2013 ChiTAG: The Inventors!

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair isn’t just a public toy and game fair, it’s a gathering of industry folks from all over the world.  The inventors have a conference and meetings before and during the fair which means you’ll find lots of them walking around the show or demoing their games.  Since I’m lucky enough to know lots of inventors — and met a couple new ones, I thought I’d snap some photos of inventors and their games for my post-ChiTAG article.  Enjoy!

David Hoyt

David Hoyt invented Word Winder which I was introduced to a couple years back at ChiTAG.  This year he had a giant version of his most recent creation, Math Winder.

Mary Jo Even Stevens odd

Mary Jo Reutter is a “line buddy” of mine as her latest game Even Steven’s Odd! is with Educational Insights along with my game Raccoon Rumpus! 

Nick Metzler

Nick Metzler won the ChiTAG Young Inventor Challenge TWICE and his submission in 2011, Squashed, was picked by by PlaSmart!  Nick also was awarded the Rising Star award at the TAGIEs this year!  Congrats to him!

Peggy Brown Wiggly Web

Here’s Peggy Brown holding Willy’s Wiggly Web, one of her many, MANY games. This one is an adorable cooperative game from Peaceable Kingdom Press!

richard gill

When he’s not judging Top Trumps tournaments Richard Gill is co-owner of the Pictionary brand and represents toys and games around the world.  He also sneaks in a bit of inventing — which is why he’s holding up the Top Trumps Toy and Game Guru card he just signed for me.  Richard and his wife Catherine invented a game called Name, Say, Do!


It’s Rory O’Connor with the soon-to-be-coming-to-the-USA Rory’s Story Cubes extensions!  And because he knows I love games he handed me the three sets after I snapped his pic!  What a great guy!  Sam - BMT

Fellow Chicago-Area inventor Sam Unsicker from Big Monster Toys was demoing the giant version of his game, Wordsearch!, at the Goliath Games booth.


Sara Farber and her husband Bryan Wilson talking to fairgoers about their game Schmovie which just got released!  (if you read last year’s ChiTAG recap, I talked about trying this game out and it’s finally available for purchase!)


I just met Bryan Lovell, the inventor of S’Quarrels, at the fair.  He was nice enough to play a somewhat abridged version of his card game with me and lucky me, I won by stashing the most nuts before Winter came and ended the game.  Looking forward to playing this one again!

Tom Quinn

This is Tom Quinn, the inventor of The Game of THINGS… who I interviewed for the site earlier in the fall.  He also produced and directed the TAGIE awards this year and did an AMAZING job!


Another inventor I met at the fair, Jack Hanauer, was at the Porcupine Press booth demoing his new game Trix.  The game was pretty cool as you have 9 cards and you have to find 3 that have something in common and then give 1 word to describe them all.  Then everyone guesses which were your three words.  It’s a pretty neat concept and you can find out more about it at the Porcupine Press website.


And of course the lovely Joan Severance was demoing her game txTylz (pronounced “Textiles”) at her booth — as well as giving out free hugs!   In her game you’re using tiles with pictures, letters and word snippets to write phrases. It’s a nice way to tickle your brain!

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