blog » November 6, 2017 by Donna John

The Masterminds Behind the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) Give Us a Sneak Peek! by Donna John

6 years ago
The Masterminds Behind the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) Give Us a Sneak Peek!

The Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) is coming to town! At this week’s #30Seconds Twitter chat, we got an insider's look at the largest non-hobby toy and game fair open to the public in North America, ChiTAG

Q: Tell us what the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) is all about.

Founder Mary Couzin created ChiTAG to inspire everyone of all ages to play every day. We also celebrate toy and game inventors. As much as we love playing toys and games, we rarely think about who invented the product inspiring so much fun in our life. Did you know Chicago is the toy and game capital of the world? Radio Flyer, Ants in the Pants, Operation, Catch Phrase, Yahtzee, Uno, Lite Brite, Beanie Babies and Cards Against Humanity. All those toys and games were created in Chicago! ChiTAG is one of the only events that connects inventors with consumers! 

ChiTAG celebrates 15 years and the Young Inventor Challenge is in its 11th year! We’re extremely proud of the ChiTAG Young Inventor Challenge and the opportunities it provides for aspiring young inventors. Last year’s winners were two 11-year-old girls. Olivia and Brynna. from Chicagoland. Their game, Ship of Treasures, was licensed by Pressman Toy and is currently selling Target. Not only were they creative and hardworking, they are giving a percentage of their royalties to Lurie Children’s in memory of a classmate. Can't wait to see the creative entries on November 18! Everyone can come out to see all the inspiring kids, too! The 2017 Young Inventor’s Contest is sponsored by PressmanPlayMonsterMattelSpinmasterLEGO and Target.

Q: What can we expect at this year’s ChiTAG?

Where to begin? Every year there are so many cool things happening! Our theme this year is Play for Peace. We’ll be featuring a musical fountain designed by game designer turned sculptor Jeffrey Breslow titled Play for Peace. So many amazing inventors to meet from like Soggy Doggy, Ship of Treasures, Utter Nonsense, Groovy Blocks and more. Enter the U.S. National Rummikub Championship on Sunday. Grandparents get in FREE that day. Did ya hear? Spin Master is coming with the life-sized Soggy Doggy! We’ve got Ultra Dash Game Race, Yo-Yo Championship and Princess Etch! Get the full list here.

Parents can shop for the hottest new and classic toys for the holidays and get that shopping done! Back by popular demand, we are proud to offer the Super Power Sensory Hour with Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN) sponsored by Playfoam. Doors open 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (one hour early) for families with children of special needs on behalf of Playfoam. Learn more about ChiTAG Super Sensory Power Hour with NPN, sponsored Playfoam from 9 to 10 a.m., here. Be sure to follow @ChiTAGWeek and #Chitag for playful updates as we get closer!

Q: Tell us some of the hottest trends in toys for the 2017 holiday season!

Messy games are all kinds of fun and SpinMaster’s Soggy Doggy is just the right amount of messy. Kids are going to love this! LEGO is unveiling their newest LEGO playsets at ChiTAG for the first time! These always fly off the shelves for the holidays! Sensory activities, like Playfoam, are another kid favorite this year! Great for all ages and they, too, will be at ChiTAG. Going green is huge right now, which is why Green Toys is popular with parents and kids – 100-percent recycled, safe, organic and encourages imagination! Leading toy company, Mattel, always comes out with the hottest holiday toys! They’re demoing their newest games at ChiTAG, too! Stop by Goliath Games’ booth! Play fun games, check out the giant Build or Boom, and win cool prizes!

Q: How can people attend ChiTAG?

Grab your tickets for ChiTAG here. But hurry! Time is running out! Special offer! Get 50 percent off when you use the code CHITAGPLAY. Tickets include fun for the ENTIRE family! Interactive exhibits, test new products before they hit the shelves and so many giant games! Thanks to our panel of play Influencers who help us spread the word about ChiTAG plus our mission, play every day.

Q: Let’s talk about why play is so important for all ages! What are you doing in your daily life to #playeveryday?

We are passionate about spreading the word and encouraging play every day. Research shows play is very important in youth development, resulting in a stronger sense of creativity and inquisitiveness. We also believe play is for ALL AGES. It develops and strengthens leadership, critical thinking and resolution skills. 

Be sure to follow @ChiTAGWeek and visit!



