Voting opens for 2021 TAGIE Awards

Published on: 28th September 2021

People of Play (POP) is now accepting votes for the innovative and inspiring TAGIE nominees; voting closes 31st October. 

The finalists of this year's prestigious TAGIE Awards, which honour the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry, have been announced by People of Play (POP).

To commemorate the current climate, POP has added two new categories to the TAGIEs line-up. Most Innovative Licensed Product and Game Changers both aim to shine a light on the entrepreneurial spirit that has shown its ability to innovate and inspire during the global pandemic.

Click here to vote. Public voting ends 31st October.

“We all thought 2020 was going to be the most challenging year, yet 2021 is here and we still have hurdles to jump through," said Karri Bean, TAGIE Awards host and senior manager, Licensing, at Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. "The feats pulled off by members of the toy industry constantly amaze us over at People of Play: you all inspire us daily. The TAGIEs are our opportunity to give back and celebrate these accomplishments. Mark your calendar for the Awards Show and get ready to pop your champagne.”

The TAGIE Awards Show will be hosted virtually once again this year on November 19th and will premiere on POP’s homepage. Tickets are free if you RSVP here. Watch parties will be held across the globe as the toy industry community comes together to toast and celebrate its colleagues. After the TAGIE Awards Show, attendees will be able to socialise in the POP Pub rooms.

The 2021 TAGIE Awards are presented by Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products with sponsors Mattel, Oxford Games, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Goliath, Radio Flyer, PlayMonster, Nextoy, and Kite and Rocket. All finalists are listed below.

Toy Innovator of the Year

  • Rufus Butler Seder, Doo-Bee Toys and Nextoy - Spirograph Animator with PlayMonster
  • Ora & Theo Coster, Theora Concept - Last One Lost (aka: Go Pop! and Pop It!) by FoxMind
  • Peggy Brown Creative - Hideaway Pets with Jay@Play
  • Dr Ben Gray and Ric Scott, with Eric Dahan and Andres Alfonso - Artie Max by Educational Insights
  • Radio Flyer Design team - Flyer M880 e-bike by Radio Flyer
  • The Hasbro Star Wars team, SparkLab R&D and partners at Lucasfilm - Galactic Snackin’ Grogu Animatronic with Hasbro
  • The Rehco Team - the The All Pro Passer Robotic Quarterback by NSI International
  • Design teams from Sega Toys and Spin Master - Purse Pets from Spin Master and Sega Toys
  • Fuse - Imaginext DC Super Friends Bat-Tech BatBot with Fisher-Price/Pokémon Carry Case Volcano Playset with Jazwares/Deluxe Batman Playset with Spin Master
  • Big Monster Toys - Polly Pocket Flip & Find Compact with Mattel
  • Q&Q Japan and Spin Master's design lead Kurt Scanlan, PD lead Todd Toso, EI lead Martin Labrecque, brand lead Paulina Lo, VB lead Rachel Mannone, LEMM Graham Browning - Peek-A-Roo with Spin Master

Game Innovator of the Year

  • Peggy Brown Creative - KraftHeinz Variety Game Pack (Big G Creative), Cat's Pajama's with TCG, Game A Saurus Rex (Goliath), Stack Your Chickens (Mindware)
  • Gary Pyper & Toby Kinsey - Giddy Up (John Adams)
  • Simon Skelton and Ruth Elliott from Big Ideas, and Geoff House from Tricky -  Hide 'N Cheek and Cluckle (Big G Creative)
  • Andrew and Jack Lawson - Ka-Blab (Hasbro)
  • KidKenn Invention Team - Foosketball (Hasbro)
  • JM Duparc and Product Development Team - Escape Room The Game Puzzle Adventures & Escape Your House (Identity Games)
  • Ken Gruhl - Bluffaneer (Big G Creative), Twosome (Buffalo Games), 60 Second City (Buffalo Games), Corners Up (Fat Brain Toys), Words Over Easy (Winning Moves Games), Bunch of Butts (Under Where Games)
    Bang Zoom Design Team - Crossed Signals (Mattel)
  • Daniel Greiner - Echoes: An Audio Mystery Game (Ravensburger)
  • Kelly Adams and JP van der Vliet - Gobble Monster, Picky Kitty, Chompin Charlie, and Beware of Bear (Goliath Games)
  • Juliana Moreno Patel & Ariel Rubin - Escape Room In A Box Series: The Werewolf Experiment, Flashback, Time Drifters - Kira's Game, and Time Drifters - Isabel's Game (Mattel), Hello Neighbor: The Secret Neighbor Party Game (Arcane), Crimes & Capers: High School Hijinks and Crimes & Capers: Lady Leona's Last Wishes (Renegade Games)

Rising Star Innovator of the Year

  • Emma Peat - Orbeez Challenge Playset and Go Glam Unique Salon (Spin Master)
  • Frederica Scott Vollrath - Slappy Camper (Mindware), The Mermaid's Jewels (Winning Moves Games), Crystallised (Games by Bicycle)
  • Thato and Kioko Mwosa - SAWA Trivia
  • Larissa Louwman - Stuff-a-Loons (Boti Global)
  • Shail Mehta and the Gameboard team - The Last Gameboard
  • Really Fun Partnership - Really?! Think you know me? Guess again!, and Triple Tongue Twisters Fun Educational Card Game
  • Inventors Liat Waks, Naama Weiss, Tali Stern and Gilad Podgor, and Far Out Toys' marketing team Sarah Baskin, Simon Waldron, Lauren Peterson - Glo-Up Girls
    Adam Rehberg - Treat Yo Self! (Buffalo Games)
  • Chris Castagnetto - Taco Bell Party Pack Card Game (Ravensburger)
  • Martin and Alysha Horstman - Pixicade (BitOGenius)

