November 23, 2020
People of Play celebrates winners of the 2020 TAGIE Awards
On Friday, Nov. 21, toy and game professionals watched and cheered from their homes around the world as People of Play (POP), formerly the Chicago Toy & Game Group, awarded the winners in the 13th annual Toy & Game International Excellence Awards, better known as The TAGIES.
During a 90-minute virtual show presented by Spin Master, winners hailing from around the world including the U.S., Uruguay, Canada, Hungary, Israel and the U.K., were announced in eight categories.
JoAnn McLaughlin, senior vice president of hardlines product development, Disney Parks Experiences & Products, delivered an inspiring keynote of her past experiences and relationships in the industry. “You are infectious, you are rockstars. You exist both inside and outside the toy companies. I learned from you that ideas can come from anywhere and at any time,” she said.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
The night wouldn’t be complete without the Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring legends in the industry. Spin Master Co-Founder Anton Rabie presented Erno Rubik, the inventor of Rubik’s Cube, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor was timely as Spin Master recently acquired Rubik’s Cube.
Also honored in heartfelt tributes were inventors Norman and Arlene Fabricant who received a Celebration of Life and Achievement award, and Alan Roach, a beloved game designer. His family accepted the Hassenfeld Humanitarian Award in honor of The Roachy Fund, a scholarship established to help others follow their dream of making art and playing games.
The TAGIE Awards are one of the top prizes awarded each year in the toy and game industry. Winners are chosen by their peers. Here is the official list of winners of the 2020 Toy & Game International Excellence Awards:
TOY INVENTOR OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Radio Flyer
- David Yakos for Circuit Explorer Rocket, Circuit Explorer Rover and Circuit Explorer Deluxe Base Station with Educational Insights
GAME INVENTOR OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Oxford Games
- Peggy Brown for My First Rush Hour with ThinkFun and Bye, Felicia and Who’s the G.O.A.T. with Big G Creative
RISING STAR INVENTOR OF THE YEAR
- Aron Lazarus for The Genius Star and Bee Genius with The Happy Puzzle Company
YOUNG INVENTOR OF THE YEAR (Under 18 years old)
- Maayan Segal for Queeng Playing Cards
ART AND DESIGN VISUALS OF THE YEAR
- Marjorie Spitalnik for Marie Curie, Mary Jackson, Amelia Earhart and Malala Yousafzai Plushies by Little Rebels. Manufactured by Dac Toys
INNOVATIVE PR AND MARKETING TEAM OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Exploding Kittens
- LEGO Star Wars Team for LEGO Star Wars Episode 9 Campaign
MOST INNOVATIVE RETAILER OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Mattel
- Mastermind Toys
MOST INNOVATIVE SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR
- Blue Orange Games
The TAGIE Awards were presented by Spin Master. Other sponsors include Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Oxford Games, Mattel, University Games, Radio Flyer, Exploding Kittens, Crazy Aarons, Nextoy, Kite and Rocket, Cartamundi and PlayMonster.
The TAGIE Awards are part of People of Play Week (Nov. 16-22), which included the POP Summit, a virtual five-day educational and networking event that featured nearly 200 industry experts discussing important topics ranging from licensing, pitching, marketing and retail trends. Tickets for replays of the POP Summit and the TAGIE Awards can be obtained by registering on the People of Play platform www.peopleofplay.com.