Mojo Nation reveals this year’s Play Creators Awards finalists

Mojo Nation has revealed the finalists for this year’s Play Creators Awards, an event that celebrates figures in the toy and game design community to have excelled over the past 12 months.

The shortlist of finalists for this year’s Awards includes in-house design teams, outside invention studios, and freelance design partners. The list will be assessed by a panel of expert judges comprised of R&D execs, inventors, and figures form design agencies and invention studios.

Each category will be judged and winners selected based on design merits in a series of virtual roundtable sessions.

The Design Icon award does not have a shortlist and the winner will instead be unveiled, alongside all the other winners, on Friday, September 11th in a special Mojo Nation newsletter.

As nominated by their peers, the finalists are:

Toy Designer of the Year (Sponsored by The Toy Association)
Annalee Robbins (Spin Master) – Rainbow Jellies (Spin Master)
Big Monster Toys & Alpha Group’s Eric Dong & Glenn Yu – RC TerraTrax (Alpha Group)
Chantal Drenthe & Paul Martinsen (Fuse London) & Moose Toys – Oh My Gif (Moose Toys)
Fisher-Price & Open 2 Design – Little People Wheelies Raceway (Fisher-Price)
LEGO – LEGO Dots Range (LEGO)
Moose Toys & Character Options – Heroes of Goo Jit Zu (Moose Toys/Character Options)
PlayMonster – Snap Ships (PlayMonster)
Seven Towns – Junk Bots (Hexbug)

Game Designer of the Year (Kids/Family Game) (Sponsored by Cartamundi’s Shuffle)
Adam Borton (Creating Unique Toys) & Jeremy Posner (Shenanigans Toys and Games) – Silly Seal (Entertoyment)
Big Monster Toys – Sky Score (Hasbro)
The Fantastic Factory – Trapped (Golden Bear)
Gary Pyper (Fun-Damental) – Windy Knickers (John Adams)
Heather Yates (Orchard Toys) – Mammoth Maths (Orchard Toys)
Nextoy – Puglicious (Mattel)
Nir Doran & Gilad Podgor – Slam Cup (Blue Orange Games)
Simon Toms (Spring Loaded Concepts) & Fuse London – Seasick Sam (Drumond/TOMY)
TOMY – Screwball Scramble Level 2 (TOMY)

Game Designer of the Year (Party Game) (Sponsored by Cartamundi)
Alex Hague, Justin Vickers & Wolfgang Warsch – Wavelength (Palm Court)
Ceri Price & Natalie Podd – Confident (Confident Games)
Chris Naylor & Rich Walton – Think Fast! (Ridley’s Games)
Dan Penn & Rich Coombes – Herd Mentality (Big Potato Games)
Identity Games – Nightmare Horror Adventures: Welcome to Crafton Mansion (Identity Games)
Oleksandr Nevskiy – Detective Club (IGames)
Peggy Brown – Bye Felicia! (Big G Creative)

R&D Team of the Year (Sponsored by Wynne-Jones IP)
Big Potato Games
Orchard Toys
Ridley’s Games
Spin Master
Tactic Games

Design Agency/Invention Studio of the Year (Sponsored by Hasbro)
Bang Zoom
Big Monster Toys
The Fantastic Factory
Fuse London
Open 2 Design
Seven Towns
So Sound

Toy Designer of the Year (Licensed Product)
Big Monster Toys – Paw Patrol Split Second 2-in-1 Vehicles (Spin Master)
Denny Wong (Posh Paws) – Love Hearts Plush Range (Posh Paws)
Dominic Yard (This is YARD) – Little People DC Super Friends 2-in-1 Batmobile (Fisher-Price)
Eric Dong & Glenn Yu – Subway Surfers Spray Crew (Alpha Group)
LEGO – LEGO Super Mario Range (LEGO)
Matt Bland & Matthew Jordan (TOMY) – Ricky Zoom Range (TOMY)
Open 2 Design – Peppa Pig Mud Kitchen (Character Options)
Paul Martinsen (Fuse London) – Batman Mega Gear Action Figures (Spin Master)
Gil Zalayet (StudioPlay) & Ryan Kratz (Sound Machine) – Rapid Change Utility Belt Batman (Spin Master)

Game Designer of the Year (Licensed Product)
Andrea Chiarvesio & Eric Lang – Marvel United (Spin Master/CMON)
Anthony Boydell & Andrew Harman – TfL Race the Rails (Gibsons)
Barry McLaughlin & Jason Lautenschleger – Anchorman: The Game (Barry & Jason Games)
Daryl Andrews – Titanic: The Game (Spin Master)
James Vaughn (Big Potato Games) – Top of the Pops: The Game (Big Potato Games)
Prospero Hall – Horrified (Ravensburger)
Richard Heayes (Heayes Design) – Disney Race Home & Home Sprint Ranges (Cartamundi)
Sam Roberts (So Sound) – Race to the Triwizard Tournament (Cartamundi)

Play Innovator of the Year
Audrey Tam (Spin Master) – CoolMaker Hollywood Hair (Spin Master)
Brian Whitehead (Briology Ltd) & Fuse London – Easy Knit (Character Options)
Dave Emblin (Moose Toys) – Team Gem (Moose Toys)
Emma Peat (Spin Master) – Go Glam Nail Salon 2.0 (Spin Master)
The Fantastic Factory – Trapped (Golden Bear)
LEGO – LEGO Art Range (LEGO)
Melbot – Melbits POD (Melbot)
Phil Sage, Scott Clarke, Mel Hershey, James Brown and Colleen Dolan (Hasbro) – D-O Interactive Droid (Hasbro)
TOMY – Rizmo (TOMY)

Rising Star
Chantal Drenthe – Fuse London
Elif Atmaca & Ögeday Uçurum – Toyi
James Vaughn – Big Potato Games
Jacques Priestner – Seven Towns
Jason Loik – Loik Studios
Jessica Livingston – GUND/Spin Master
Ollie Hobbs – So Sound
Ross Monks – Moose Toys UK
Sam Roberts – So Sound
Steve Moore – Tantrum Innovation

For more information on the Play Creators Awards, head to

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of 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, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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