With the annual Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Week mere months away, time is running out to submit nominations for the 2019 Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs). Nominations are due August 15.
The annual awards gala—held during CHITAG Week November 21–24— honors the best of the best innovators, designers, retailers, PR and marketing execs in the toys and games industry. Karri Bean, senior licensing manager for Disney Parks Experiences & Products will host this year’s gala.
The 2019 categories open for nomination by all members of the toys and games industry include:
- Toy Inventor of the Year
- Game Inventor of the Year
- Rising Star Inventor of the Year
- Young Inventor of the Year (under 18 years of age)
- Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year
- Art and Design Visuals of the Year
- Innovative Retailer of the Year
There is no cost to nominate and all are encouraged to nominate themselves as well as others. Five finalists for each of the seven categories will be announced on September 16, at which time voting will open to the general public, media, and industry members.
“The TAGIE nominations recognize the most innovative individuals and teams from around the world who spend countless hours inventing, designing, creating, marketing to bring ideas for toys and games to life that bring joy and connect us to one another,” said Mary Couzin, founder and president, Chicago Toy & Game Group. “The awards gala brings together everyone for an elegant evening celebrating these industry innovators for their vision, spirit of fun, philanthropy and humanitarianism.”
A keynote address to kickoff the night will be given by toy industry leader JoAnn McLaughlin, senior vice-president—hardlines, product development at Disney Parks Experiences & Products. McLaughlin is responsible for delivering product innovation and development for licensed products for all Disney brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucas, as well as other products.
Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson will introduce this year’s Lifetime Achievement Honoree, Ivan Moscovich. Moscovich is not only a five-time concentration camp survivor but one of the most prolific inventors in our industry having licensed 111 puzzles, toys, and games and written 69 books (many bestsellers). He has three new books set to release this year. Moscovich 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.
A separate committee of industry experts are meeting to determine honorees for the TAGIE In Memoriam Presentation and Hassenfeld Humanitarian Award.
Our presenting sponsor for this year’s fun-filled evening is Mattel. Other sponsors include Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Oxford Games, Cartamundi, ASTRA, The Toy Association, Longshore, Hassenfeld Family Initiatives, and more to be announced.
The TAGIEs Gala will take place Friday, November 22, 2019 with an evening of entertainment that includes a cocktail hour, a seated dinner, awards program, music by Skip Towne and the Greyhounds and Toy Train Wreck.