Toy & Game International Excellence Awards - the TAGIEs

Celebrating Excellence Worldwide! The Must Attend Event of the Year! 

Thank You to our Esteemed Sponsors! 

Move over Oscars, Emmys, CMA, the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards are taking the VIRTUAL center stage! This is a must attend event to celebrate your fellow toy and industry colleagues at the 13th annual TAGIE Awards and the after-party, POP's Got Talent! 

Host a  Watch Party with friends, colleagues and family! We will also be setting up 'tables' for the event so you can watch with your friends! 

You cannot miss out on this annual toy industry event and now you can experience it from the comfort of your home and share the excitement with friends and family! Fantastic stunts, animations and solid gold entertainment are planned for this year to make the TAGIES better than ever!  It’s a must “tune in” event where Everyone is invited!   Awards,  funny stunts, and more!!  Buy your tickets today as they are going fast!!! 

2019 TAGIE Award Honorees and Nominees






Bang Zoom Design for Rollin' Rovee with Fisher-Price, Squeakee with Moose Toys and Play-Doh Animal Crew and Cluck-A-Dee with Hasbro

Caleb Chung for Luvabella's Mealtime Magic Mia with Spin Master

David Yakos for Circuit Explorer Rocket, Circuit Explorer Rover and Circuit Explorer Deluxe Base Station with Educational Insights

Doreen Dotto & Melissa Cohen for Plush Pods by GUND (Unicorn, Shark, Dragon)

FunFare Team for Playful Pandas with Far Out Toys

Gil Zalayet and Ryan Kratz for Disney Pixar Toy Story Galaxy Explorer Spacecraft with Mattel & DC Batman Rapid Change Utility Belt 12 Inch Action Figure with Spin Master

Jason Loik for Play-Doh Builder with Hasbro

Jim McCafferty and the JMP Creative Team for Power Treads with WowWee

Liu Yingjian & Zing for Go Go Bird with Zing Toys

SG Labs and Bang Zoom Design for Rollin' Rovee with Fisher Price




Alex Tongue for The #UpsideDownChallenge Game by Vango Toys

Big Monster Toys for Burping Bobby and Rattlesnake by Goliath and Sky Score by Hasbro

Don Ullman, Jose and Hans Leal for Drone Home with PlayMonster

Gary Pyper for Windy Knickers with John Adams

JM and the Identity Games Product Development Team for Nightmare Horror Adventures; Welcome to Crafton Mansion

KID Group for Break The Board with YULU and Rubiks Perplexus with Spin Master

Nobuaki Ogihara, Robert Fuhrer and Alex Fuhrer for PUGLICIOUS with Mattel

Peggy Brown for My First Rush Hour with ThinkFun and Bye, Felicia and Who's the G.O.A.T. with Big G Creative

Tim Walsh for Mega Mouth with Big G Creative

Wai Or, Michael Kohner and Robert Fuhrer for for TRex Rocks with Hasbro



Alex Butler for Bold Made Game made by Hot Taco

Charlie Lowrey for Freckleball

Harrison Brooks for ElevatorUp

Kyle Levy and Bobby Becker for Barrier Battles

Lily Brown & Tait Hansen for Betcha Can't! by Pressman

Maayan for Queeng Playing Cards



Andreas Hoenigschmid for Shashibo with Fun In Motion Toys

Aron Lazarus for The Genius Star and Bee Genius with The Happy Puzzle Company

Chris Leder for Back to the Future: Dice Through Time with Ravensburger

Chris Haas and Scott Day for Paw Patrol Dino Patroller with Spin Master

Daniela and Christian Stöhr for Pictures with PD-Verlag

Ken Gruhl for Quarrel Reef with Mattel and for Mystic Market with ThinkFun

Mike Bender for Cringeworthy with Hasbro

Nathan Pyle for Sweet Existence with Hasbro

Scott Brady for Hues and Cues with The Op

Scott Pease and Jeff Swenty for Snap Ships with PlayMonster





David Yakos, Nicholas Cravotta, Rebecca Bleau and Steve Downer for Break In Alcatraz with PlayMonster

Design Edge and Fisher-Price Design Team for The Imaginext DC Super Friends Gotham City Pop-Up Playset

Fisher-Price Little People Brand Development Team for Little People Collector Series

Joey Lopez and Liesl Kadile for Circuit Explorer Rocket, Circuit Explorer Rover and Circuit Explorer Deluxe Base Station with Educational Insights

