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. 

Jack Degnan: Feedback on Feedback

I recently pitched a game to publisher who I knew well. The game was ultimately declined and the publisher provided me with an elaborate and detailed explanation of why the game was not being accepted. He outlined all of the positive attributes of my game and highlighted some areas that I might consider changing while providing me with clear and articulate examples. The suggestions were rich, lengthy, and helpful. Then I woke up from my dream. When it comes to pitching games, my experience has been that it is rare to get feedback on a rejected game. Although I do know one publisher who makes it a point to always offer some helpful explanation, most have offered nothing more than “This is

Kim Vandenbroucke - Termination: Avoiding a Slow Long Death

Someone wants to license your amazing concept! Congrats! But before you can even come close to posting toy/game aisle selfies of you and your awesome idea, you need to tackle the contract. There are so many little pitfalls to avoid when it comes to a toy/game contract, but don't forget to look at the bigger picture. While no one likes to think about what happens when a toy/game has run its course when the product hasn’t even been made, but nailing down the terms of termination is vital. When you’re reading through your contract, always look to see what causes the rights revert back to you. To me it's a big red flag if it's entirely up to the manufacturer/publisher to decide when they're d

Robert Yusim - How Direct To Consumer Launches Lead To Brand Successes!

What do you do in the industry? Through my company Product Counsel, I work with consumer product companies, including many toy companies, to help launch their new innovations using direct-to-consumer strategies that include TV, Online & Social Media. Product Counsel also works with inventors to help license their inventions out to consumer product companies who then develop & launch those innovations. In many cases, Product Counsel will then assist the Licensee to launch the invention using the Direct-to-Consumer model. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? Well… it’s really a story about never knowing who you’re going to meet early in your career and how that good fortune

Eleanor Black - The secret to comedy is...

The secret to comedy is... As the well-known phrase goes, the secret to comedy is TIMING Timing is also part of the secret behind getting a toy licensed and manufactured. It can be the making or breaking of a concept. The moment of pure clarity, or total confusion. And I don't just mean needing to have your videos and prototypes ready and working with fresh batteries in time for your meetings! To it's Inventor, a good idea is ALWAYS a good idea, pure and simple. We're vain like that. But it's not just professional favouritism; There is something intrinsic and compelling about a good idea, it stands out. Like a Ditloid when you realise 'Of course 52 C in a P is 52 cards in a pack!' Sometimes

Shannon Swindle - Destiny, Carpool Karaoke, Keepin' It Saxy, Trapper Keeper and More!

(Shannon in China with Keepin' It Saxy production run.) What do you do in the industry? I am the Product & Communications Manager at Big G Creative, a board game publisher based in Nashville. My role includes a mixture of PR & Marketing, Product Development, Inventor Relations, Event Planning and Customer Support. It’s a dream job. Every day is different and I’m always learning something new! Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? In August 2014, my brother, Tim, reached out to me for help with an adult party game that he and his friend created called Utter Nonsense. At the time, they could only guarantee me four months of employment because they didn't know if the game w

Ken Gruhl - Documenting your Concepts

Documenting your concepts My best man at my wedding described me as the “both luckiest and least lucky person” that he knew, eventually alluding to meeting my wife as one of my life’s greatest strokes of luck. Another of these lucky moments was in the first year of my game design career, when I discovered the benefits of working on an abundance of ideas at the same time. In the following 9 years, this tactic for designing has paid many dividends, but none more important than the vast experience gained from processing and testing hundreds of game ideas every year. Part of honing this skill has been learning how to document my ideas in a way that keeps me on task and not be overwhelmed by the

Kate Gibson - Gibson Games 100 Years and Growing!

What do you do in the industry? I am Managing Director of Gibsons, a 100 year-old British, family company. We produce board games and jigsaw puzzles. What does your typical day look like? There isn’t a typical day really, but it always starts with a hot water and lemon (the strong coffee comes later!). Whether I am heading to the office early or dropping my children at school first, I always listen to the news on my way to work. I try and fit in time catching up with the team, as well as something for me – a run or Pilates class. Both are brilliant at clearing my head. What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you? I am hugely excited by the passion and drive for tradition

Joe Moll - the Zeroid Commander Action Set by Ideal, CAD, Change and More!

What do you do in the Industry? I have been working in the toy industry for more than 30 years on everything from action figures and dolls, playsets, collectibles, radio control, Matchbox and Hot Wheels vehicles, arts and crafts, and electronic learning toys. I have worked on products for most current major toy companies and others that unfortunately no longer exist as the industry has consolidated over the years. I’m currently the Director of Design, Innovation and Inventor Relations, at Crayola and am responsible for the design team and working with cross-functional teams to create innovative products, and review and manage submissions from outside inventors. I’m also part of the extended

Jenni Jalava - Martinex Family, Island Cottages, Winter and Music

What do you do in the industry? I am the product director at Martinex, a Finnish manufacturer and distributor of toys, games, clothing, giftware and housewares. I buy, sell, create, design, develop and manage the toys and games in our range. As this is a family business, and I am part of the family, I have also other responsibilities and I get to be part of many things happening in the company. That means every day is different and mostly very exciting! Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? I could say I was born to the industry. My grandfather, after whom the company was named after, imported toys to Finland. The original Martinex was sold to Brio, a Swedish toy company, i

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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