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. 

Brady Peterson: From Licensor to Setting Up Shop(ify) - tBR Person of the Week

My inventor life began around 10 years ago when I began tinkering away on a magnetic toy that was to become my first pitch, to Mindware at CHITAG in 2014. I was very fortunate and licensed the toy soon after the meeting, which went on to become MagnaMix, and even more fortunate that it remains on store shelves to this day. So, let me dwell a little bit on CHITAG. I’m sure most of you have heard of it and many have attended, but it was CHITAG that single handedly set me off on my inventing journey. Since that first conference, where I attended as a new inventor, I’ve gone on to license around a dozen toys and games to the likes of Mindware, Marbles (now owned by Spin Master), and Fat Brain

tBR Company of the Week: The Creative Fold

With contractor and freelancer employment on the rise, the 2020 workforce continues to evolve toward a more dominant gig economy. The Creative Fold, launched in 2018 by a group of seasoned toy industry professionals including Jodi Meusel and Katie LaSeur, started at just the right time. With their efficient gig-style service offering, this team of experts specializing in graphic design, product development, industrial design, and manufacturing are creative problem solvers at their core. Their remote team scattered across the U.S. takes on both short-term and long-term projects and seamlessly integrates with their partners to maximize creative capacity and increase output. While reflecting on

Karen Klein: Define Yourself. tBR Person of the Week

Define yourself, know what you can provide and especially what you can’t provide and always look for Integration! Who am I? So much and so little… Professional Agent and Consultant in the Toy market, providing sales, strategy, and distribution services to new, small & medium companies Mom blogger writing about conscious parenting, skill building and the love of play Mindful-Mom, biological and foster, each with a different experience and learning World-lover: Born in France and lived there until age of 14, then moved to California, Czech Republic and Israel. Traveled to Cuba and Kenya in a special way (more can be read in my blog) Active socially, especially about kids When giving my elevato

Camp Bonkers - The Bloom Report Company of the Week

Heading into 2020, WindSunSky Entertainment, the creative team behind smash hits like Angry Birds, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Ice Age, was working hard on content and technology to support a new entertainment platform for kids being developed for release in 2021. As part of this effort, the group had shot and edited a handful of videos under the banner “Camp Bonkers.” When COVID-19 hit and summer camps across the country began sending cancellation notices to families, the team knew that they had an obligation to rapidly pivot to bring Camp Bonkers to families in time for this summer. Now, WindSunSky is expanding the reach of Camp Bonkers through a partnership with Fingerprint Digital. Finger

YOUNG INVENTOR SPRING CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

Press Contact: Emily Blosser emily@brilliantprm.com 404.434.2103 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THE CHICAGO TOY AND GAME GROUP’S YOUNG INVENTOR CHALLENGE WINNERS INCLUDE EVERYTHING FROM BATTLING PUZZLEBOTS TO AN INVENTION THAT HELPS KIDS SAFELY HIGH-FIVE IN THE AGE OF COVID-19 CHICAGO, IL (July 22, 2020) -- The Chicago Toy & Game Group, along with sponsors Mattel, Magformers, Scholastic and the American Specialty Retailer Association (ASTRA) are proud to announce the winners of the CHITAG Young Inventor Challenge: Spring Edition. Launched in May in response to COVID-19, this special edition of CHITAG’s annual fall Young Inventors Challenge gave kids the opportunity to develop their own original toy a

David Snow - Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle, Sugarpuffs, DJ Koco and More!

What exactly do you do in the industry? I am the co owner of The Fantastic Factory with my partner Steve Evans, we design create and manufacture games and gifts. My role is co inventing, marketing, finance, sales, contract work, forward planning, tea making and firefighting. Steve does all the nice bits, but he does it very well. What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you? I see a lot of exciting things in games. Covid -19 whilst awful has seen more and more people playing games, which is a good thing. So what we have to work out is how we provide great experiences that deliver the three immortal words “lets play again”. This is the exciting part, so many more people pl

Tim Kilpin - I’m a very proud elf.  Every Christmas morning...

