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Published by Jackson Hurst, 2019-11-11 20:06:26

Chicago Toy & Game 2019 Holiday Guide

Come take a look at our recommendations for the best toy and game gifts for the 2019 holiday season!

Bang Zoom Design

G2 Inventions

Juno the Elephant Pulp Heros, Mr. Potato
We have been Head Lips are Moving & Yellies
inventing toys Bang Zoom Design is a Cincinnati-based
for 20 years product invention company. We develop big
and we like it!! ideas and turn them into marketable businesses.
With an emphasis on the toy industry, we have
JMP Creative licensed hundreds of inventions. But most
importantly, WE LOVE TOYS!

Ryan Kratz &
Gil Zalayet

Crayola Foodie Roos DC Super Friends
Glitter Dots Transforming Batmobile
R/C
JMP Creative is an invention powerhouse
regarded by toy companies throughout the world Imaginext® DC Super Friends Transforming
as a market-leading invention resource. Led Batmobile R/C was created in collaboration
by Jim McCafferty, an award-winning inventor, between Studio Play Ltd & Sound Machine
JMP has created products achieving Toy-of- Invention & Design, Inc.
the-Year status in multiple countries and developed Studio Play is a Toy Invention Company found-
concepts resulting in over a billion units of ed by Gil Zalayet in 2010 and currently based in
product to reach the marketplace. A master in Cardiff, Wales. With almost 20 years of toy indus-
exploring the unexpected and extraordinary, try experience, we pride ourselves on creating
Jim’s success within the toy industry is shaped concepts that engage children and users with the
by his experience as an award-winning illusionist hope of leaving a lasting impression!
and one of the world’s most prolific brainstorming Ryan Kratz, President of Sound Machine In-
talents. The JMP team operates from the Magic vention & Design, Inc., has been a toy inven-
Workshop, an out-of-this-world facility fostering tor since 1995. Ryan Founded Sound Machine
creativity and innovation. in 2011 in his garage and now has a small
studio in Oak Park Illinois. Sound Machine’s main
focus is concept generation, mechanisms and
development.

58


TO Y & GAM

UIDE2019

IDAY GIFT G
KID Group E

HOL

Demolition Duke

KID Group is a think tank and product invention and development group that creates new ideas
for consumer products and especially toys. We have licensed over 300 inventions in our 20+
years. Founded by Dan Klitsner along with partners Gary Levenberg and Brian Clemens, we are
known for successful brands including Bop it and Perplexus and have invented a wide range of
products from the ground-breaking Tonka CD-ROM Playsets to the re-introduction of Simon with
Simon Swipe and Simon Air. KID partnered Jon and Sarah Vanderbeek of Sweet Spot Studio, Inc.
into the project to team up and develop a new crash mechanism for their Demo Duke Concept.
Sweet Spot Studio, Inc. has a specialized expertise in the development of toy performance and
mechanisms in all categories of toys and games.

Peggy Brown Daryl Tearne

My Buddy Wheels

Lunch Pets Owleez & TOY INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Monster Jam
Peggy Brown has created play for the world’s Mega Grave
biggest toy companies in various capacities: as Digger RC
an inventor, a designer, writer, creative director, Truck
consultant, and executive. She’s done development
work on products with brands such as Barbie, Daryl Tearne is a Staff Designer
Warner Brothers, Disney, Sesame Street, McDonald’s at Spin Master on the RC GBU –
and Nickelodeon, just to name a few. Peggy has With 10 years’ experience Design-
worked inside toy companies as a creative director ing Flying Toys and RC Products.
and VP, and independently as a product developer,
creative thinker, filmmaker, lyricist and author.
She even did a recurring stint on the Rachael
Ray Show, sharing funky and whimsical craft and
home décor projects with a national TV audience.
www.peggybrown.com

