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. 

Marvel's Jesse Falcon - Don’t be afraid to fail!

What exactly do you do in the industry? I oversee the PD side of all hardlines items worldwide for Marvel, so toys, collectibles, construction, consumer electronics, novelty & I look over the O&O business for Marvel that are sold through Disney. What is your claim to fame in the industry? Probably the work that came out of working with the TOY BIZ team. I developed the Marvel Legends line and developed products for all of the Marvel movies from back in 1994. Those include the original X-Mem/ Spider-Man/ F4/ Hulk / Daredevil / Blade trilogy, As well as the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy toys. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? I started making my own toys when I was v


Press Contact: Emily Blosser | | 404.434.2103 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FIRST WAVE OF PANELS ANNOUNCED FOR 2020 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION SUMMIT Headliners include current and former presidents of Mattel, Spin Master Founders and legendary inventors Reuben Klamer and Eddy Golfarb CHICAGO, IL (September 23, 2020) -- People of Play, formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group, is excited to announce its first wave of notable speakers and keynotes for the Toy & Game International Innovation Summit November 16-20. Sponsored by Longshore Limited, this virtual education and networking event focused on the toy and game inventing community will cover a wide range of t

Richard Derr: History Says a lot about the Future - tBR Person of the Week

Think back to the first week in March 2020. Just after New York Toy Fair and pumped up for another year in the Toy Biz. Then……Covd-19 came and a global pandemic. Now what? It was so new and confusing at the time for all of us. I took a stab at writing the following March 12, 2020 to our 100+ Learning Express Toy stores in hopes to prepare them what “might” come based on history. My experiences. Here is what was written. “What we could expect…… the toy industry. History says a lot about times like these. I put on my Nielsen research hat from 25 years ago to look at what happens in times of much uncertainty as we're seeing with the spread of the coronavirus and the disease it causes

Vinnie D’Alleva – Collector, Curator, Captain America

Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? My undergraduate thesis in graphic design led me to project work in the toy industry centered around transforming robots. What a great introduction, right? From that experience, I determined my first job would be in toys. And it was. I joined Monogram/Revell Model Kits toy division outside of Chicago. How did your career evolve? I started my career in marketing and product development and, over time, moved into other aspects of the business. Today, I serve as the Chief Brand & Commercial Officer at TOMY, heading up sales, marketing and communications. I look to learn and grow every day because there’s so much more I want to do in the in

David Preti, COO of CMON - Looking to the Bright Future of Board Games

David Preti - Looking to the Bright Future of Board Games The tabletop gaming industry has seen double digit growth for nearly two decades straight with no sign of slowing down. Roughly ten board games are released per day and many are calling this the "Golden Age of Tabletop." We spoke with CMON's COO, David Preti about what it means to be a major part of an industry coming into its own. FIRST UP, HOW ARE YOU AND CMON DOING DURING THE PANDEMIC? I'm happy to say, very busy. On one hand, we've continued to work at full speed on our upcoming games. We have staff and freelancers all over the world, and while no one has been unaffected by the virus, so much of what we do is behind the scenes,

Christina Callaghan - I’ve been in the Toy Industry since birth…

What exactly do you do in the industry? I am the International Sales Director of Tree Toys Corporation [Taiwan]. I work closely with all of our International retailers and distributors. It’s my job to pitch new products, sell in store concepts and spread brand awareness for both Wild Science and Roo Games. At the moment my job is quite heavily focused on Amazon UK and the US. Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry? In a weird way, I’ve kind of been in the Toy Industry since birth… My Dad, Dennis, started Tree Toys 33 years ago and likes to tell people that I have been attending Hong Kong Toy Fair since I was 6 years old. Toy Fairs obviously don’t allow children into the shows

Ryan Logan and Steve Starobinsky: from Big Brothers, Little Brothers to Industry Colleagues

(Steve Starobinsky (11 years of age) and Ryan Logan while part of the Big Brother, Little Brother program) Editor's Note: This is one of the best stories in our industry! Most of you know Ryan Logan and Steve Starobinsky, but do you know how they met? You can hear more about their story in their Kid@Heart episode and read their five questions for one another here! -Mary First Steve has some questions for Ryan... Steve: Ryan, what led up to you signing the documents to become a big brother? And was it what you thought it was going to be? RYAN: I have 2 younger sisters, I always thought it would be cool to have a younger brother. I looked into it in Minneapolis, but then moved to LA. I

Ultra Pro Entertainment: tBR Company of the Week

The evolution of a 70 year old company Ultra PRO International LLC ("Ultra PRO") was founded in 1952 with the idea of keeping your prized possessions safe. As a privately-held, family-owned company with head offices near Los Angeles, California, we have been designing and manufacturing top quality products since 1952, and our brands are recognized for their high quality standards and design innovations. With humble beginnings in photo albums and photo pages, the company quickly grew a reputation for keeping valuables safe. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, with the rise of sports card collecting, the company added storage solutions for these valuable items, quickly expanding into the growing market

