The Chicago Toy & Game Group has announced the winners of the eighth annual Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards.
At this year’s storytelling themed awards ceremony, excellence was recognised in the categories of Toy Design, Game Design, Rising Star, Excellence in Game Design, Young Inventor and Digital Toy/Game. The winners for these categories were selected by their industry colleagues and the public.
Excellence was also recognised in the categories of The Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award, In Memoriam and Lifetime Achievement. The honourees for these categories were selected by a closed jury of industry-based judges.
Mark Boudreaux, inventor of Star Wars Millennium Falcon, won Excellence in Toy Design. Laurie Peterson, designer of Malia’s Beach House, Marine Rescue Center, Day at the Beach, Fairytale Theater and Pet Portrait Studio, won the Rising Star Designer award.
Elan Lee, Matthew Inman, and Shane Small, designers of Exploding Kittens, won Excellence in Game Design, and Duncan and Hayden, inventors of Two Bros Bows, won the Young Inventor of the Year award.
Adam Wilson and Ian Bernstein, inventors of BB-8, won Best Digital Toy or Game, and the Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago.
This year’s In Memoriam Award will honour Richard Knerr and Arthur Spud Melin, the co-founders of the Wham-O company, which is best known for introducing iconic products like the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Richard Maddocks, who is best known for propelling robotics in toys while maintaining depth of character and emotion in his creations.
This year’s TAGIE Awards evening was sponsored by Hasbro, Oxford Games, Mayfair Games, Moose Toys, TIA, Inc., Global Toy News, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Reyn Guyer Creative, The Playmakers, Peggy Brown and Fat Brain Toy Co.