59


GAME INNOVATOR

Adam Borton Kane Klenko

Oops Scoops Pandemic: Rapid Response
Adam Borton specializes in toys and games, Cosmic Factory
working with and licensing games to industry Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken
leaders such as Hasbro and Mattel. Awards Proving Grounds and Slap It!
include Hasbro’s ‘Emerging Inventor of the Year’
and Amazon’s ‘Game of the Month’ for Flushin’ Since 2014, Kane Klenko has released a steady
Frenzy by Mattel. His latest game is Oops Scoops, stream of games ranging from kids and family
an ice cream stacking game with a twist – each games to heavier Euros. Specializing in games
scoop has a ‘stem’ underneath to allow the that work well for families, he is most known as
scoops to lean like the Tower of Pisa! They also the foremost designer of real-time games, such as
rotate and slide on the base scoop, making Pandemic: Rapid Response, FUSE, Cosmic Factory,
gameplay completely unpredictable! In the toy and Flatline. Fan favorite cooperative games, Flip
industry for over 10 years, Adam creates unique Ships and Dead Men Tell No Tales, have received
toys and games that make an impact. high praise with Flip Ships receiving nominations
for both Dice Tower and Boardgamegeek Awards.
Pat Marino His 2019 release, Proving Grounds, explores
new ground as a solitaire-only experience, and
Pandemic: Rapid Response brings the classic
franchise into new territory.

Andrea Sambati &
Kim Vandenbroucke

Die Hard The Nakatomi Heist Board Game Peeing Pup
Court of the Dead Mourners Call Board Game
Talisman Batman - Super Villains Edition Kim Vandenbroucke is a toy and game inventor,
Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising developer, and owner of Brainy Chick, Inc. More than
Star Wars Dark Side Rising with USAopoly/The Op 16 years ago she was hired right out of college by
a Chicago-based toy and game invention firm and
Pat Marino is the manager of game design at within the year licensed her first game to Hasbro.
TheOp (USAopoly), where he has worked for For more than a decade now she’s been running her
the past 2 years. In this role, he designs both own consultancy where she invents and develops
original and co-branded games for popular IP games for the mass and specialty markets. She
and original themes. Previously, Pat worked shares her office with her adorable dog Otis, who
as a freelance designer while also working in (thankfully) no longer acts like the dog in her
higher education administration. He holds a recent game with Hasbro, Peeing Pup.
Masters in College student development and
this fall he will complete a PhD in leadership Andrea Sambati spent several years in the toys
studies at the University of San Diego; where R&D field. Then, he established his own company,
his research is focused on the intersection specialized in the creation of innovative toys & games.
between games, resilience and success.

60


OF THE YEAR TO Y & GAM

Bob Driscoll, Don Ullman, UIDE2019
Rob Daviau, & Steve Butcher
IDAY GIFT G
E

HOL

HEIST Bob Driscoll worked at Hasbro for 20+ years. He designed Hasbro’s
Don’t Step In It with Don Ullman, which won a TAGIE in 2018.

Don Ullman has been inventing for 25+ years and won the 2017 TAGIE
and 2018 TOTY for Soggy Doggy (with Steve Calhoun). He invented
Porcupine Pop, Pimple Pete and many more.

Rob Daviau is a 21-year industry veteran and has worked on 90+
published games. He was editor of Trivial Pursuit.

Steve Butcher managed development at Hasbro for Jenga, Candyland,
Disney and Universal Studios. He now runs Alloy Creative Group.

Brendan Boyle & Dominic Yard
Adam Skaates (IDEO) & Gil Zalayet

Plumber Pants & Pictionary Air Freeze Fall GAME INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

IDEO is a global, award-winning design company Freeze Fall is a fun family game
with deep expertise in toy invention, game design, of chills, thrills and spills based
and play. Our in-house toy invention group has around using real Ice cubes!
licensed over 250 youth-oriented products in The game was co-created by
20+ years in partnership with companies such as Dominic Yard and Gil Zalayet and
Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master, and more. manufactured by Goliath Games.
Dominic is an English Inventor
We understand play and its role in encouraging based in Los Angeles, California.
risk-taking, creativity, and exploration, as well Gil at Studio Play is an American
as in creating new meaning through delightful Inventor based in Cardiff, Wales, UK
experiences.Playhasthepotentialtoteach,inspire,
and emotionally engage people of all ages.

