People of Play, the organization known for championing toy and game innovators around the world, will honor outstanding achievements at the 15th Annual Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (The TAGIEs) on November 19, 2022. Under the theme “The Great Reconnect” and sponsored by Disney, Oxford Games, Mattel, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Hasbro, TOMY, Longshore and Nextoy, the evening’s festivities, which kick-off at 6:00pm, will take place for the first time at the Epiphany Center for the Arts in Chicago. The 1800’s historic building which was once a church has become a cultural hub for art, entertainment and events. The after-party will begin immediately after the TAGIEs inside The Catacombs beneath the hall.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to a trio of recipients whose families have established legacies in the toy and game industry. They include Kantaro Tomiyama, Chairman and CEO of TOMY. Mr. Tomiyama’s grandfather founded TOMY in 1924. Also being honored is Alan Hassenfeld, former chairman of Hasbro, who’s grandfather and great-uncle started Hasbro in 1923. The final Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Leslie Scott, the inventor of more than 40 games, most notably Jenga. The company that she started, Oxford Games, is now run by her daughter, Frederica Scott Vollrath.
“We are so excited to be able to honor these three titans of the toy industry with Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as all of the TAGIE nominees and winners,” said Mary Couzin, President of People of Play. “The toy and game industry is truly a family, so to be able to reconnect and celebrate each other in person again makes this year’s TAGIE Awards very special. We can’t wait to see you in Chicago on November 19th.”
Other highlights of the evening include a keynote address by Ben Varadi, co-founder of Spin Master and the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer. People of Play will also honor James Howard with the Game Changer of the Year Award for his work on the short film, “Black Inventors Got Game” which features four black inventors and their groundbreaking contributions to the toy and game industry. Presenting this award is Dave Harris, Senior Director of Inventor Relations and Strategic Partnerships at Mattel, Ray Adler, Vice President, Global Head of Games at Mattel and Mason Williams, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Mattel.
Throughout the evening, nine awards will be presented to the winners in the following categories: Toy Innovator of the Year, Game Innovator of the Year, Rising Star Innovator of the Year, Most Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year, Most Innovative Art and Design Visuals of the Year, Most Innovative Supplier of the Year, Most Innovative Retailer of the Year, Most Innovative License of the Year and Young Innovator of the Year (under 18 years old). Voting at the TAGIE Awards Voting Page is open until midnight October 31st.
The TAGIE Awards will be hosted by Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, Disney Parks Experiences & Products. Tickets to the TAGIE Awards are still available at https://bit.ly/TAGIETIX.