles, volunteered with Toy Industry Association and Women in Toys. In 2009 we began a period of focusing on “collaborat

Mike Meyers: The “Gold Standard” for Inventor Advocacy

Mike Meyers’ legendary toy career ignited unexpectedly. From a single spark, it grew, lighting up the world of play with a fiery passion for creativity and innovation, bringing joy to millions of children across generations and the world. Initially aspiring to a career in aeronautical engineering, his interest shifted to industrial design while still in high school. After college, Meyers started designing point-of-purchase displays, greeting cards and anything else he could get his hands on to pay the bills. Exposure to the toy industry began with a position as designer for a company called Pyro Plastics. The biggest custom molder in the United States at the time, they made model kits, (and

Greg Kopec - Analog Play in a Digital World

Analog Play in a Digital World How many of you in the professional inventor community have heard these words? “Kids don’t want to play with a toy like that today; they have so many similar and better things to do on their tablet or iPad”. Do you agree with this mentality? Thinking like this is not only incorrect, but is also detrimental to the creative process of inventing. The detriment of this thought process doesn’t stop with the inventor, but also denies this generation of children a myriad of life molding experiences. Pixels don’t provide physical multi-sensory stimulation, interactive play involving direct communications, imaginative play processes, group participation, or shared physi

Eleanor Black - I could have thought of that”

“I could have thought of that” I have lived happily in the toy world for quite some time, and the thing that never ceases to amaze me is this; with so many professions, it is how difficult the something is that impresses your peers and colleagues, the dramatic descriptions, the most complicated analogies, the increasingly outrageous theories. In sharp contrast where the toy industry, and inventors in-particular are concerned, it is in the 'Wow, but it's so simple'; the ‘I could have thought of that’ that impresses. The dream is to invent something simple and seemingly obvious, a ‘no brainer’ that has people kicking themselves for not thinking of it first. Taking it back to basics: The geniu

Jochem van Rijn and Thijmen de Schipper Honored for 'Startting-Up' YULU Toys

This trending and up-and-coming toy and family entertainment company burst onto the international toy scene in only 3 years. Since then, their success has been, well, pretty much spectacular. . . In 2017, only a few years after attending University in The Netherlands, YULU partners Jochem van Rijn and Thijmen de Schipper arrived at Toy Fair with their own booth on the main floor Javits Center. By the end of the show, they secured an exclusive deal with Target to distribute their first branded line of games and distribution partnerships with several top-tier companies. Not a bad rookie year for two not-even-30-something year olds. The duo originally met in University during their masters’ st

Shoot the Moon – Going For It All Since 1985

We all know Silicon Valley is synonymous with innovation in the American lexicon. But, an association with toys is less obvious. And yet, in the early 1980’s, as the region was becoming the epicenter of all things high tech, fate was busy aligning a small group of stars in its midst, to make toy history. A young engineer, named David Small, was fresh from college, working at various computer companies and startups. He landed at video gaming pioneer, Atari. He led various engineering activities that gave him a front row seat for the company’s rise and subsequent fall, after the infamous Video Game Crash of 1983. He was one of the last employees left when the doors closed. His next job took hi

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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