People of Play Announce Winners of the 2021 Toy And Game International Excellence Awards

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Winners of the highly-esteemed TAGIE Awards (TAGIEs) have been announced by People of Play (POP)

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Winners of the highly-esteemed TAGIE Awards (TAGIEs) have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs honor the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. The 2021 TAGIE Awards were presented during the virtual awards ceremony on November 19.

This year’s winners are:

2021 TAGIE Winners (by category)

Toy Innovator of the Year: Ora & Theo Coster, Theora Concept Ltd for GO POP (Last Lost) aka POP IT with FoxMind
Game Innovator of the Year: Peggy Brown Creative for KraftHeinz Variety Game Pack with Big G Creative, Cat's Pajama's with TCG, Game A Saurus Rex with Goliath, Stack Your Chickens with Mindware
Rising Star Innovator of the Year: Frederica Scott Vollrath for Slappy Camper by Mindware, The Mermaid's Jewels by Winning Moves Games, Crystallized by Games by Bicycle
Young Innovator of the Year (under 18 years of age): Tristan Donaldson for Sew Fast with Fat Brain Toys
Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year: The Orbeez Marketing Team for Orbeez by Spin Master
Innovative Art and Design Visuals of the Year: KID Group and Michael McGinnis for Perplexus Snitch with Spin Master
Innovative Retailer of the Year: LEGO Brick and Mortar Stores Worldwide
Innovative Supplier of the Year: Wai Or and Longshore Toy & Game Manufacturer Team for Service to Clients Big and on way to being Big
*NEW Innovative License of the Year: Exploding Minions by Exploding Kittens with Illumination and Universal Brand Development

Selected By Committee. ​
In Memoriam Presentation
Celebration of life presentation
Brian Golder, Chairman & CEO, Hasbro
Ora Coster, Co-Founder, Theora Design
Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Humanitarian Award
Jan-Maurits Duparc, Chief Creation at Identity Games
Game Changers of the Year
Megan Kanous, Director of Business Development, PSI
Azhelle Wade, The Toy Coach Podcast Season II
Josslynne Welch and Litzky PR, President of Litzky PR
Lifetime Achievement
Tom Kalinske, Executive Chairman at Mixed Dimensions and former CEO of Sega America, Leapfrog and Mattel
Michele Litzky, Founder of Litzky Public Relations (LPR)
The Pressman Family, Accepted by Jim Pressman, Past President of The Pressman Toy Company

The TAGIEs were hosted by Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, LEGO at Disney Consumer Products, with help from
Leslie Scott, Leslie Scott, Oxford Games, inventor of Jenga and much more
Michael Kohner, President of The Michael Kohner Corporation
Robert Pasin, Chief Wagon Officer of Radio Flyer
Matthew Inman, Co-Founder of Exploding Kittens, Founder of Oatmeal, Cartoonist
Dave Harris, Senior DIrector, Inventor Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Mattel
Neil Friedman, Advisor, Prior: President of Alex Brands, ToysRUs, Mattel, Fisher-Price, Tyco Preschool
Kate Pressman, The Pressman Toy Company
John Barbour, Managing Partner at Volta Capital
Marty Abrams, Father of the Modern Action Figure, President of Mego Corporation
David Capon, President, FoxMind Toys and Games, the company behind the viral hits Go Pop! and Pop-It!
Tim Walsh, Co-Founder, Roo Games; Filmmaker, Author, Designer, Creative Consultant, The Playmakers,
Wai Or, CEO Longshore Limited
Ellen Beth Van Buskirk Knapp, Neubrand, LLC, Partner

The 2021 TAGIE Awards were presented by Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products with sponsors Mattel, Hasbro, Oxford Games, MEGO, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Goliath, Longshore, Radio Flyer, Exploding Kittens, Foxmind, PlayMonster, Nextoy, Pressman, Peggy Brown Creative, and Kite and Rocket.

Special stunts were devised and performed by Robert Victor, President and Founder of Kite and Rocket, and his talented team.

The TAGIE Awards are part of People of Play Week (November 15-20) which includes the Toy & Game International Innovation Summit, POP Duo Keynotes Legends & Leaders, Networking in the POP Pub Rooms, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and the Young Inventor Challenge.

For more information, please visit

About People of Play
People of Play (POP) leads the global toy and game industry in promoting innovation, creativity and connectivity. A one-stop source of community for industry professionals, aspiring inventors and people of all ages who love to play, People of Play hosts a wide range of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the Toy & Game International Summit, POP-pedia and the People of Play Foundation.

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About the TAGIEs
Founded in 2008, the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIEs) celebrate the outstanding achievements of toy and game industry leaders from around the world, by honoring masters of innovation and invention. The annual event also pays homage to industry professionals who differentiate themselves with their spirit for fun, philanthropy, inventor advocacy, creativity and humanitarianism. Inventors, designers, manufacturers, retailers, media and the general public come together for this prestigious annual gala event. The TAGIEs are hosted in the fall in conjunction with the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair and the Toy & Game Inventor Conferences. For more information, visit

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