The 2019 edition of Chicago Toy & Game Week (ChiTAG) will take place Nov. 21-24, and this year’s winners of the Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs) will be revealed at The Power of Magic Gala on Nov. 22. Today, ChiTAG revealed the final nominees for the 12th annual TAGIEs, which celebrates innovation and excellence across all facets of the toy and games industry. Public voting is open through Oct. 30.

“The Toy & Game Innovation Awards celebrate the people behind the most successful toys and games,” says Mary Couzin, founder and president, Chicago Toy & Game Group. “Our mission is to honor and celebrate the inventors and industry experts who stand out in the toy and game industry for their exceptionally innovative spirit of fun, philanthropy, and humanitarianism.”

The 2019 TAGIE nominees include:

Toy Innovator of the Year

  • KID Group for Demolition Duke (Spin Master)
  • G2 Inventions for Juno the Elephant (Spin Master)
  • JMP Creative for Crayola Glitter Dots (Crayola) and for Foodie Roos (Maya)
  • Peggy Brown for Lunch Pets (Wicked Cool Toys) and My Buddy Wheels (Y-Volution)
  • Daryl Tearne for Owleez and Monster Jam Mega Grave Digger RC Truck (Spin Master)
  • Bang Zoom for Pulp Heroes (Far Out Toys) and Mr Potato Head Lips Are Moving and Yellies (Hasbro)
  • Ryan Kratz and Gil Zalayet for the Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile RC Vehicle (Mattel)

Game Innovator of the Year

  • Adam Borton for Oops Scoops (YULU)
  • Dominic Yard & Gil Zalayet for Freeze Fall (Goliath)
  • Rob Daviau, Bob Driscoll, Don Ullman for Heist (Megableu USA)
  • Brendan Boyle & Adam Skaates (IDEO) for Plumber Pants (Hasbro) and Pictionary Air (Mattel)
  • Kim Vandenbroucke (The Brainy Chick) and Andrea Sambati (Memento) for Peeing Pup (Hasbro)
  • Kane Klenko for Pandemic: Rapid Response (Z-Man Games), Cosmic Factory (Gigamic), Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken (Minion Games), Proving Grounds (Renegade Game Studios), and Slap It! (Renegade Game Studios)
  • Pat Marino for Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game; Court of the Dead: Mourners Call Board Game; Talisman: Batman – Super Villains Edition; Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising; Star Wars: Dark Side Rising with USAopoly/The Op

Rising Star Innovator of the Year

  • Joe Barron for Wolf (Gray Matters Games)
  • Nir Doron and Gilad Podg for Candylocks (Spin Master)
  • Urtis Šulinskas for Planet (Blue Orange) and Pigasus (Brain Games)
  • Sjaak Griffioen, M. Oskar Van Deventer and Wei-Hwa Huang for Marble Circuit (MindWare)
  • Claudia Miranda Montealegre for the Imaginext Scooby-Doo Haunted Ghost Town (Fisher Price)
  • Mike Szalajko & Alex Mackey for What The Film?! and Camping with Sasquatch (Lethal Chicken Games)
  • Disconifty for Boxy Girls (Jay at Play), Rescue Runts, Funlockets and Shimmer Stars (KD Kids), Twisty (Spin Master) and SuperDeker

Young Inventor of the Year

  • Ellie Skalla for Galactiquest (Goliath)
  • Gimena Servin for Husks (Ribbiting Games)
  • Edie Placenza for Goo on My Shoe (PlayMonster)
  • Tiggy Sliwinski for Draw Into Crime (PlayMonster)
  • Joseph Howard for FLING! The Flyin Disc (Grip Toys)
  • Harper Miller for The Dreamimals (The Dream Pillow)
  • Samaira Mehta, Aadit Mehta — (CoderMindz) The World’s First Ever Board Game that teaches Artificial Intelligence (AI) Concepts

Innovative Art and Visuals of the Year

  • Andreas Hoenigschmid  (GeoBender) for Shashibo (Fun In Motion Toys)
  • Christian Castro (What Do You Meme?) for New Phone Who Dis? (What Do You Meme)
  • Luis Diaz (Idea Monster) for Chuckle & Roar line of games, puzzles, and toys (Buffalo Games)
  • Jessica Livingstone, Vanessa Wilson, Johnlee Raine, Dave Sarrafo & team for Hatchimals Pixies (Spin Master)
  • Carol Rouillard, Maria McLane, Tamara Allegra-Smith, Todd Brainard, Pete Thomas, Kyle Nicholson (Hoyle) for Super Me, Monkey, May I? (Hoyle)
  • Matt Nuccio and Chris Nuccio (Design Edge) for The Artsbot — Arts & Craft Kits
  • Prospero Hall for Trapper Keeper Game (Big G Creative)

Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year

  • Microduino for Itty Bitty Buggy and IdeaLab for kids – Everyone is an Inventor
  • LEGO Disney Girls Team for LEGO Aladdin Explore the World Together Campaign
  • The OP Marketing Team for a rebrand from USAopoly and over 20+ product launches.
  • LEGO Marvel Team for  LEGO Marvel Avengers End Game Construction Sets by LEGO Campaign
  • Freeman PR for PLAYMOBIL’s Mars Space Station,  YULU’s #SNAPSTAR’s and Zing’s HyperStrike campaigns
  • Egils Grasmanis, Anna Peipina, Liga Lugovija (Brain Games Marketing Team) for Win a Trip to Antarctica (Brain Games)
  • Keeley Tobin, Nikki Kennamer, Kristina Timmins, Crystal Flynn, Allison MacIntire and Sarah Madey (Hasbro) for Yellies (Hasbro)

Most Innovative Retailer Award

  • The Grommet for Empowering Inventors and Makers
  • Exploding Kittens for Throw Throw Burrito Kickstarter
  • Building Blocks for Supporting Inventors and Community Involvement
  • Mastermind for Amazing Demos and Try Me Features at their Retail Stores
  • Target for their “Cartwheel” app, Story-telling on the Sales Floor and “Flex Fulfill” Options
  • Camp, The Family Experience Store for Combining Play and Product Throughout its Stores
  • Wonder Works for interactive play and free annual family events Wonderfest and Elfstravaganza

Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson will introduce this year’s Lifetime Achievement Honoree, Ivan Moscovich — a five-time concentration camp survivor who went on to license 111 puzzles, toys, and games, in addition to writing nearly 70 books, with more set for release this year. Moscovich was the founder and director of the Tel Aviv Science Museum, which served as inspiration for the San Francisco Exploratorium. It was at the Museum, where he met Mattel founders Elliot and Ruth Handler, for whom he would design the Brain Drain series of games.

The TAGIEs are presented by Mattel with sponsor support from Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corp., Oxford Games, Cartamundi, ASTRA, The Toy Association, Longshore, ThinkFun, and Hassenfeld Family Initiatives, and others.