Marjorie Spitalnik for Marie Curie, Mary Jackson, Amelia Earhart and Malala Yousafzai Plushies by Little Rebels. Manufactured by Dac Toys

Nate Duval for Bye, Felicia! With Big G Creative

Richard North of WowStuff for Home Printable Face Masks

Ryan Noonan for Who's the G.O.A.T.? With Big G Creative

Sahad Rivera for Design & Drill Bolt Buddies with Educational Insights

Steve Rad for Professor Maxwell’s VR Science Lab with Abacus Brands



Fisher-Price and Mattel PR & Marketing Teams for Thank You Heroes Campaign

Goliath Marketing Team for Shit Happens 2020 Edition by Games Adults Play Campaign

Hasbro for their Bring Home the Fun Campaign

Hog Wild Toys Marketing Team and Freeman PR for Birdie Golf, Pop and Pass

LEGO Star Wars Team for LEGO Star Wars Episode 9 Campaign

The Joester Loria Group with Brilliant PR for the World of Eric Carle Magna-Tiles

LEGO Disney Girls Team for LEGO Disney Frozen II Sets

Mattel Games Team for UNO MINIMALISTA

Sabrina Cohen, Jill Selick for Rubik Marketing and Dave Malacrida of WowWee PR for BriteBrush GameBrush with WowWee

Yulu Marketing Team and PlayWise Partners for Swirl & Style Tie Dye Studio Maker






Amy Saldanha for Kiddywampus

Betty Skoke Burns for Angelina's Toy Boutique

Elizabeth Milford from Toys and Tales Australia

Kate Tanner for Kidstop Toys & Books

Matthew Poulson and Sarah Fowles for Ruckus & Glee

Rick Derr for Learning Express, Lake Zurich

Smyths Toys

Mastermind Toys

The Entertainer

Traci Lyden & Alana Turner for Poopsie's



Ad Magic

Blue Orange Games


Design Edge Global

Howard Fine, Attorney

JDH Sourcing Management Limited

Longshore Limited

The Creative Fold

Wild Republic Product Development

York Jersey Underwriters

Lifetime Achievement Honoree

Photograph by Richard Drew/AP

Ernõ Rubik, a professor from Budapest In Hungary, wanted to help his students understand three-dimensional problems.His solution? The Rubik’s Cube! 

Ernố’s prototype Cube did things that the world hadn’t seen before. It twisted and turned and yet it didn’t break. Adding 54 colorful stickers to the six sides gave the puzzle its iconic look. When Ernố Rubik built his first Cube, it took him over a month to solve it. At the time, he didn’t know that his “Magic Cube” – “Buvos Kocka” in Hungarian – would take the world by storm. The “Magic Cube” was demonstrated at a variety of international toy fairs, including London, Paris and New York. In September 1979, the puzzle was spotted in Nuremberg by toy specialist Tom Kremer, who could immediately see the power and potential of the Cube. Tom Kremer’s passion and belief in the Cube convinced the Ideal Toy Company to distribute the “Magic Cube.” They wanted one important change… a new name! The newly-named Rubik’s Cube’s global launch took place in 1980 and the rest is history. 

Celebration of Life and Lifetime Achievement

Norman and Arlene Fabricant. Inventors of countless toys and games are most know for Dr. Drill 'n Fill (Hasbro). Sadly we lost Arlene in April. 

Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Humanitarian Award

The Roachy Fund. The Roachy Fund's mission is to help others follow their dream to “make art and play games.” The Fund will provide scholarships to college bound students who plan on pursuing a degree in art and/or game design. The scholarship was established to honor Alan Roach, a loved and respected leader in the toy and game industry. Alan’s creativity and love for games brought so much joy to the world. He was filled with eternal enthusiasm for gaming, laughing and life itself. Even in sickness, Alan never lost his sense of humor and desire to make every day as fun as possible. In the final months of his life, Alan shared that all he really wanted to do was to “make art and play games.” The Roachy Fund Scholarship was established to help others who share his passions and to honor his legacy.​

TAGIE Awards Host

Our host of the evening is Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, Disney Parks Experiences & Products, located in Glendale, CA, for the past five years where she is responsible for managing Disney’s global construction category across key brands such as Star Wars, Marvel and Frozen. Karri comes with more than 10 years of experience in the toy industry, previously in global brand management creating unique and exciting products in the games category at Hasbro and Spin Master.

TAGIE Awards Keynote

join us in welcoming  JoAnn McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Hardlines Product Development, Disney Parks Experiences & Products.