61


RISING STAR INNOV

Joe Barron

Urtis Šulinskas

Planet & Pigasus The Game of Wolf
Game designer Joe Barron has set out to Bright-
Urtis Sulinskas is a Lithuanian board game designer en Your Play! Since 2017, Joe has designed party
who enjoys creating fun & innovative games and orga- games full time and published four games: You
nizing children summer camps. In these camps children Bet-Cha, Ridiculous Expositions, Badmoji and the
create games themselves, Urtis gets a lot of ideas and award-winning Game of Wolf which together are
also tests his games with children. One of his first games sold at over 3,000 stores in five different countries.
“Emojito” was nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres in Along with his wife, Lauren, they run Gray Matters
2018. New board game titles include: “Have a Smile!”, Games - a company rooted in family, fun and com-
“Planet”, “Story Chest”, “Hedgehog Roll”, “Pigasus”. munity. The Gray Matters mantra is “to be a force for
good” as the company donates a meaningful por-
Sjaak Griffioen, M. Oskar Van tion of profits to Alzheimer’s research. Joe and Lau-
Deventer and Wei-Hwa Huang ren live in Glen Ellyn, IL with their daughter, Emery,
and two crazy Vizsla pups Rudy and Gipper.

Nir Doron &
Gilad Podgor

Marble Circuit Candylock

Sjaak Griffioen (1960) is a Dutch inventor of puz- Nir Doron a creative video director and Gilad
zles and games. Since 1990 he designed 100+ Podgor an Industrial designer met six years
games for marketing, education and entertain- ago at the Toy and Game Inventing Program at
ment under the name Griffioen Gameway. These Shankar College of Engineering and Design.
games were published all over the world. Includ- They are members of a toy accelerator in which
ing Escape Room The Game by Identity Games, they brainstorm and develop innovative toy con-
Utopia, Interlock and Tut’s Tablet by Popular cepts using their skills. CandyLocks, their most
Playthings and Marble Circuit by Mindware. He recent success licensed with SpinMaster, are
is specialized in tailor made board games with a sweet-smelling candy-inspired collectible dolls
message and multi challenge logic games. His with hair so soft it looks just like cotton candy! Nir
goal in life is to reduce complexity, keep the bal- and Gilad hope to collaborate and invent more
ance and make people from all over the world toy and game concepts for kids to enjoy.
interact in a playful way.

62


VATOR OF THE YEAR TO Y & GAM

Alex Mackey & Mike Szalajko UIDE2019

IDAY GIFT G
E

HOL

What the Film?! & Camping with Sasquatch

Alex Mackey and Mike Szalajko started Lethal Chicken Games while helping with Hurricane Irma
clean up in Florida. While sharing a tent overnight after chainsawing trees all day, neither could
sleep. So they talked about something they both love...games and movies! By 2 a.m., What The
Film?! was born. Upon returning from volunteering, a company was formed and nine months later
the game hit the shelves at Target.Camping with Sasquatch was released a few months later and
met with critical acclaim…like from almost all 6-year-olds. Lethal Chicken Games is in develop-
ment on over a half-dozen games and smearing joy through lighthearted, family-friendly games.

DiscoNifty

Boxy Girls, Rescue Runts, Funlocket, Daryl Tearne is a Staff Designer RISING STAR INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Shimmer Stars, Twisty Petz, at Spin Master on the RC GBU –
& SuperDeker With 10 years’ experience Design-
Boxy Girls, Rescue Runts, Funlocket, ing Flying Toys and RC Products.
Shimmer Stars, Twisty Petz, & SuperDeker

DiscoNifty is a product and toy innovation company that skyrocketed into the toy
inventing scene in 2017! They continue to soar with worldwide success of their li-
censes like Boxy Girls, Twisty Petz, SuperDeker, Rescue Runts, Shimmer Stars and
Funlockets. Our passion is innovation and we can’t wait for our new inventions to hit
toy shelves in 2020! We are dedicated to driving innovation in the toy industry and
continuing our success for many years to come!

