CHITAG REBRANDS AS PEOPLE OF PLAY (POP) AND ANNOUNCES WEEK OF VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING TO KICK-OFF THE 2020 HOLIDAY SEASON

 

 

Press Contact: 

Emily Blosser | emily@brilliantprm.com | 404.434.2103

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

 

THE CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP REBRANDS AS PEOPLE OF PLAY (POP) AND ANNOUNCES WEEK OF VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING TO

KICK-OFF THE 2020 HOLIDAY SEASON

 

CHICAGO, IL (August 19, 2020) -- The Chicago Toy & Game Group (CHITAG), the organization known for championing toy and game innovators around the world and celebrating their achievements at iconic industry events including CHITAG Week, the Innovation Conferences, the Young Inventor Challenge and the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards, is rebranding under the name People of Play (POP). 

 

Led by Mary Couzin who founded the Chicago Toy & Game Group in 2003, People of Play will continue the mission of promoting innovation, creativity and connectivity in the toy and game industry. 

 

“While Chicago continues to be our homebase, we believe the name People of Play better describes the vast reach of our organization.,” said Couzin. “Over the last two decades, CHITAG has grown to connect tens of thousands of incredible inventors, brands, distributors, retailers, PR agencies, suppliers, media and influencers from all over the world. We believe community is at the heart of this organization and People of Play will continue to be a leader in fostering an environment of support and collaboration.” 

 

The organization’s inaugural event, CHITAG Presents People of Play Week kicks off Monday, November 16th with an exciting virtual line-up of workshops, awards and entertainment. 

 

Schedule of Events:

 

Toy & Game International Innovation Summit 

Monday, November 16th-Friday, November 20th

 

The world’s largest toy and game innovation conference is going virtual, making it more accessible than ever! Over 5 days, everyone is invited to participate in workshops, networking and pitching ideas. 

 

Headlining this year’s conference is our Leaders and Legends talks with some of the top performers in the industry including: 

  • Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel.

  • Jill Barad, one of the first four Fortune 500 CEOs and known for setting Barbie on a trajectory of unmatched success with her WE Girls campaign back in the 80’s.

  • Tom Kalinske, formerly the president of Sega, Mattel and LeapFrog, now the Executive Chairman of Mixed Dimensions.

  • Eddy Goldfarb, who’s credited with inventing over 800 toys and games including his first invention Yakity Yak Teeth as well as KerPlunk and Hydro Strike. 

  • Reuben Klamer, the inventor of more than 200 products including the classic Fisher-Price Preschool Trainer Skates and Hasbro’s The Game of Life

  • Neil Friedman, formerly President of Alex Brands, ToysRUs, Mattel, Fisher-Price and Tyco Preschool and now an industry consultant.

 

Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIES) 

Friday Evening, November 20th

 

Grab your favorite drink or two and toast your fellow industry colleagues at the 13th annual TAGIE Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the toy and game industry. 

 

Some of the highlights of this year’s amazing virtual show include: 

  • Honoring Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. 

  • Norman and Arlene Fabricant for Celebration of Life and Lifetime Achievement

  • Awarding TAGIEs in 8 categories including Toy and Game Innovators of the Year, Rising Star and new category, Most Innovative Supplier. 

 

Coming back for a second year of hosting duties is Karri Bean, Senior Manager, Licensing at Disney Consumer Products, Experiences and Consumer Products. Her colleague JoAnn McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Hardlines Product Development, Disney Parks Experiences & Products, will deliver the keynote.

 

NEW THIS YEAR! POP’s Got Talent 

Late Friday Evening, November 20th

 

Hosted by brothers Robert and David Fuhrer of Nextoy, LLC and BlueSquare Innovations respectively, the After-POP Party features an eclectic group of talent from the toy and game industry including: 

  • Steve Casino and his amazing peanut art!

  • Magic by Jim McCafferty of JMP Creative, Danny Kishon of All in 1 Products and magician and inventor Mark Setteducati 

  • Guiness Book of World Records holder, David Fuhrer talks backwards! 

 

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Saturday, November 21st and Sunday, November 22nd

 

Spanning 3 virtual stages, families won’t want to miss the fun! 

  • Stage 1 features our popular Young Inventor Challenge with a workshop for young inventors, plus we’ll be awarding prizes to our latest Young Inventor Challenge winners.  

  • Stage 2 is for preschoolers. Listen to stories from your favorite characters, watch a magic show and participate in fun singalongs. 

  • Stage 3 is for the whole family. Learn the behind-the-scenes secrets of your favorite toys and games. 


Tickets for CHITAG Presents People of Play Week go on sale Monday August 24th. Go to www.chitag.com for more information.

 

*******

About People of Play 

 

People of Play (POP) leads the global toy and game industry in promoting innovation, creativity and connectivity. A one-stop source of community for industry professionals, aspiring inventors and people of all ages who love to play, People of Play hosts a wide range of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the Toy & Game International Summit, POP-pedia and the People of Play Foundation. 

 

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