2019 TOY AND GAME INNOVATION (TAGIE) AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT 17th ANNUAL CHICAGO TOY & GAME W
2019 TOY AND GAME INNOVATION (TAGIE) AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT 17th ANNUAL CHICAGO TOY & GAME WEEK
CHICAGO, Ill., December 3, 2019 – The Chicago Toy & Game Group revealed the winners of the 12th annual TAGIE Awards, recognizing top toy and game innovators from around the world. The TAGIE Awards are the preeminent awards program honoring innovation and excellence in the toy and game industry. Winners were announced at a playful Gala event, The Power of Magic, on November 22, 2019 at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom in Chicago.
Attended by almost 500, the Gala event kicked-off with magic, music and a rocket with industry innovators in the spotlight. Mark Setteducati (magician, author and inventor of magic, illusions, games and puzzles), John Railing (magician and author) and Max Temkin (magician and Co-Founder of Cards Against Humanity) impressed attendees with their magic tricks, while music was enjoyed by Skip Towne and the Greyhounds, along with Jay Horowitz on piano. In addition, Robert Victor, and his team at Kite and Rocket Research, led the inaugural launch of their latest creation, the World’s Largest Kid-Powered Rocket.
The awards program was hosted by Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, Disney Parks Experiences & Products, and the new Star Wars D-O Remote Control Droid by Hasbro also made a special appearance on stage. The keynote address was delivered by Richard Dickson, President & COO of Mattel and the evening was culminated with the Lifetime Achievement Award honoring industry legend Ivan Moscovich.
“The TAGIE Awards Gala is always an inspiring evening as we celebrate the amazing innovators behind some of the most successful toys and games,” said Mary Couzin, Founder and President, Chicago Toy & Game Group. “This year was especially memorable as Ivan Moscovich shared his life journey from surviving concentration camps as a teenager, to becoming one of the most prolific inventors in the industry over the past seven decades.”
The official 2019 Toy and Game Innovation (TAGIE) Award winners are:
TOY INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by American Specialty Toy Retailing Association; ASTRA)
Ryan Kratz and Gil Zalayet for Imaginext® DC Super Friends™ Transforming Batmobile™ RC Vehicle (Mattel)
GAME INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by The Michael Kohner Corporation)
Kane Klenko for Pandemic: Rapid Response (Z-Man Games), Cosmic Factory (Gigamic), Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken (Minion Games), Proving Grounds (Renegade Game Studios), Slap It! (Renegade Game Studios)
RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
Urtis Šulinskas for Planet (Blue Orange) and Pigasus (Brain Games)
YOUNG INVENTOR OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Hasbro)
Ellie Skalla for Galactiquest (Goliath)
INNOVATIVE ARTS & VISUALS OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Oxford Games)
Christian Castro for New Phone Who Dis? (What Do You Meme)
INNOVATIVE MARKETING TEAM OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Rummikub)
LEGO Marvel Team for LEGO Marvel Avengers End Game Construction Sets by LEGO Campaign
INNOVATIVE RETAILER OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by The Toy Association)
Exploding Kittens for Throw Throw Burrito Kickstarter
In addition to the winners determined through nominations and public voting, honors were given in the following closed categories:
Lifetime Achievement Honoree Award (Sponsored by Mattel)
Ivan Moscovich, a five-time concentration camp survivor and one of the most prolific inventors in the industry. He has licensed 111 puzzles, toys and games, and written 69 books, and was the founder and director of the Tel Aviv Science Museum, which was the inspiration for the San Francisco Exploratorium. It was at the Tel Aviv Science Museum, where he met Elliot and Ruth Handler, the founders of Mattel and designed the popular Brain Drain series for them.
Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Humanitarian Award (Sponsored by Hassenfeld Family Initiatives)
Spin Master for The Toy Movement
Hasbro for sustainable packaging commitment
Disney for Disney Team of Heroes
In Memoriam (Sponsored by ThinkFun)
The following creatives who have passed were recognized: Theo Coster, Alan Roach, Jerry Robson, Loren Taylor, Beau James, Emanuel Winston, Abe Mor, Dominic Laurienzo, Tom Kremer, Jerry Welch, Len Clark, Bill Dorman, Charles Lazarus, Omri Rothschild, Jim Muntz and Ted Kiesewetter
Mattel was the presenting sponsor for this year’s TAGIEs Gala. Other sponsors include Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Oxford Games, Hassenfeld Family Initiatives, ASTRA, Nextoy, Rummikub, Exploding Kittens, The Toy Association, Longshore, ThinkFun and Cartamundi, among others. Exploding Kittens created unexpected excitement with their Throw Throw Burrito game demonstration in Grandma’s Dining Room with ‘exploding’ glass.
About the Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. promotes and hosts initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments. Chicago Toy & Game Group initiatives include the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), the Toy & Game Innovation Awards (the TAGIEs), Inventor Conferences for New and Professional Inventors and Product Acquisition Executives, the Young Inventor Challenge, the Play in Education Conference and the Chicago Toy & Game Foundation. For more information, visit www.chitag.com.