63


YOUNG INNOVAT

Joseph Howard

Gimena Servin

Husks FLING! The Flyin Disc
Cofounder of PHIT WORX For Life, LLC, Co-inven-
Mena was a high school sophomore when they first cre- tor of Grip.Toys and Creator of FLING! The Flyin Disc
ated their first few board games. Finding a passion for -- the World’s first Flying Fidget Puzzle. Joseph, the
one of their prototypes Mena created ‘Ribbiting Games’ PHIT Kid, is reinventing play by designing products
a board game business to publish their own games! that benefit every mind and body through contin-
Ribbiting Games’ first boards game, HUSKS, is a strate- uous organic movement, the power of a growth
gic zombie apocalypse card game. Earning over 800% mindset and open-ended play. This Timpview High
of their Kickstarter goal this inclusive game has already School senior, in Provo, Utah, is on a mission to re-
made quite a mark! duce the number of violent toys and games, at
home, by creating innovative, affordable and “Totally
Harper Miller Rad” alternatives. The PHIT Kid initiative is to encour-
age All of Us to Replace Screen time with Fling time,
while getting A Little Radder every day. Learn more
about Joseph Howard at www.ReinventingPlay.com

Edie Piacenza

The Dreamimals™ Goo on My Shoe

This cuddly bedtime essential, dreamt up by Edie Piacenza’s interest in inventing games was
8-year old Harper Miller, empowers children to sparked by the Young Inventors Challenge—it
believe in dreams and look forward to bedtime. sounded like a fun, so Edie started brainstorming
FOR CHILDREN, The Dreamimals™ are a toy. It ideas! Her winning game idea came to her when
makes going to bed fun, encouraging kids to she accidentally stepped in her dog’s poo! Just
craft stories to “dream up.” By doing so, children like that, Goo on My Shoe™ was born! Some-
write out their hopes, dreams, and aspirations on times the best ideas are under your nose, or in
a Dreamimals™ Wish Note, place the note into this case...under your toes! PlayMonster was so
their Dreamimal™ and cuddle up for a dreamy impressed with her game idea that they worked
night of restful sleep. with her to further develop it, and now her game
FOR PARENTS, The Dreamimals™ are a tool. can be found on Amazon and specialty store
Based on a proven technique to help kids sleep shelves!In her free time, Edie loves playing bas-
and dream good dreams. The Dream Pillow™ ketball, hockey or softball. When Edie takes a
helps practice positive imagery before bed. In break to relax, she enjoys drawing just like her
addition, it teaches children about the power of role model, Bob Ross
their thoughts, the importance of good sleep,
and positive thinking. This new bedtime ritual 64
will create memories for years to come.


TOR OF THE YEAR TO Y & GAM

Samaira Mehta, Aadit Mehta. UIDE2019

IDAY GIFT G
E

HOL

CoderMindz

CoderMindz is the world’s first-ever board game that teaches Artificial Intelligence(AI) concept in a
fun and engaging way. The game teaches AI, Neural Networks, Training, Image Recognition, Autono-
mous, and several other coding and AI concepts. The creators Samaira and Aadit has been featured
in TIME, NBC Today show, Yahoo finance, CNBC, Business Insider, and over 100 media nationally and
internationally. Samaira earlier launched CoderBunnyz in 2017. With the games, there is a bigger
mission. “Yes One Billion Kids Can Code”, a mission to get access to coding, AI and CS to all one
billion kids in the world by 2030 and the mission has already reached several places all over US,
Africa, Japan, China.

Ellie Skalla Tiggy Sliwinski

GalactiQuest Draw Into Crime YOUNG INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Ellie Skalla is a 7th grade game inventor It’s not every day that a middle-school-
from the Chicago area. At 10 years old, er will use their free time to focus on
she designed a strategy board game a challenging project like inventing a
set in space and entered it in the Young board game, but that’s exactly what
Inventor Challenge at the Chicago Toy Tiggy Sliwinski did! After lots of hard
pwaniocBSdknhoeGMixdmayomumsGpteierMbFlrsayaS,irrtRPk.aereHretssesac,rsbTumglweeaaimCRnst,oueynan, PcGtsseeau,ptlbFzatsu,caitdnniQildaourcwyeksaoetsf,t, work and development, Tiggy entered
Go&liaSthu.pAefrteDremkeore fine-tuning and play- her game in the Young Inventors Chal-
testing, including a last minute mock-up lenge…and she won! PlayMonster was
on a camping trip that used M&M can- so impressed with her game idea that
dies and torn leaves as playing pieces, they worked with her to further develop
GalactiQuest went into production. It it, and now her game, Draw Into Crime
is now available exclusively in Target can be found on Amazon and specialty
stores nationwide and at Target.com. store shelves!
Stars and Funlockets. Our passion is in-
novation and we can’t wait for our new
inventions to hit toy shelves in 2020! We
are dedicated to driving innovation in the
toy industry and continuing our success
for many years to come!