Most Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year

  • The PlayMonster marketing team and ChizComm Beacon Media Agency - Koosh (PlayMonster)
  • Jodi McDonald, Talia Carr, Steph Guo - Orbeez (Spin Master)
  • 2020 Lego Disney Girls Team - Lego (Disney Frozen Sets)
  • Lisa Orman and KidStuff PR team - Hungry Bins: Learn to Recycle (Adventerra Games)
  • Alpesh Patel and Jurassic Teams - Jurassic World Toddler Line (Tomy International)
  • VTech, LeapFrog and Coyne PR - VTech and LeapFrog Play Nice on Pinterest
  • Hog Wild Toys and Freeman PR - Handy Grabs (Hog Wild Toys)
  • Janis Van Tine - 5 Surprise Mini Brands & Bunch 'o' Balloons (Zuru)
  • Disney, Mattel and NASCAR collaboration for Disney and Pixar Cars NASCAR series, with programme led by Scott Robertson, Eric Lewis, Cassie Perazzo and Jay Ward
  • Sky Castle Toys and Freeman Public Relations - LetsGlow Studio (Sky Castle Toys)

Most Innovative Art and Design Visuals Of The Year

  • Artists Shawn Daley, Hector Amavizca, Joellen Smith, Joe Mead, Gij Arentz, Ethan Yu, Kennedy Garza, The Mico, Dave Melvin, Gilbert Jansen, Josh Culp, Nolan Nasser, Martha Webby with inventor Eric Slauson - MonsDRAWsity (Deep Water Games)
  • KID Group and Michael McGinnis for Perplexus Snitch (Spin Master)
  • Design Edge for Hip Town with Endless Games; Marvel Avengers Clue Jr and and Disney Villains Sorry (Hasbro)
  • Andres Alfonso for Mixaroo (Educational Insights)
  • Disney's Brian Godlewski and Terrell Gentry for NASCAR, Disney and Mattel Collaboration for Disney and Pixar Cars NASCAR Series
  • Jeff Lawber - Marmals
  • Scott Brown - Koala Walla Bing Bang Kaboom Blocks (Roo Games)
  • Adam Grason - Summer Camp (Buffalo Games)
  • Buffalo Games Design Team - Noir and Blanc Puzzle Lines
  • Apolline Etienne, Joshua Cappel, Game Trayz with David Diaz - Fossilis (KTBG)
  • Alicia Boulos - Ka-Blab (Hasbro)

Most Innovative Supplier of the Year

  • Design Edge - Hey Kube (22nd Solutions)
  • Jodi Meusel and Katie LaSeur of the The Creative Fold - Partnering with Clients for Success
  • Wai Orr and Longshore Toy & Game Manufacturer Team - Servicing Clients Big and On the Way to Being Big
  • Gary Ruddell with Total Biz Fulfillment - Excellent Support in Client’s Sales Channels
  • Joe Ferrara with Aries Global Logistics - Supporting Clients Worldwide
  • GPI, Grand Prix International - New Informative Newsletter and Service to Customers
  • Bob Witkin with York-Jersey Underwriters - Working to Mitigate Risk with Clients
  • Shari Spiro - Ad Magic: Always Pivoting to Meet Customer’s Needs
  • David Becker, Blue Plate Media Services - Exceptional Management of Media Investment

Most Innovative License of the Year

  • Kraft Mac & Cheese, Jello, Heinz Ketchup (Big G Creative)
  • Steve Rad for Bill Nye's VR Space Lab (Abacus Brands)
  • PlayMonster design team - Things... Schitt's Creek Edition (PlayMonster)
  • Andrews McMeel Publishing (AMP), Will Shortz and Nextoy - a line of games, books and puzzles with Will Shortz Games
  • Tomy Club Mocchi-Mocchi marketing team (Nintendo)
  • Pat Marino and Mathew Reuther (The Op) with Disney & Pixar - Quests of Yore: A Role-Playing Adventure Game
  • Exploding Minions (Exploding Kittens)
  • Paw Patrol design team - Ultimate City Transforming Tower, Marshall's transforming City Firetruck,. Chase's 2-in-1 City Cruiser, Chase's Hero Paws Role Play with Spin Master OR Paw Patrol - Paramount/Nickelodeon/Mikros/Cal Brunker/Spin Master Entertainment
  • Hershey Halloween Squishmallow (Jazwares) and Hershey's Kisses Pop! Plush (Funko)

Most Innovative Retailer of the Year

  • Linda Kapnick, Ambassador Toys - San Francisco, California
  • Simon Says - Vermont
  • Gordon Lugauer , the Board Game Barrister stores - Wisconsin
  • Ann Kienzle, play toy stores - Chicago
  • David Plenn for The Dinosaur Farm - South Pasadena, California
  • Lego brick and mortar stores - worldwide
  • Mastermind Toys - Canada
  • Kathy Gray for Lark Toys - Kellogg, Minnesota
  • Learning Express Toys & Gifts - nationwide

Young Innovator of the Year (under 18 years old)

  • Cybele McKenzie - Candy Collections (Cybele’s Games)
  • Jose Rodriguez Jr. - T-Shirts with Fidget Toys (Tasium)
  • Tristan Donaldson - Sew Fast (Fat Brain Toys)


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