(Tim Kilpin, showing his roots as a Wisconsin Cheesehead) MC: So how long have you been in the toy industry? TK: 38 years. Well, minus 1 year for the time that I —like a crazy person — went to a Dotcom startup. MC: Gosh, how have you managed to stay in the business that long? TK: I didn’t, actually. I retired. Twice. Didn’t stick. So here I am again. MC: When did you know that toys was ‘it’ for you? TK: Well, I loved it from the first day. How can you not? My first job at Mattel was naming Masters of the Universe characters, and helping to write the mini-comics that came with the toys. If you have a creative bone in your body, that kind of work is going to be pretty appealing.

Company of the Week: PlayMonster, Big on Fun!

In 2016, PlayMonster went through a major rebrand that would launch the company to new heights. Over the next 4 years, the company expanded their brands and made some engaging games and toys like Relative Insanity, My Fairy Garden and Yeti in My Spaghetti. They even acquired successful companies like SET games, Interplay and Kahootz Toys. Clearly, PlayMonster has always had a wonderful culture of growth. So, it was no surprise when PlayMonster released its newest opportunity to grow! In July 2020, the company blasted itself into the world of building toys and action play with the stellar Snap Ships! Brand Manager Sakita Withers said, “Snap Ships is PlayMonster’s entry into the action-constru

Person of the Week! Alex Tongue, Founder and CEO, Vango Toys

Today’s Millennials and Gen-Z’ers are driving higher interest in entrepreneurship, according to a recent article in Forbes, with over 50% of the working population now believing that there are actually good opportunities out there to start companies. Alex Tongue is very much part of that trend. As the 27-year-old Founder and CEO of the new Vango Toys, the freedom and reward of starting his own company led this Millennial to launch his business in 2019. His first product, The #UpsideDownChallenge Game, hits retail this month. The premise: players are asked to perform seemingly simple tasks, like write their name, connect dots or give a high five, but while wearing a special pair of goggles th

Naomi Brugnatelli - Don’t be Intimidated by Presenting to the “BIG GUYS”

What exactly do you do in the industry? I have the privilege of being the Sr. Inventor Relations brand representative for Mattel Games. I’m constantly on the hunt for new innovative game ideas. Some would say that I’m the gatekeeper between the inventor community and the Mattel Games team. I like to think that first and foremost, I am an inventor advocate. I will always be the first smiling face that the inventors will see when meeting with Mattel Games for the first time. What advice can you give to inventors who are presenting new toy or game ideas to you? Don’t be intimidated by presenting to the “BIG GUYS”. We are just a bunch of goofy game lovers, and we really want to see you succeed.

Schleich Unveils Winner of its Power of Imagination Photo Contest From More than 5,000 Global Entrie

Schleich® USA (pronounced Sh-like), the world’s leading manufacturer of animal figurines, today reveals the winner of its Power of Imagination Photo Contest. Fans were asked to submit original photos depicting stories inspired by imaginative playtime with Schleich figurines and playsets. After receiving over 5,000 stunning photo entries globally, 1500+ of which came from the US, over 1,000 votes went to Rosa, age 15 from Herriman Utah, who depicted a series of Schleich Horse Club characters looking out over a desert expanse along with their pet dog. “We were so excited to take this next step in our Power of Imagination campaign and ask kids to help remind grownups just how spectacular and vi

Leila Nosrati: Pitching & the Pandemic: Think Like a Buyer, Pitch Like a Pro - COVID-19 Edition

“Just because you don’t have to wear pants when you pitch doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.” If someone gave you this advice last year, when you were preparing to pitch your new products, you might have wondered about their well-being. Well, you also might have wondered the same if they told you that this year you’d be figuring out how to pitch “virtually,” all while home-schooling your offspring and trying to survive a global pandemic. Yet, here we are. So now we need few updates to “Think Like a Buyer, Pitch Like a Pro.” Let’s not bury the lede -- your "Journalism 101" assignment remains the same, meaning your pitch should get to the point quickly and cover the story completely: Headline & Subti

Company of Week: Learning Resources, Educational Insights and hand2mind Support Educators, Parents a

As schools began to close in March due to concerns around COVID-19, a family of award-winning companies, including Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind, launched a range of complimentary, family-friendly online resources and activities to keep kids productive and engaged as they transitioned to distance learning. These tools provided parents the assistance needed as they quickly took on additional responsibilities as in-home teachers, including lesson plans and advice, do-it-yourself projects and videos, along with printable activities and worksheets for kids of all ages. The companies’ combined efforts of creating 8,500 individual assets resulted in more than two million

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+