65


INNOVATIVE PR & MARKE

Microduino Inc. Disney Girls Team

Itty Bitty Buggy and IdeaLab for kids LEGO Aladdin Explore the World Together
Bin Feng is the Co-Founder and CEO of LEGO DisneyAladdin “Explore the World Together”
Microduino Inc., an award-winning global is an integrated 360 campaign with a heavy
designer, developer, manufacturer and seller emphasis on innovative social media executions
of stackable electronic building blocks, targeting millennial moms around the release of
related components, and in-class science, the Disney live action film. The campaign drives
technology, engineer and mathematics awareness of LEGO Disney Aladdin sets with
(STEM) learning systems. A former electrical millennial parents who have an affinity of Disney,
engineer and a proven leader with more fueling their nostalgia and connecting their
than 15 years of experience in technolo- experience with their children through LEGO.
gy and business, Bin has been recognized LEGO Disney 41158 Jasmine’s Petite Tower is
throughout his career for contributions- easy to build and perfect for fans of Disney’s
that encourage players to put down their Aladdin. It includes a Disney Princess Jasmine
phones and increase in-person connections. mini-doll figure, balcony, drinks glass and a
perfume bottle for all sorts of role-play fun.
LEGO Disney 41161 Aladdin and Jasmine’s Palace
Adventures is the perfect Aladdin play set for
recreating magical scenes from Disney’s Aladdin
movie. With a small marketplace, Cave of
Wonders, palace and a flying carpet, Disney
fans can relive the magic over and over again.

Keeley Tobin, Nikki Kennamer,
Kristina Timmins, Crystal Flynn,
Allison MacIntire & Sarah Madey

PLAYMOBIL’s Mars Space Station, Yellies
YULU’s SNAPSTAR’s
Zing’s HyperStrike campaigns Hasbro strives to create the World’s Best Play
Experiences. From toys and games to television,
Freeman PR is a consumer products com- movies, digital gaming and consumer products,
munications agency specializing in toys and Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to
games. We create and implement strategic experience its iconic brands, including NERF,
campaigns that include TV, print and digital MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH,
media programs and influencer marketing MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE, MAGIC: THE GATHER-
outreach to drive sales for clients ranging ING and POWER RANGERS, as well as premier
from start-ups to global leaders. See case partner brands. Through its entertainment
studies and more at FreemanPR.com labels, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation,
the Company is building its brands globally
through great storytelling and content on all
screens.

66


ETING TEAM OF THE YEAR Y & GAM

2019
TO

UIDE
E

HOL
Egils Grasmanis, IDAY GIFT G
Anna Peipina,
& Liga Lugovija

(Brain Games
Marketing Team)

Win a Trip to Antarctica

Brain Games is now the largest board game distributor in the Baltic
countries. In 2011, Brain Games began developing and publishing
new original games. Since then, Brain Games Publishing has
developed and published 13 games, which are available in more
than 40 countries. The most popular of them is the multi award
winning children’s game ICECOOL (Kinderspiel des Jahres 2017),
which resonated the board game industry in 2016. In 2018 Brain
Games launched ICECOOL Antarctica trick shot contest
with the main prize - a trip to Antarctica!

The OP LEGO Marvel Team

Marketing Team

USAopoly Rebrand & over 20+ LEGO Marvel Avengers End Game INNOVATIVE PR & MARKETING TEAM OF THE YEAR
product launches Construction Sets by LEGO

We are game makers, game changers, The 2019 LEGO Marvel Avengers
and game players and we know that we Campaign featured a full media
are charged with setting the stage for that campaign including TVC, In-cinema,
next great moment. We are The OP. We OLV, digital display, interactive gaming,
were fueled by the fortitude of a dedicated social media, influencer content and
team that put their heart and soul into a Marvel digital partnership which
every custom Monopoly game with a twist. placed one of a kind LEGO life-size
Through the years, we expanded our port- models on the red carpet at the
folioto include other licensed favorites Avengers Endgame world movie
like Clue, Munchkin, Trivial Pursuit, Code- premiere.The fullyintegrated campaign
names and more. Today, the company has also capitalized on earned media
expanded even further to include original through its participation in the Universe
family, party, hobby games, and puzzles Unites charity event at Disneyland
to became one of the most diverse game. Resort, and $1 million donation
of LEGO sets to benefit children’s
hospitals across the country. LEGO
launched five top-selling novelty
playsets in 2019 tied to the Marvel
Avengers: Endgame theatrical.

