aNb Media News, September 20, 2018

ChiTAG Announces TAGIEs Finalists

The Chicago Toy & Game Group today announced the finalists for the 2018 Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs). The TAGIEs, now in its 11th year, recognize the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. Following a public voting period, winners will be revealed Friday, November 16, 2018 at the TAGIEs ceremony and gala, held annually during Chicago Toy & Game Week (ChiTAG), the night before the start of the ChiTAG’s epic consumer fair at Navy Pier.

Visit to vote for the 2018 TAGIE winners through October 31st

Finalists in the following categories were selected by their industry peers. The public is now invited to place their votes to determine the 2018 winners. Voting is open online from now until October 31st.

Toy Innovator of the Year

Bang Zoom for Lil’ Gleemerz by Mattel
David Fuhrer, Richard Kimbrough, DiscoNifty​ for Twisty Petz by Spin Master
Latham Gaines – Power Dough by Canal Toys
Shoot The Moon for NERF Laser Ops by Hasbro
Sydney Wiseman for Fingerlings by WowWee

Game Innovator of the Year

Bang Zoom for Chow Crown from Hasbro
Don Ullman and Bob Driscoll for Don’t Step In It by Hasbro
Jeff Foxworthy for Relative Insanity from PlayMonster
Rob Daviau and Justin D. Jacobson for Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar by Restoration Games
Seven Towns for Greedy Granny by Goliath Games

Young Inventor of the Year

Ethan Klein for House Architecture Set by 3duxdesign
Harper Miller for The Dream Pillow by Architec® Brands
Michael Nixon for The Amazing Annoyatron by EduKits International

Rising Star Innovator of the Year

Adam Borton for Flushin’ Frenzy by Mattel
Art, Joe & Jim Seymour for Circuit Blox, Power Blox and Story Blox by eblox
Daryl Andrews for The Oregon Trail by Pressman Toy/Goliath Games
Jeff Lai for Maki Stack by Blue Orange
Jillian Lakritz for Yoee Baby Original Line: Puppy, Kitty, Fox, Lion, Monkey, Bunny
Krissa Watry for playPORTAL by Dynepic
Nick Metzler Hail Hydra for Spin Master
Marissa Louie for Animoodles: Iris Unicorn, Hazel Sloth, Randy Orangutan, Brady Lion, Miguel Frog, Sophie Elephant

Innovative Art and Visuals of the Year

Elan Lee and Matt Inman of Exploding Kittens for Bears vs Babies
Geizi Guevara, Mike Freeth, Patrick Murray, Chris Wickman of Spin Master for The Cat Game
Jakks Pacific for Fan Heads
Prospero Hall for Disney Villainous by WonderForge
Sabrina Miramon (Illustration), Chris D’Angelo, Greg Stata, Kelly Miele (Graphic/Packaging Design) and Kathy Beyerle (Product Design) of ThinkFun for Shadows in the Forest

Innovative Marketing Team of the Year

JMP Creative’s Social Media Team for Orbeez Wow World Campaign with Maya Toys
PlayMonster 5 Second Rule Marketing Team for 5 Second Rule
Lee Parkhurst, Jennifer Jens, Sunny Choi, Nicole Younger of Educational Insights for Sculptapalooza’s Online Campaign
Hasbro Marketing and Rhett and Link for their online Influencer video campaign
Sydney Wiseman for Fingerlings by WowWee

In addition to the winners determined through nominations and public voting, a panel of industry experts selected these accomplished honorees for the evening:

Start-Up Award (NEW for 2018): Thijmen de Schipper and Jochem van Rijn, YULU Toys
Inventor Advocacy Award: Mike Meyers, Retired as Senior VP Hasbro Games
Lifetime Achievement: David Small and Paul Rago, Shoot the Moon

To vote for TAGIE Award finalists visit now through October 31.

Tickets for the awards gala are available at for $250. For more information about ChiTAG Week November 17-18, 2018, visit or follow @ChiTAGWeek on social media.