Chicago Toy & Game Fair ExhibitorI’ve been asked to be a speaker again at this year’s Toy and Game Inventor Expo (TAGIE). I had to back out at the last second last year due to a family illness, but I had a great time at the show the year before. The convention is held on Navy Pier in downtown Chicago on November 19 and 20.

If you’re an aspiring mass-market game or toy designer, TAGIE is a fantastic introduction to that industry and provides a crash-course on what you need to do have a shot at succeeding in it. Hasbro is the lead sponsor this year, and that means you can expect to see top folks like Mike Gray and Mike Hirtle there among many other luminaries.

I’m also going to attend the TAGIE Awards ceremony, which honor the top creators in mass-market toys and games. This is slated for the evening of November 20 at the Adler Planetarium. Even if you can’t make it there, there seems to still be time to nominate people for Toy Inventor of the Year, Game Inventor of the Year, Rising Star Inventor of the Year, and Young Inventor of the Year. Reuben Klamer, who designed The Game of Life, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Leslie Scott, who designed Jenga, will be one of the presenters, along with actresses Daryl Hannah and Hilary Shepard, and Tim Walsh, designer of TriBond and Blurt.

If you love toys and games but don’t want to see how they’re made, come out for the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) instead. It’s held on Navy Pier too, but on the two days right after TAGIE, November 21 and 22. It’s all about seeing and playing the latest and greatest toys and games instead. I’ll be wandering around the show that Saturday, soaking up all the fun. If you’ll be at either event, be sure to say hi!