67


INNOVATIVE ART & DES

Christian Castro Matt & Chris Nuccio

New Phone Who Dis? (Design Edge)
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to
Colombian parents, Christian Castro has The Artsbot-
been playing and creating his own games Arts & Craft Kits
since he was a kid. Known as the go-to For over 30 years Design Edge has been a
game guy among his friends and family, leading design, development and sourcing
his obsession with play lead him to a agency specializing in toy and game industry.
career of toy and game design with a variety For 4 years Matt Nuccio has co-chaired the Toy
of clients including Mattel, Commonwealth Association (TA) associate panel, representing
Toys, Cardinal Industries and more. Now all designers and inventors in the toy industry.
the Lead Product Designer at What Do You Currently, he sits on the board of directors of
Meme? Christian works alongside a team the United Inventors Association of America
focused on creating modern-age games (UIA), the Toy Association education advisory
that encourage players to put down their board and on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair
phones and increase in-person connections. (ChiTAG) advisory board. Matt also writes a
column in Toy Family Entertainment magazine
Andreas Hoenigschmid focusing on the toy industry and often lectures
at the New York Toy Fair, ASTRA, Chicago Toy &
Game Fair, and the Hong Kong Toy Fair.
Celebrating his 30th year on the Design Edge
Team, Chris Nuccio has been an integral part
in running the day to day operations. With his
years and knowledge in design, engineering
and model making, he directs and assists the
team bringing concepts from start to finish..

Prospero Hall

Shashibo Trapper Keeper Game

Born in Munich, Andreas has been living in LA for 10 We love games that are rich and textured
years and is fascinated with numbers, geometry, experiences. We design gameplay that is
music and colors. Playing with different variations strategic, clever and captivating. We make
of the cube dissection of Hartmut Endlich, he came games in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary
across the possibility of assembling complex process that includes the diverse perspectives
structures with the help of magnets, and for the of many people. Prospero Hall is the name we
last four years he has worked on improvements, give to that collaborative effort.
patenting his concept and construction of multiple
cubes. He has a wife and two kids, loves fire
dancing, and drawing patterns and mandalas
on the beach at low tide. He’s always happy to
meet new people, learn and share what life has
shared with him.

68


SIGN TEAM OF THE YEAR Y & GAM

2019
TO

UIDE
E

HOL
Jessica Livingston, Vanessa Wilson, IDAY GIFT G
Johnlee Raine, Dave Sarrafo & team

Hatchimals Pixies Spin Master is a Canadian global toy and entertainment company that has
been designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing consumer
products for children around the world since 1994. Its brands include
2009 Toy of the Year Bakugan, Gund, Etch A Sketch, 2016 Innovative Toy
of the Year Erector Set by Meccano, Air Hogs, 2018 Property of the Year
PAW Patrol, Aquadoodle, Tech Deck, 2017 Toy of the Year Hatchimals and
2015 Toy of the Year, Zoomer. Spin Master employs over 1600 people
globally with offices in Canada, United States, Mexico, France, Italy,
United Kingdom, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands,
China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Australia

Hoyle Team Luis Diaz

Carol Rouillard, Maria McLane, Tamara (Idea Monster)
Allegra-Smith, Todd Brainard, Pete Thomas,
& Kyle Nicholson (Hoyle) Chuckle & Roar
line of games,
puzzles & toys