JoAnn is responsible for delivering product innovation and development for Disney and Marvel-branded Toys and other products, and leading a team of pioneering designers and creatives. 

Prior to joining Disney Consumer Products, JoAnn held various executive-level positions at Marvel Entertainment, most recently executive vice president of Merchandising and Promotional Partner Services. Her career highlights also include key roles at Toy Biz, Matchbox Toys and Child Guidance, a division of CBS Toys.

TAGIE Awards Introduction to Keynote

Jesse Falcon, Director of Merchandising at Marvel Entertainment introduces JoAnn. 

2020 TAGIE Presenters

Leslie Scott is Founder of Oxford Games, inventor of Jenga and much more! To mention just a few things she is noted for: prolific board game designer, founder trustee of The Smithsonian UK Charitable Trust, speaking Swahili and author best known as the inventor of the game Jenga, which she launched at the London Toy Fair 1983. Born in Africa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and grew up in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. Scott was educated in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Oxford. In 1991, she founded Oxford Games Ltd, which her daughter Freddie is now proudly President. 

Ken Johnson, Inventor of Phase 10 and more! is big success came in 1982 when Ken set out to design a new card game. Upon seeing the success of Uno, he wanted to design a card game that could achieve similar success. After just a couple of days sequestered in his apartment, he came up with the Phase 10 card game. His first customers included K-Mart and Meijer stores. In 1987 Ken licensed the manufacturing and distribution rights of Phase 10 and began receiving royalties from the worldwide sales. It is now produced by Mattel, is sold in over 30 countries, and is the 2nd best selling card game in the world.

In 2012, Ken was nominated for a TAGIE award – the Oscar of the Toy and Game industry. Ken lives in Franklin, Michigan with his wife of 18 years and their 7 year old son. He currently owns two other businesses. Ken has been a guest speaker at inventor clubs across the country, and provides support and resources for inventors.

Robert Pasin heads Radio Flyer Inc., the business founded by his grandfather in 1917.  Radio Flyer is an iconic brand that holds a special place in people's hearts because it instantly transports them to a happy time — to the best parts of childhood.  Robert works with a wonderful group of passionate "Flyers" whose mission is to create products that bring smiles to kids of all ages and to create warm memories that last a lifetime.  Company sales have grown significantly as a result of Robert’s focus on building a highly committed and creative team.  The product line has expanded beyond the iconic Little Red Wagon™ to include tricycles, scooters, and other ride-ons featuring innovative, beautiful, playful design. Robert is the Emmy winning producer of the animated short film, Taking Flight, and author of the national bestseller book, Radio Flyer: 100 Years of America’s Little Red Wagon.

Alan Hassenfeld, Chairman Executive Committee Hasbro

Anton Rabie, Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Spin Master Ltd.

Musical Entertainment 

Matt Nuccio and Dan Klitsner are getting the band back together! More musically talented toy people to be announced... we have an extraordinary industry!

TAGIE Stunts Performed By...

Robert "Bob" Fuhrer is an award-winning toy and game developer. Since 1981, his company, Nextoy, has developed hundreds of products, including Crocodile Dentist, Gator Golf, iTop and the internationally acclaimed KenKen Puzzle.  Bob is best known for helping inventors and Japanese toy companies bring product to market, and for collaborating with the worldwide creative community.    His dad Len Fuhrer and brother David have both had impressive careers in the toy world, and now his son Alex has joined the Nextoy family! Bob is an active philanthropist, and currently sits on the boards of Make-A-Wish and Evan's Team. He and his wife Judy live in New York and are proud parents of three grown children.

Gary Swisher is EVP of Design at Spin Master. Gary started his toy career working on a favorite from his childhood, “Hot Wheels” and “played” with that brand for 16 years. He left Mattel and went to the wild and crazy world of Jakks Pacific where he and his Marketing partner Jamie Wood built the Road Champs line into an Xtreme sports mecca. He and Jamie then started Best Pals, where he got to use every last ounce of his Design skills to create a broad line of toys, led by a Six Flags Roller Coaster and a Big Foot Monster truck or two! In 2005 Mattel bought their assets, and brought them both back in. Gary then had the good fortune of working under Richie Weintraub, an industry icon who taught him about being a good Design leader. When Richie retired, Tim Kilpin gave Gary the chance to lead Creative for all of Boys, Girls and Games at Mattel. He also helped integrate MEGA Bloxs into the Mattel family, ran Games under Susie Lecker, and ran Inventor relations. Gary has now started a new chapter at the most innovative toy company in the world, Spin Master, he is the global leader of the Design and Visual Branding teams working under Ben Varadi.

