Vote for Your Favorite Toy & Game Inventor: Third Annual Toy Awards, the TAGIES, Celebrate Industry Filled with Creativity and Fun

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Honor toy and game inventors, the unsung champions of play, creativity and imagination, by voting at http://www.tagieawards.com for this year’s top nominees in the categories of Game Inventor of the Year, Toy Inventor of the Year, Rising Star Inventor of the Year and Young Inventor of the Year.

“Toy and game inventors are receiving long-overdue recognition for their accomplishments: bringing the joy of play and discovery to people around the world.”

Actors and screenwriters have their Academy Awards; singers and songwriters have the Grammy Awards. Toy and game inventors, the unsung champions of play, creativity and imagination, have the TAGIE Awards, to be presented on Friday, Nov.19 at an industry gala at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will serve as honorary chair.

Anyone can vote at http://www.tagieawards.com for this year’s nominees in the categories of Game Inventor of the Year, Toy Inventor of the Year, Rising Star Inventor of the Year and Young Inventor of the Year. Voting closes November 17.

“We had so many nominations this year,” says Mary Couzin, President and Founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Group. “Toy and game inventors are receiving long-overdue recognition for their accomplishments: bringing the joy of play and discovery to people around the world.”

Top nominees for Game Inventor of the Year include Mary Jo Reuter, who invented Laundry Jumble, one of Parents Magazine’s Top Toys of 2010; Joe Wetherell, who has designed toys and games for 50 years and most recently invented the hit card game, “Scrabble Slam,” and Donald X. Vaccarino, inventor of Dominion, which won the coveted Spiel des Jahres in 2009.

Toy Inventor of the Year top nominees are: Paul Rago and David Small of Shoot the Moon, who have developed and licensed products such as Teddy Ruxpin, Elmo Live and Power Touch Books; David Fuhrer, noted as the “World’s Fastest Backwards Talker,” and inventor of Backwords; and Robert Croak, inventor of Silly Bandz.

Rising Star Inventor top nominees include: Daryl Hannah and Hilary Shepard, actresses and inventors of Liebrary and two new board games: Famous Last Lines and Call-It!; Joe and Dave Herbert, inventors of Triviathon, which won 19 industry awards and was financed with a $1 million win in the 2009 Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest and Dominic Crapuchettes of North Star Games, inventor of the award-winning Wits & Wagers.

Young Inventor of the Year top nominees generally steal the show at the TAGIE Awards. Inventor Scott Ballantyne, a nine-year-old from Scotland, created his Advent-ure board game when he was just seven; his Animal Advent-ure board game is now available at Harrods, London. He has since expanded his line to include collectables and the new Christmas Advent-ure game. Alison Ryan grew up with a passion for jigsaw puzzles, and has developed Stix and Stones, a hit box game for both kids and adults. Nominee Kate Daniels, from Eureka, Missouri, grew up in a family of game inventors and created Camp Talk and Buddy Talk, two award-winning conversation games. The 2010 Young Inventor Award will be presented by actor John Ratzenberger.

The TAGIE Awards will include several notable industry awards. The 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Eddie Goldfarb, an independent inventor who came up with Yakity-Yak Talking Teeth in 1949 and has spend 60 years creating nearly 700 products. Other honorees include Alan Hassenfeld and Ellie Block for Humanitarian Works, The Jim Henson Company for Excellence in Character Creation and George Lerner, honored In Memoriam for Mr. Potato Head and other hit inventions.

2010 Awards host is Tim Walsh of The Playmakers. TAGIE Awards is sponsored by Hasbro (Presenting Sponsor), Toy Industry Association, Learning Curve Brands, Top Trumps, Design Edge, Patch Products, Razor, Strong National Museum of Play, Playology, Global Toy News, Joyce Johnson Designs, Oxford Games, The Playmakers and Chicago Toy and Game Group. For more information, visit http://www.tagieawards.com.

The TAGIE Awards precedes the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, the nation’s largest public toy and game event, to be held Nov. 20 and 21 at Navy Pier.

Fair hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children under three are admitted free; Scouts in uniform, military, teachers and librarians are also admitted free of charge. Discounted parking coupons available.

ChiTag exhibitors and sponsors include Hasbro, Spin Master, Razor USA, Buffalo Games, Horizon Hobby, Learning Curve, Rio Grande Games, Ohio Art, Patch Products, Out of the Box Games, Top Trumps, Yomega, USAopoly, and the Toy Industry Association. Media partners include Chicago Tribune, Family Time Magazine, Global Toy News, Oaklee’s Guide and Radio Disney.
For more information, visit http://www.chitag.com.

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TONI ANTONETTI

Marcy Manning
PR Chicago
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