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Kids Turn Toy News

Nation’s Only Public Toy and Game Fair Returns to Chicago Nov 22-23

Chicago Toy and Game Fair Play classic and new games; meet inventors and shop for the holidays

From the greatest classics to the hottest new toys and games on the market, the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG)—the nation’s only public toy and game show—will feature something for everyone. Kids, parents, toy and game enthusiasts and other curious minds are invited to play and learn.

ChiTAG showcases products from around the world just in time for the holidays. After spending two years in Schaumburg, ChiTAG will return to Chicago at Navy Pier, with public events taking place Saturday November 22 and Sunday November 23 in Festival Hall A. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley serves as the honorary chair.

“We are thrilled to bring ChiTAG back to Chicago—a city that we consider the toy and game capital of the world,” said Mary Couzin, ChiTAG organizer. “We want to emphasize the importance of play in all of our lives—children and adults alike.” In addition to a concentration on fun, ChiTAG focuses on the importance of games in education, incorporating play into family life and securing safe toys in the market. ChiTAG will feature an educator forum and a workshop about the importance of play.

Couzin also emphasized the local significance of the toy and game industry, noting that many people do not know that great toy inventors live right here in Chicago, and that our city is home to some of the pioneering toy and game companies.

In fact, Chicago is home to many well-known toy and game inventors:

  • TMX Elmo—the fastest selling toy in history—invented by Lund and Company Invention, LLC., located in River Forest
  • The Beanie Baby, created by Ty, located in Oakbrook
  • Inventors of MouseTrap and Operation live in the area
  • Lincoln Logs, created locally by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son
  • Ants in the Pants, Lite Brite, Mouse Trap, Simon and more, created by Jeffrey Breslow and the Marvin Glass studio in Chicago—the largest toy and game inventing company in history.
  • Big Monster Toy in the West Loop is currently the largest toy and gameinventing company in the world, and it is estimated that 78 percent of households have Big Monster toys on their shelves.
From November 20-21, ChiTAG will host forums and workshops geared toward those in the toy and game industry. The Toy and Game Inventor Awards, taking place November 21, will announce winners of Toy Inventor of the Year, Game Inventor of the Year and Rookie Inventor of the Year, and is open to the public.

The Young Inventor Challenge, open to youth under 18, will take place throughout the fair, the winner of which will be determined by attendee vote.

Additional features of this year’s fair include:

  • Star Wars Breakfast and Integrity Toys' Dynamite Girls Breakfast
  • 501st Star Wars Legion Walking Fair and Star Wars Droid Hunt
  • Renaissance Knights Chess Tournaments
  • Inventor Forum
  • Brookfield Zoo Characters
  • Radio Disney on stage
  • Track-tested NASCAR race car and NASCAR tailgate games at Fundex Games booth


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ChiTAG is working with American Library Association and Chicago Public Library System, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, Brookfield Zoo, CARES Mentoring, Games for Educators, Girls on the Run-Chicago, Kohl’s Children’s Museum, Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Museum of Science and Industry, Renaissance Knights chess organization and more.

For more information, please visit www.chitag.org