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Nicole DeAvilla
This is such an exciting event! We are so lucky to have you all come and give us the insider info and a head start on shopping!
Kim Kusiciel
It's going to be a great chat!! Thanks Chicago Toy & Game Week!
Victor Aragon
Excited to participate tomorrow night!
Meredith Schneider
Ahhhh! So excited fir tomorrow! Need lots of holiday gifts ideas for our 4 kids. We are gonna have a blast!
Elisa Schmitz
Our ChiTAG #30Seconds Twitter chat is always one of my absolute faves! So much fun to talk about play, plus, amazing prizes! Hope you all can join us Wednesday night, 8pmCT! RSVP now! Donna John Nicole DeAvilla Kim Kusiciel Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Christine Jones Cheryl Leahy Sheryl Gould Kelli Schulte Chef Gigi Gaggero Pam McCormick Pamela Allen Eirene Heidelberger Holly Budde Meredith Schneider Toni B TONIA L.CLARK Kristy Dominiak sherry bracy Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP Jan Mostrom Jane Cabrera Samantha Kemp-Jackson Mercedes Samudio Laurieann Janssens Laura Morey Jeannine Jeanette Gibson Jeannie Greener MrsTaylor2U Stacey Roberts Mike Prochaska Amanda Heyser Amanda Ashlee Benest Leanne Ast Stacie Ast-Kutzbach Kathy Ast-Kutzbach Kathy Shimmield Stacy Draeger-Brogan Stacey Freeland Stacey Artz ☀️Stephanie☀️ lorri langmaid Lorri Langmaid Lori Leal Tiffany C Tirralan Watkins Tiffany Anne Tiffany Zook Adeline Benovil Adeline Benovil Tamara O'Shaughnessy Dr. Shayna Mancuso Sharon PingPing Lauren Harris-Pincus sonlight00 Sonia Satra Sandy VanBuskirk Sandy Greiner, PMA-CPT Susan Campbell Cross Susie Parker Hustle N Glow Gail Gedan Spencer Gail Harris ✈️It's Just Me✈️ Margaret Steck Margaret McSweeney Correy Kustin Mei Marcie Kat McQuaid Andrea Hinckley Andrea Trank Amber Cheras Alex Bryant Tommy FRIEND Geraci Beth Engelman Beth Aldrich, CHC, AADP, CNT Carrie Beth joell51868 melinda Melinda Raquel Masco Angie Mozilo Kimberly @flipflop_mommy Kathline Arce Cheyenne&HuntersMama Mommaofboys33 Kim Kleeman 4WEALTHFG Jennifer Young Jennifer Kloch-Davis Jennifer Essad Maria Koshechkina Marianne Clyde Ann Poyer Christie Gosch Dr. Christina Hibbert Laurel Smith jennah jackson Jenna Lee Candace Curtis Candace Reid Mitchell Barney Rachell Montgomery Rachel Markwood Rachel W. Lewter vidya P astronaut~momma Mary G Dolores Hall Demika Caldwell Kristen Schwarz Stephanie Tiffany Exiga Infatuated™_desi®€ MomOfTwins VaughanBoysMOMx3 Sass Tucker Veronica Vasquez kymi Psalm46life sara smith Eve 🐉 MOMonaMission 🐞 Amber Cockerill Stacey Curry KatyMay erin dear Joy Person ❥ Chrissy ❥ TONIA L.CLARK Jessica Major Holly Guski Keri Wilmot diane conover Maryanne Arielle Lynn 😍Dezi_cakes99💚 Karen Mazzoni Kricket Fountain Vanessa Kathleen Newell Kristi Sharon Nelson Mandy Tiffany Rka77301 Amanda landry lucky4eva24 OB1 Lizethsmith10 Summer I Patch is PlayMonster Teacher Karen Dr. Tim Thayne lorene d Dawn Turner Susan T Phylicia Daven Lee Wendi chely Wendy Rafferty Christian Marie Nicole Thomas Stellaaaaa DiligentSavings sara Tina Pietila MyssiHughes Yadira Castañeda ✌️ AParent'sPerspective chrissy sexton IamstayAtHomeMom Niara
Mike Prochaska
I want to win shark bite it looks so fun
Mike Prochaska
Can't wait! #playmatters
Looking forward to joining!
Rachel W. Lewter
When I'm able to travel again, I'm going to every single event I can find. We are never too old to play.
Rachel W. Lewter
My neighbor just had a baby girl. Having nieces and nephews too, it's hard to keep up with the 'hot' new toy list. We are never too old to play. So this should be fun.
Alex Bryant
Excited to join the #30Seconds conversation. Looks like fun!
💙Be Happy💙
Super excited for my kids. RSVP!
Donna John
It's almost ChiTAG time again! Woop!!

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