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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 Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, PlayMonster, Cartamundi and Nextoy, are more inclusive and bigger than ever ever, featuring 8 categories and 80 nominees and honorees.

Winners will be revealed during an epic virtual awards show on Friday, November 20th at 7pm CT. The professionally produced, 90-minute program includes award presentations, inspiring and humorous acceptance speeches, musical guests and an amazing opening act that gives a nod to David Blaine’s recent Ascension stunt.

“This year has been pivotal and unprecedented for our industry. We look forward to coming together with our colleagues from around the world and celebrating our individual and collective successes,” said Karri Bean, TAGIE Awards Host and Senior Manager, Licensing at Disney Consumer Products, Experiences and Consumer Products. “The TAGIE Awards will be a night to remember that no one in the toy and game industry should miss!”

New for 2020, immediately following the TAGIE Awards, toy and game industry professionals get an opportunity to show off their talents at the TAGIE After Party, POP’s Got Talent. Be amazed by the magic of Jim McCafferty, Founder of JMP Creative and professional inventor Mark Setteducati. Randy Klimpert, Chief Creative at Creata performs and shares his ukulele and guitar collection. Plus see the latest peanut art from Steve Casino.

Toy Inventor of the Year

  • 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

Game Inventor of the Year

  • 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

  • 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

Rising Star Inventor of the Year

  • 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

Young Inventor of the Year (Under 18 years old)

  • 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

Art and Design Visuals of the Year

  • 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

Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year

  • 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 & Marketing for the World of Eric Carle Magna-Tiles

  • LEGO Disney Girls Team for LEGO Disney Frozen II Sets

  • Mattel Games Team for UNO MINIMALISTA

  • Rubix Marketing, Sabrina Cohen, Jill Selick for Rubix 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

Most Innovative Retailer of the Year

  • 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

Most Innovative Supplier of the Year

  • Ad Magic

  • Blue Orange Games

  • Cartamundi

  • Design Edge Global

  • Howard Fine, Attorney

  • JDH Sourcing Management Limited

  • Longshore Limited

  • The Creative Fold

  • Wild Republic Product Development

  • York Jersey Underwriters

People of Play will also honor Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Inventors Norman and Arlene Fabricant will be honored for Celebration of Life and Lifetime Achievement respectively.

“Norm and Arlene Fabricant have put smiles on children’s faces with their toys and games over the last 40 years. At Hasbro, we were fortunate enough to have licensed 30 innovations from the Fabricant’s over the years including Play-Doh’s Dr. Drill ‘n Fill which has been a perennial favorite since the 70’s and continues to give children joy today. We are incredibly lucky to have the Fabricant’s as part of the Hasbro innovation family.” said Rich Mazel, Hasbro’s Senior Director of Global Product Acquisition

The Roachy Fund, a scholarship fund founded in honor of Alan Roach, an acclaimed and loved game designer, will be the recipient of the Hassenfeld Humanitarian Award.


About the TAGIEs

Founded in 2008, the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIEs) celebrate the outstanding achievements of toy and game industry leaders from around the world, by honoring masters of innovation and invention. The annual event also pays homage to industry professionals who differentiate themselves with their spirit for fun, philanthropy, inventor advocacy, creativity and humanitarianism. Inventors, designers, manufacturers, retailers, media and the general public come together for this prestigious annual gala event. The TAGIEs are hosted in the fall in conjunction with the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair and the Toy & Game Inventor Conferences. For more information, visit

About People of Play

People of Play (POP) celebrates and empowers toy and game innovation worldwide by providing educational opportunities, recognition and community for industry professionals, amateur inventors and people of all ages who love to play. People of Play oversees a number of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the New Inventor Conference, the Professional Inventors Conference, Play in Education Conference, the Bloom Report, the (POP DATABASE) and the People of Play Foundation.

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