Aug 23, 2020
The Chicago Toy & Game Group rebrands under the name People of Play

The Chicago Toy & Game Group (CHITAG) is rebranding under the name People of Play (POP). This organization is known for championing toy and game innovators around the world and celebrating achievements at industry events including CHITAG Week, the Innovation Conferences, the Young Inventor Challenge and the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards. People of Play will continue the mission of promoting innovation, creativity and connectivity in the toy and game industry.

“While Chicago continues to be our home base, we believe the name People of Play better describes the vast reach of our organization,” said Mary Couzin, founder of Chicago Toy & Game Group. “Over the last two decades, CHITAG has grown to connect tens of thousands of incredible inventors, brands, distributors, retailers, PR agencies, suppliers, media and influencers from all over the world. We believe community is at the heart of this organization and People of Play will continue to be a leader in fostering an environment of support and collaboration.”

The organization’s inaugural event, CHITAG Presents People of Play Week kicks off Nov. 16, 2020 with an exciting virtual line-up of workshops, awards and entertainment.

Schedule of Events

Toy & Game International Innovation Summit, Nov. 16-20, 2020

The toy and game innovation conference is going virtual. Over five days, attendees can participate in workshops, network and pitch ideas. The headliners, Leaders and Legends, talk with some of the top performers in the industry including:

  • Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel.
  • Jill Barad, one of the first four Fortune 500 CEOs and known for setting Barbie on a trajectory of unmatched success with her WE Girls campaign back in the 80’s.
  • Tom Kalinske, formerly the president of Sega, Mattel and LeapFrog, now the executive chairman of Mixed Dimensions.
  • Eddy Goldfarb, who’s credited with inventing over 800 toys and games including his first invention Yakity Yak Teeth as well as KerPlunk and Hydro Strike.
  • Reuben Klamer, the inventor of more than 200 products including the classic Fisher-Price Preschool Trainer Skates and Hasbro’s The Game of Life
  • Neil Friedman, formerly president of Alex Brands, ToysRUs, Mattel, Fisher-Price and Tyco Preschool and now an industry consultant.

Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIES), Nov. 20, 2020

Toast fellow industry colleagues at the 13th annual TAGIE Awards, which will recognize outstanding achievement in the toy and game industry. Highlights include:

  • Honoring Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Norman and Arlene Fabricant for Celebration of Life and Lifetime Achievement
  • Awarding TAGIEs in 8 categories including Toy and Game Innovators of the Year, Rising Star and new category, Most Innovative Supplier.

POP’s Got Talent, Nov. 20, 2020

This new event is hosted by brothers Robert and David Fuhrer of Nextoy, LLC and BlueSquare Innovations respectively.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair, Nov. 21-22, 2020

This event spans three virtual stages that offer youth:

  • Stage 1: Young Inventor Challenge
  • Stage 2: Preschoolers can listen to stories from your favorite characters, watch a magic show and participate in fun singalongs.
  • Stage 3: Families can learn the behind-the-scenes secrets of favorite toys and games.

For more information, visit

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