2017 ChiTAG Preview

2017 ChiTAG Preview


Can you believe that it’s time for the Chicago Toy and Game Fair already??  I can’t.  This year has flown by but here it is… a little over 1 week away and I’ve got a couple things to help you plan your trip or entice you to go if you’re still on the fence!

When & Where: November 18 & 19 at Chicago’s Navy Pier

Tickets: http://www.chitag.com/schedule-tickets  use code “CHITAG3” for $3 off if you purchase online.

Don’t forget that ChiTAG isn’t just a great show to try out new games, it can be a great place to get gift ideas AND purchase them!  Usually there are quite a few show specials, meaning you’ll be getting a great deal, and you may get the added bonus of finding the inventor to sign the game for you!  How cool is that?!

U.S. National Rummikub Championship!  – Sunday 11/19 1:30-5pm $25 Pre-Registration Required

I wish that I had more time during the weekend so I could play in this tournament!  I love Rummikub and the prize is AMAZING: you win 2 round trip airline tickets and hotel accommodations at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Jerusalem, to compete in the 2018 World Championship which will take place November 9-12, 2018 for a cash prize.   Yes, you have to pay $25 to participate, but that includes your entry to the fair and you receive a Retro Tin of Rummikub so even if you aren’t the champion, it’s not a total loss!  Must be 18 to compete and all of the other details are in the link above.

Giant Soggy Doggy – Spin Master Booth all weekend

Spin Master released Soggy Doggy in the US just recently and they’ll have a giant version of it at the show!  If you didn’t read my Toy Fair Trends article, I talked about how this was one of the coolest kids games I saw at the show.  The dog is made of a weird rubbery fur that makes him ADORABLE when he shakes and gets you wet!  Cannot wait to see the giant version of this game! (You can see it on YouTube, but I think in person is going to be way more fun — instead I’ll show you the commercial for the game so you can start to imagine it!

Giant Build or Boom – Goliath Booth all weekend

Build or Boom is a children’s game where you race to stack your blocks exactly like the card and when you finish you get to press the dynamite blast pad and “BOOM” the other player’s tower.  Sounds fun as a tabletop game — can you imagine it as a GIANT game??  I’m sure that’s going to be a fun one to try out.


See the game from the 2016 Young Inventor’s Challenge Winners – Pressman Booth

Ship of Treasures, available at Target, was invented by Illinois fifth-graders Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers.  They got to work with both Pressman and Target to further develop both the gameplay and packaging.  Check it out — their picture is on the box!!

The 2017 Young Inventor’s Challenge will be taking place on Saturday from 10am – 2pm.  Walk around and talk with the inventors to see what cool game might be on store shelves next!


Ice Cool Tournament – 1pm Sunday, stop by Brain Games Booth for details

Ice Cool is the really cool penguin-flicking game that won the 2017 Kinderspiel des Jahres (Best Children’s Game).  I haven’t had the change to play it myself so I’m hoping to find time to stop by their booth and give it a whirl and I highly recommend you do too!  Very cool concept that has boxes within boxes to make for a large board and lots of flicking space.  (Click on the name to see some more cool pics of the game on Amazon.)

Illinois State Yo-Yo Championship – Saturday 10am on the Fair Stage, 1A Finals are at 1:10pm

I spend a nice chunk of my weekend in meetings with clients and most of the time I’m running around on the balcony above the fair and when I have some time between my meetings but not enough to go down to the fair, I will watch the yo-yo competition because these yo-yoers are UNREAL!  They have choreographed routines and that’s super cool to watch, but watching them practice really wild.  They are all standing super close together and flinging their yo-yos in the air but I’ve never seen someone get hit.  I mean, of course they’re good because they’re in the championship, but you’d expect one or two mishaps — never seen one!  Not game related, but I highly recommend you take a look!  (Oh and if you’re a bad-ass yo-yoer and want to compete you can register HERE.)