Joey Lopez: What's my Visual Design Process? tBR Person of the Week

Hello, toy people! My name is Joey Lopez, and I’m a design manager at Educational Insights. This medium-sized toy company has some deep history, the kind you have to respect as well as live up to—and I feel it is my duty to do all I can to help keep this brand’s standards wildly high. My design process starts with gathering information, inspiration, a little market research, but mostly—a lot of visuals. I think about what’s out there, what was done 100 years ago that isn’t around anymore, what I WISH the toys I had as a kid COULD do but didn’t. Oh yeah, and how to keep it under budget—but that isn’t always the end of an idea. So, a budget isn’t always a hindrance. Sometimes that small budget

Liesl Kadile: What's My Visual Design Process? tBR Person of the Week

Hey-O! My name is Liesl Kadile and I am a Design Manager at Educational Insights! My goal at this company is to make pretty fun things, and have fun doing it, of course! I’m sure we can all agree that design should be driven by the end user, so a little research and a lot of empathy go a long way. I start my process of visual design by determining: 1 - What is it? (This question is often more difficult than it sounds.) 2 - Who is it for? (I mean, really, is this toy for a 3-year-old, or is it so mom can have an hour to herself?) 3 - Why do they want it? (Bait and switch! What is the point of differentiation?) 4 - How will they use it? (This includes EVERY step from opening the box to reading


Press Contact: Emily Blosser | | 404.434.2103 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VOTING NOW OPEN FOR THE TOY AND GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE (TAGIE) AWARDS 13th Annual Toy and Game Industry Awards Program is Bigger than Ever with Eight Categories and 80 Nominees and Honorees! CHICAGO, IL (September 16, 2020) -- People of Play, the international toy and game community leader formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group, is announcing the finalists for the 2020 Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIES). The 13th annual TAGIE Awards will honor the best innovators, designers, marketers, retailers and suppliers in the toy and game industry. This year’s awards, sponsored by

Scott Houdashell and Curtis McGill Share the Hey Buddy Hey Pal Story - tBR Company of the Week!

Entertainment enthusiasts have found delight in finding the “Easter Eggs” in films, video games and television shows. The hunt is not dissimilar to the thrill kids have when on their yearly Easter egg hunts, looking for the egg that hasn’t quite been discovered yet. For years, the ritual of egg decorating hasn’t changed. Kids dunk eggs in smelly and messy dye, affix stickers, draw with a wax pencil. That’s how toy company Hey Buddy Hey Pal and their Original EggMazing Egg Decorator came to market. In 2015, Scott Houdashell and his best friend Curtis McGill were sitting around a kitchen table, watching their kids and family members dye their Easter eggs. The excitement just wasn’t there – the

Randy Klimpert: Form Follows Funny - tBR Person of the Week

Me: What if we did a Monopoly game just for cheaters? Hasbro Exec: You’re joking. Me: Exactly. And that’s why we should do it. A guy walks into a doctor’s office with a duck on his head. Doctor: What’s the problem? Duck: Hey Doc, can you get this guy off my butt? We laugh at the unexpected. Everyone goes to the doctor, but no one expects the duck’s point of view. Monopoly is familiar to everyone. You know it’s a family board game about making money in real estate. And because it’s a game, you know it’s about following rules. To make a version about cheating is unexpected. That’s known as “benign violation” in the humor analysis biz. Cheating is contrary to game etiquette, but it’s al

Claire Haasl: Finding Joy During a Pandemic - tBR Person of the Week

Holy plot twist, Batman! We are living through quite the experience, am I right? We have had to adapt time and time again during the last 6 months, and that has been overwhelming for many of us. For me, the past 6 months have reminded me of the year before 6th grade when I decided to go to basketball camp. If you have ever gone to basketball camp as a novice, you might relate to that feeling of constantly being thrown balls that you need to catch and then wield down the court, the bouncing back and forth. The pivoting! Man, have I had to pivot these last few months! We all have. So many things look different. Even the way we play, and play together. My organization, the David L. Hoyt Educati

Marianne Szymanski - It’s fair to say I’m always thinking about toys!

What exactly do you do in the industry? Marianne Szymanski is the Founder of Toy Tips ( Creator and Professor of Entrepreneurship of the Toy Industry at the University of Southern California. Moderator of the the TOY Skills Club at USC. What is your claim to fame in the industry? Unbiased reivews of toys through an independent lens of academic toy test research. 3 decades of toy testing! Frequent Media Guest and 8 years as the Toy Guest on Good Morning America with Charlie Gibson, Spencer Christian and Joan Lunden. How and why did you get into the Toy and Game industry? I thought of the idea for Toy Tips while standing on a ladder at Toy R US in Madison, WI. My goal was to be

Ishkabibbles - Just for Fun!  

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