ChiTAG Group Brings Largest Toy and Game Inventor Event to Chicago Toy & Game Week

CHITAGHosted by the Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG), the International Toy & Game Innovation Conference (T&GCon) is a networking and educational opportunity in which both industry leaders and those looking to get involved in the industry and/or have their product licensed can come together to share key insights and ideas.

The conference, scheduled to take place on November 20 and 21 at the Navy Pier in Chicago, also includes the International Summit for Professional Inventors (I-SPI), and the Inventor Relations Summit (IRS), which is part of I-SPI. Attendees will have the chance to meet top executives from Hasbro, Spin Master, Ravensburger, NASA, Patch Products, and more.

At T&GCon, new inventors will have opportunities to show their ideas to dozens of toy and game industry companies. Meanwhile, at I-SPI, aspiring inventors can meet colleagues from around the world, experience new technology, meet with manufacturers in private offices, and more. Finally, at IRS, attendees can discover new ideas, products, and innovation from different inventors and companies, as well as discuss ways to strengthen both the inventor community and the industry as a whole.

Registration includes a ticket to PlayCHIC, the toy, game and entertainment brand-inspired fashion show on the evening of November 20, as well as a ticket to the Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards. Interested parties can visit the official T&GCon site to register.

Patch Products Under New Ownership

Patch.logoPatch Products has announced that its founders, Fran and Bryce Patch, have sold the business to Topspin Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in New York City.

Founded in 1985, Patch has grown from a small puzzle and game manufacturer to a family entertainment company which designs, manufactures, distributes, and markets games, children’s puzzles, preschool toys, creative activities, and teaching tools.

The Patch headquarters and management team, led by CEO Bob Wann, will remain in place. “We are excited to have Topspin as our partner going forward,” Wann states. “It was very apparent from all of our discussions that Topspin shares the same excitement and support for the strategic vision we have for Patch. This, combined with the additional financial resources that they can provide, will trigger further expansion and growth for Patch.”

Patch Products Distributes Classic Board Game Stratego

StrategoJumboPatch Products has signed a licensing and distribution agreement with Royal Jumbo, which grants Patch the exclusive right to market and distribute Stratego products in the U.S. and Canada, effective next year. Stratego, a game of battlefield strategy, has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Over the years, it has been released under different themes, looks, and rules, although the goal remains capturing the opponent’s flag.

Patch Products is a family-owned company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of games, children’s puzzles, preschool toys, creative activities and teaching tools. Royal Jumbo, a 160-year-old company, is a Dutch publisher and manufacturer of games and puzzles.

Chicago Toy & Game Group Expands Events in the U.S. and Abroad

The Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) expanded its toy industry networking events to cities around the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

ChiTAG Networking Events were recently held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto with upcoming events planned for London on June 5, Chicago on June 11, and Nashville on June 18 during ASTRA Marketplace & Academy, as well as events slated for New York, Seattle, Boston, Indianapolis, Sarasota, Montreal, and more.

ChiTAG advocates toy and game inventors, and its Networking Events are one of the many ways the organization carries out its mission to bring the industry together to share information, foster collaborative opportunities, and promote the power of play and the toy industry as a whole.

Events attract professionals from all areas of the business including manufacturers, inventors, designers, sales reps, independent consultants, and more, who come together to share experiences and develop new business relationships.

Past and future events are co-sponsored and held in collaboration with companies including Spin Master, Mind Candy, ThinkFun, Mayfair Games, PlaSmart, Bananagrams, Endless Games, RoosterFin, DesignEdge, Patch Products, Educational Insights, Top Trumps, Joyce Johnson Designs, Peaceable Kingdom, Jukem Football, Dynamic Designworks/DDW Inc., OtherdoorEntertainment, Snakes & Lattes, and toy/game retailers across the country.

Admission to ChiTAG Networking Events is free, and RSVP’s are required. For more information on upcoming events, please visit or email the Chicago Toy & Game Group at, or phone (847) 677-8277.

Patch Products Releases the Game of Things

Patch Products is now the sole manufacturer and distributor of the entertaining party game, Things, in the U.S. and Canada. The game has become a hit among those who love games that push the envelope. The game includes 300 topic cards that turn everyone into a comedian. The true object of the game is laughter, but to win, players read topics out loud, write down responses, and then take turns guessing who said what.

Million Minute Family Challenge Surpasses Goal

At a time when so many people are entertained by tablet computers and mobile phones, is it possible for people to play enough games to log one million minutes of game play in a four-month span? Game enthusiasts across the United States once again proved it is, logging a total of 1,060,940 minutes during the 12th year of the Million Minute Family Challenge. [Read more...]

Patch Selects Wooly Willy Doppelganger

Wooly Willy, the classic toy  invented by James Herzog in 1955, was celebrated earlier this summer at the annual Wooly Willy Wonderdaze festival in Smethport, Pa. After a contest and nationwide search for a Wooly Willy lookalike, Patch Products has named Pennsylvanian Dennis Stromberg as Wooly Willy’s lookalike. Stromberg will receive a custom-made Wooly Willy featuring his very own photograph.

Patch is also offering additional, themed products for Halloween, Easter, and Christmas. For more information on Wooly Willy and other Patch Products, visit

This post was originally written by Lindsay Gordon and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Games & Puzzles: Tales to Play Line from Patch Products

Patch Products’ new Tales to Play line brings classic children’s stories to life through board games. Each game includes a colorful board, 3-D accessories, and pawns featuring children’s favorite characters from the book.

The initial board games include The Mother Goose Game, in which players travel around the board collecting eggs; The Berenstain Bears Learn to Share Game, challenging kids to be the first reach Mama and Papa Bear; The Little Engine That Could Game that has players chant “I think I can” as they zoom up and down the hill; and Where the Wild Things Are Game, which allows kids to imagine they are Max, traveling to the forest to become the king of the Wild Things.

Each game is for two to four players.

For more games & puzzles, read The Toy Book‘s July/August issue. Click here to read!

Wooly Willy Summer Festival, World Tour

Looking for a free summer event? Smethport, Penn., hometown of Wooly Willy, is hosting the third annual National Wooly Willy Wonderdaze festival, from June 23-25. The free festival will celebrate the 56th birthday of the popular toy with  opportunities for attendees to tour the Wooly Willy factory, see Wooly Willy window art, and more. The event will also include parades, live entertainment, food vendors, and a fireworks show.

For the fans who can’t attend the festival, Patch Products will also be hosting the Where In The World Is Wooly Willy? summer adventure. Families can print out Wooly Willy, take a picture with him, then post it online and track Wooly Willy‘s global adventure. Participants have the opportunity to win prizes and view postcards and messages from Willy as he travels the world.

Patch Products Announces New Line of Science Kits

Patch Products is releasing three new preschool science kits based on PBS KIDS’ Sid the Science Kid television show. Produced by The Jim Henson Company, Sid the Science Kid aims to encourage children’s natural curiosity, while developing early science skills.

Patch Product’s science kits include “Why Do I Need a Jacket?,” “How Do Plants Grow?,” and “Why Are Wheels Round?.” Each kit costs $9.99–for ages 3 and up–and includes a journal and kit-specific items.

“Why Do I Need a Jacket?” encourages preschoolers to explore aspects of the weather, including temperature and precipitation. “How Do Plants Grow?” teaches the fundamentals of plant growth, including what dirt is, while “Why Are Wheels Round?” teaches movement and some basic physics.