TAGIE winners revealed at Chicago Toy and Game Week

The winners of the 11 annual TAGIE Awards, honouring innovation and excellence in the toy and game industry were announced at a gala on Navy Pier in Chicago on Friday night. 

Attended by industry luminaries and sponsored by heavyweights like Hasbro, Oxford Games and Mattel, the evening was opened by Nancy Zwiers, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Spin Master. 

Proceedings culminated with Lifetime Achievement Awards being given to industry legends, David Small and Paul Rago of Shoot the Moon.

Following is the official listing of 2018 Toy & Game Innovation Award (TAGIE) winners, nominees and honourees:

Game innovator of the year

Don Ullman and Bob Driscoll for Don’t Step In It by Hasbro

● Bang Zoom for Chow Crown from Hasbro

● Jeff Foxworthy for Relative Insanity from PlayMonster

● Rob Daviau and Justin D. Jacobson for Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar by Restoration Games

● Seven Towns for Greedy Granny by Goliath Games

Toy innovator of the year

David Fuhrer, Richard Kimbrough, DiscoNifty​ for Twisty Petz by Spin Master

● Bang Zoom for Lil’ Gleemerz by Mattel

● Latham Gaines – Power Dough by Canal Toys

● Shoot The Moon for NERF Laser Ops by Hasbro

● Sydney Wiseman for Fingerlings by WowWee

Rising star of the year

Nick Metzler of Spin Master for Hail Hydra

● Adam Borton for Flushin’ Frenzy by Mattel

● Art, Joe & Jim Seymour for Circuit Blox, Power Blox and Story Blox by eblox

● Daryl Andrews for The Oregon Trail by Pressman Toy/Goliath Games

● Jeff Lai for Maki Stack by Blue Orange

● Jillian Lakritz for Yoee Baby Original Line: Puppy, Kitty, Fox, Lion, Monkey, Bunny

● Krissa Watry for playPORTAL by Dynepic

● Marissa Louie for Animoodles: Iris Unicorn, Hazel Sloth, Randy Orangutan, Brady Lion, Miguel Frog, Sophie Elephant

Innovative arts and visuals of the year

Elan Lee and Matt Inman of Exploding Kittens for Bears vs Babies

● Geizi Guevara, Mike Freeth, Patrick Murray, Chris Wickman of Spin Master for The Cat Game

● Jakks Pacific for Fan Heads

● Prospero Hall for Disney Villainous by WonderForge

● Sabrina Miramon (Illustration), Chris D’Angelo, Greg Stata, Kelly Miele (Graphic/Packaging Design) and Kathy Beyerle (Product Design) of ThinkFun for Shadows in the Forest

Innovative marketing team of the year

Sydney Wiseman for Fingerlings by WowWee

● JMP Creative’s Social Media Team for Orbeez Wow World Campaign with Maya Toys

● PlayMonster 5 Second Rule Marketing Team for 5 Second Rule

● Lee Parkhurst, Jennifer Jens, Sunny Choi, Nicole Younger of Educational Insights for Sculptapalooza’s Online Campaign

● Hasbro Marketing and Rhett and Link for their online Influencer video campaign

Young inventor of the year

Harper Miller for The Dream Pillow by Architec® Brands

● Ethan Klein for House Architecture Set by 3duxdesign

● Michael Nixon for The Amazing Annoyatron by EduKits International

In addition to the winners determined through nominations and public voting, honours were given in the following closed categories:

Inventor Advocacy Honoree – Mike Meyers (Sponsored by Hasbro)

Lifetime Achievement Award – David Small and Paul Rago of Shoot the Moon (Sponsored by Mattel)

Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award – #MyShotAtEpilepsy Challenge (Sponsored by Hassenfeld Family Initiatives)

Start-Up of the Year – Jochem van Rijn and Thijmen de Schipper of Yulu Toys

Most Innovative Toy Store – Leslie & John Chiaverini of Adventure Toys & Teachers’ Supplies (Sponsored by ASTRA)

The 2018 TAGIE Awards and Gala were presented by Hasbro, Oxford Games Ltd., The Michael Kohner Corporation, Mattel, ASTRA, Hassenfeld Family Initiatives, The Playmakers, Peggy Brown Creative, Longshore Limited, McGill and Associates and Cartamundi.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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