by The Bloom Report | 22 Nov 2021

Press Release





CHICAGO, IL (November 20, 2021)  - Winners of the highly-esteemed TAGIE Awards (TAGIEs) have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs honor the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. The 2021 TAGIE Awards were presented during the virtual awards ceremony on November 19.


This year’s winners are:


2021 TAGIE Winners (by category)


  • Toy Innovator of the Year: Ora & Theo Coster, Theora Concept Ltd for GO POP (Last Lost) aka POP IT with FoxMind
  • Game Innovator of the Year: Peggy Brown Creative for KraftHeinz Variety Game Pack with Big G Creative, Cat's Pajama's  with TCG, Game A Saurus Rex with Goliath, Stack Your Chickens with Mindware
  • Rising Star Innovator of the Year: Frederica Scott Vollrath for Slappy Camper by Mindware, The Mermaid's Jewels by Winning Moves Games, Crystallized by Games by  Bicycle
  • Young Innovator of the Year (under 18 years of age): Tristan Donaldson for Sew Fast with Fat Brain Toys
  • Innovative PR and Marketing Team of the Year: The Orbeez Marketing Team for Orbeez by Spin Master
  • Innovative Art and Design Visuals of the Year:  KID Group and Michael McGinnis for Perplexus Snitch with Spin Master
  • Innovative Retailer of the Year: LEGO Brick and Mortar Stores Worldwide
  • Innovative Supplier of the Year: Wai Or and Longshore Toy & Game Manufacturer Team for Service to Clients Big and on way to being Big
  • *NEW Innovative License of the Year: Exploding Minions by Exploding Kittens with Illumination and Universal Brand Development


Selected By Committee. ​

  • In Memoriam Presentation 
    • Celebration of life presentation
      • Brian Golder, Chairman & CEO, Hasbro
      • Ora Coster, Co-Founder, Theora Design
  • Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Humanitarian Award 
    • Jan-Maurits Duparc, Chief Creation at Identity Games
  • Game Changers of the Year 
    • Megan Kanous, Director of Business Development, PSI
    • Azhelle Wade, The Toy Coach Podcast Season II
    • Josslynne Welch and Litzky PR, President of Litzky PR
  • Lifetime Achievement 
    • Tom Kalinske,  Executive Chairman at Mixed Dimensions and former CEO of Sega America, Leapfrog and Mattel
    • Michele Litzky, ,Founder of Litzky Public Relations (LPR) 
    • The Pressman Family, Accepted by Jim Pressman, Past President of The Pressman Toy Company


The TAGIEs were hosted by Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, LEGO at Disney Consumer Products, with help from

  •  Leslie Scott, Leslie Scott, Oxford Games, inventor of Jenga and much more
  • Michael Kohner, President of The Michael Kohner Corporation
  • Robert Pasin, Chief Wagon Officer of Radio Flyer
  • Matthew Inman, Co-Founder of Exploding Kittens, Founder of Oatmeal, Cartoonist
  • Dave Harris, Senior DIrector, Inventor Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Mattel
  • Neil Friedman, Advisor, Prior: President of Alex Brands, ToysRUs, Mattel, Fisher-Price, Tyco Preschool
  •  Kate Pressman, The Pressman Toy Company
  • John Barbour, Managing Partner at Volta Capital
  • Marty Abrams, Father of the Modern Action Figure, President of Mego Corporation
  • David Capon, President, FoxMind Toys and Games, the company behind the viral hits Go Pop! and Pop-It!
  • Tim Walsh, Co-Founder, Roo Games; Filmmaker, Author, Designer, Creative Consultant, The Playmakers, 
  • Wai Or, CEO Longshore Limited
  •  Ellen Beth Van Buskirk Knapp, Neubrand, LLC, Partner


The 2021 TAGIE Awards were presented by Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products with sponsors Mattel, Hasbro, Oxford Games, MEGO, The Michael Kohner Corporation,  Goliath, Longshore, Radio Flyer, Exploding Kittens, Foxmind, PlayMonster, Nextoy, Pressman, Peggy Brown Creative, and Kite and Rocket.


Special stunts were devised and performed by Robert Victor, President and Founder of Kite and Rocket, and his talented team. 


The TAGIE Awards are part of People of Play Week (November 15-20) which includes the Toy & Game International Innovation Summit, POP Duo Keynotes Legends & Leaders, Networking in the POP Pub Rooms, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and the Young Inventor Challenge.


For more information, please visit


About People of Play

People of Play (POP) leads the global toy and game industry in promoting innovation, creativity and connectivity. A one-stop source of community for industry professionals, aspiring inventors and people of all ages who love to play, People of Play hosts a wide range of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the Toy & Game International Summit, POP-pedia and the People of Play Foundation. 


Media contact,


About the TAGIEs

Founded in 2008, the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIEs) celebrate the outstanding achievements of toy and game industry leaders from around the world, by honoring masters of innovation and invention. The annual event also pays homage to industry professionals who differentiate themselves with their spirit for fun, philanthropy, inventor advocacy, creativity and humanitarianism. Inventors, designers, manufacturers, retailers, media and the general public come together for this prestigious annual gala event. The TAGIEs are hosted in the fall in conjunction with the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair and the Toy & Game Inventor Conferences. For more information, visit


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Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!