PEOPLE OF PLAY ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 2020 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS (THE TAGIES)









Press Contact:

Emily Blosser | emily@brilliantprm.com | 404.434.2103


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PEOPLE OF PLAY ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 2020 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS (THE TAGIES)


CHICAGO, IL (November 23, 2020) -- On Friday, November 21 at 5pm CT, toy and game professionals watched and cheered from their homes around the world as People of Play (POP), formerly the Chicago Toy & Game Group, awarded the winners in the 13th annual Toy & Game International Excellence Awards, better known as The TAGIES.


During an epic 90-minute virtual show presented by Spin Master, winners hailing from around the world including the United States, Uruguay, Canada, Hungary, Israel and the United Kingdom, were announced in 8 categories.


In the show’s opener, host Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, LEGO at Disney Consumer Products, soared onto the stage thanks to some high-flying “aeronautical engineering” by Robert Victor and his team at Kite and Rocket. From there, it was one surprise after the other including:

  • Putty Thoughts with Crazy Aaron

  • A groovy introduction from Dougal Grimes (Senior Director of Global Games Inventor Relations and Partnerships at Spin Master) of musical entertainment Toy Train Wreck. Band members include Matt Nuccio, President of Design Edge; Caitlin Gutekunst, Senior Director of Marketing and Development at Creativity Inc.; Darin Barri, SVP of Business Development & Sales at Perfect Company; and Dan Klitsner, Founder of K.I.D. Group

  • Other musical entertainment by Tim Kilpin, President of PlayMonster

  • Dax Shepard’s hilarious take on the Paw Patrol Years

  • And closing the show, Bean catches a ride home in a “flying” red wagon provided by Radio Flyer


Delivering an inspiring keynote of her past experiences and relationships in the industry was JoAnn McLaughlin, SVP of Hardlines Product Development, Disney Parks Experiences & Products. She said, “You are infectious, you are rockstars. You exist both inside and outside the toy companies. I learned from you that ideas can come from anywhere and at any time.”


The night wouldn’t be complete without the Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring legends in the industry. Spin Master Co-Founder Anton Rabie presented Erno Rubik, the inventor of Rubik’s Cube, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor was timely as Spin Master recently acquired Rubik’s Cube.


Also honored in heartfelt tributes were inventors Norman and Arlene Fabricant who received a Celebration of Life and Achievement award, and Alan Roach, a beloved game designer. His family accepted the Hassenfeld Humanitarian Award in honor of The Roachy Fund, a scholarship established to help others follow their dream of making art and playing games.


The TAGIE Awards are one of the top prizes awarded each year in the toy and game industry. Winners are chosen by their peers. Here is the official list of winners of the 2020 Toy & Game International Excellence Awards:


TOY INVENTOR OF THE YEAR - Sponsored by Radio Flyer

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

GAME INVENTOR OF THE YEAR - Sponsored by Oxford Games

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


RISING STAR INVENTOR OF THE YEAR

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


YOUNG INVENTOR OF THE YEAR (Under 18 years old)

Maayan Segal for Queeng Playing Cards

ART AND DESIGN VISUALS OF THE YEAR

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


INNOVATIVE PR AND MARKETING TEAM OF THE YEAR - Sponsored by Exploding Kittens

LEGO Star Wars Team for LEGO Star Wars Episode 9 Campaign


MOST INNOVATIVE RETAILER OF THE YEAR - Sponsored by Mattel

Mastermind Toys


MOST INNOVATIVE SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR

Blue Orange Games

The TAGIE Awards were presented by Spin Master. Other sponsors include Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Oxford Games, Mattel, University Games, Radio Flyer, Exploding Kittens, Crazy Aarons, Nextoy, Kite and Rocket, Cartamundi and PlayMonster.


The TAGIE Awards are part of People of Play Week (November 16-22) which included the POP Summit, a virtual 5-day educational and networking event that featured nearly 200 industry experts discussing important topics ranging from licensing, pitching, marketing and retail trends. Tickets for replays of the POP Summit and the TAGIE Awards can be obtained by registering on the People of Play platform www.peopleofplay.com.

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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 People of Play Summit, the Bloom Report and the People of Play Foundation.

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