Super Me, Monkey, May I? Luis, along with his lovely wife, and INNOVATIVE ART AND DESIGN TEAM OF THE YEAR
design-partner-in-crime, Melissa, are
Super Me! is an emotional intelligence game the dynamic duo behind the creative
that includes elements of kid-favorites studio, Idea Monster Co. Luis traces his
like Memory and Matching! With easy toy design roots back to a pitch he gave
set up and taking turns matching the toy legend and family friend, Harry Disko
situation to the emergency, you can at the age of 10 – it didn’t go well. Between
reinforce social skills like making good then and now he’s done everything from
choices, helping others and having apparel design and marketing, to pack-
empathy. Super Me! is easy to learn and age and product design, having worked
a fun game for two to four player, four with companies like Disney, Target,
to six years of age. American Greetings, Buffalo Games,
Marbles: The Brain Store, and Crayola.
Just flip over an Emergency! card. Make a He feels extremely blessed to continue
Super Me! match and be a Superhero. to work in the toy and game field.
ANYONE can be a SUPER HERO by helping!
69


INNOVATIVE RETAI

Target

Building Blocks

Supporting Inventors and “Cartwheel” app,
Community Involvement Story-telling on the Sales Floor
At Building Blocks Toy Store, we believe in the and “Flex Fulfill” Options
power of play. Play affects every aspect of our lives
and has the power to change the world through Target is recognized as a leader in innovation
creativity, problem solving, and emotional across the retail industry. From pioneering the
intelligence. With 3 locations in Chicago, Building concept of designer partnerships to consistently
Blocks Toy Store offers a great selection of being best in class in store design, Target remains
well-curated toys, books, and products for kids focused on not only meeting, but exceeding, its
and adults to bring play into their lives. guests’ needs. To remain relevant to its guests
over time, Target continually reinvents its stores,
CAMP including layout, presentation and merchandise
assortment, to create an engaging shopping
experience. Minneapolis-based Target Corporation
(NYSE: TGT) serves guests at more than 1,855
stores and at Target.com

The Greommet

The Family Experience Store Empowering Inventors and Makers
Combining Play and Product
Throughout its Stores Since 2008, The Grommet has worked with more
than 3,000 Makers, inventors, entrepreneurs,
Built to engage and inspire families, CAMP stores and small businesses to launch innovative con-
are a seamless blend of product and play that sumer products to a community of 4 million. The
create enriching and fun experiences for all. Grommet considers thousands of products each
year, but only launches 3%. Many have become
household names, including Bombas Socks,
FitBit, Food Should Taste Good, GoldieBlox, Ide-
aPaint, OtterBox, S’well, SimpliSafe, and SodaS-
tream, among others. For more information, visit
http://thegrommet.com.

70


ILER OF THE YEAR TO Y & GAM

Wonder Works UIDE2019

IDAY GIFT G
E

HOL

Interactive play and free annual family events Wonderfest and Elfstravaganza

Wonder Works is a toy store like no other, aiming to inspire creativity and a sense of wonder
through hands-on play. For over 29 years, Wonder Works has been a vocal advocate for local,
child, and emerging entrepreneurs. The store hosts two annual community events, each drawing
10,000 attendees. Wonder Works has helped over 350 entrepreneurs develop and bring their
products to market. The entire Wonder Works team is passionate about the sustainability of the
toy industry!

Exploding Kittens Mastermind
Toys

Throw Throw Burrito Kickstarter Amazing Demos & Try Me INNOVATIVE RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Features at their Retail Stores
Elan Lee is co-founder of Exploding Kittens, spe-
cializes in games and marketing, and founded Since inception in 1984,
companies including 42 Entertainment and Mastermind Toys has been proud to
Fourth Wall Studios where he won a Primetime be Canada’s largest specialty toy and
Emmy. children’s book retailer, with 69 stores
Matthew Inman is the Eisner Award-winning spanning coast-to-coast. We carry the
creator of The Oatmeal and the #1 New York Times very best toys and books, with expert
best-selling author of How To Tell If Your Cat Is advice and a fun and welcoming
Plotting To Kill You. Since 2009, TheOatmeal.com atmosphere in each store.
has been read by millions. Matthew co-created the
Exploding Kittens card game.
Brian Spence has been a game designer for
25 years and has licensed more than 75 games
to companies including Hasbro, Mattel, Goli-
ath Games, Buffalo Games, PlayMonster, and
Gamewright.

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