Robert Victor, President of Kite and Rocket. Robert founded Kite and Rocket on the belief that the best way to attract world-class engineers is to create an extraordinary workspace and propose compelling challenges.  Nearly a decade of activity in the toy industry has proven that to be true.  Kite and Rocket is now expanding its inventive efforts to include products on the opposite end of the age spectrum as well, with a focus on mobility and home accessibility.    

Phil Sage, Senior Director : Product Development, Design & Inventor Relations at Hasbro. Phil is Director of Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations at Hasbro. Discovering the world’s next best play experiences, empowering others, innovating next generation people, process and product. A toy designer, technologist and business builder, his career talents and curiosity were quite evident at a young age, compiling RC car motors, fishing wire and 9v batteries … into elaborate masking tape bound lawnmowers, his love affair with the most magical of industries spans 14+ years, constantly creating, adopting a global philosophy of partnering with the best resources or experts in the world

NEW THIS YEAR - TAGIE After Party! POP’s Got Talent! 

NEW this year!!!!!  POP – People of Play Have Talent!!    This first of its kind toy industry talent show will be hosted by brothers Robert and David Fuhrer of Nextoy and BlueSquare Innovation.   This after party is one you want to witness-POP Party features an eclectic group of talent from the toy and game industry including... 

Jim McCafferty of JMP Creative will attempt the most dangerous escape of his life!

Jay Horowitz on the piano! You may have read about Jay and his family in TTPM's All in the Family Series

Jane Labowitch is a full-time Chicago-based Etch A Sketch artist whose professional nom de plume is Princess Etch

  • Steve Casino. Toy Inventor with Bang Zoom – Painter of Nuts

  • Kevin Daniels. President and co-founder of Fun In Motion Toys - Fire Whip Performance

  • Andreas Hoenigschmid, Inventor and Artist,  GeoBender - Fire Dancing

  • Randy Klimpert, Chief Creative at Creata - Ukulele and Guitar Collection

  • Alexa Meade, creator of large scale 3D painted installations

  • Jim McCafferty, Founder of JMP Creative - Magic

  • Mark Setteducati, Professional inventor and Magician – Magic

  • Tim Walsh, Scott Brown, Chris Callaghan from Roo Games, Winners of ASTRAS’s Lip Sync Battle

  • Jane Labowitch, aka Princess Etch,  is a full-timeEtch A Sketch artist 

  • Danny Kishon, All in 1, Performing Magic to Amaze

  • Jay Horowitz, President of American Classic Toy, Piano

  • David Fuhrer, President of BlueSquare Innovations, Backwards Talking

  • Joseph Herscher and Joseph's Machines! Kinetic Artist and YouTuber

Randy Klimpert of Creata shares his story of collecting ukes

Danny Kishon from All in 1 will A few minutes of Magic to amuse and hopefully amaze...

Kevin Daniels of Fun in Motion Toys with 

Fire Whips! 

Mark Setteducati, inventor, magician and author will be perform a demonstration of stealing cards from a game without noticing they are missing! 

2020 ASTRA Toy Sync Battle Winning Video for Down Under by Men at Work. Tapping into our company's Aussie Roots and taking home the coveted Toy Sync Battle Belt!  

Joseph Herscher and Joseph's Machines! 

Kinetic Artist and YouTuber

Attend the TAGIEs in 2020!

Don't miss out on an extraordinary evening! Join us at the TAGIEs for an elegant and fun celebration of innovation and People of Play! Watch the inventors, innovators and the toy & game industry behind your favorite toys and games!

Thank You to our TAGIE Awards Committee

Chair: Karri Bean - Senior Manager, Licensing at Disney Consumer Products,  Experiences and Consumer Products

Robert Fuhrer - Owner at Nextoy LLC and KenKen Puzzle

Richard Gill - Chief Explorer Monster, PlayMonster International

Brent Rolland - Event Producer/DJ at Fig Media, Musician, Host/Producer: FANPOWER Game Shows

Robert Victor - Founder, Kite and Rocket Research

Tim Walsh - Co-Founder, Roo Games; Filmmaker, Author, Designer, Creative Consultant, The Playmakers

Kaye White - President of Visual Playthings

Mary Couzin - President, Chicago Toy & Game Group

Here's What Happened in 2019!

Pictures from 2019 TAGIEs