Day three of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on entertainment tie-ins within the toy, game, and play industries.
The Beginning! The Stories!
The day began with a conversation with two of three founders of children’s entertainment company, Spin Master. Ben Dermer (SVP Creative Development, Deputy Creative Officer) moderated the conversation with co-founders Anton Rabie and Ben Varadi. The lively discussion touched on the company’s meteoric rise, the integral role of inventors at the company, and the tenacity required to succeed in the industry. Spin Master’s story is inspiring and enlightening on many levels. The Great Canadian Toy Story documentary on YouTube does a great job recalling the journey.
Key takeaways include: failure, change, and discomfort are unavoidable factors in the industry and individuals must get comfortable with those experiences if they want to survive and thrive.
Six panel discussions on various aspects of entertainment tie-ins followed throughout the day, including:
- Importance of Films in the Toy Industry and Why Innovation is Critical
- Digital-Play in a Post Pandemic World
- Partnerships with Fast Food and More!
- Celebrities and Twitch Streaming for Tabletop Games
- The Growth of Hobby Games and Fandom
- Phygital Games: Enhancing The Game Board Experience
The panels featured contributors from a diverse range of roles, including founders, inventors, actors, category managers, executives, voice actors, entrepreneurs, licensing managers, and others.
Highlights include: how the pandemic is driving sales of classic brands as people search for comfort and familiarity; managing expectations and the importance of authenticity in collaborations; and, the convergence of digital and physical play and how those experiences impact toy and game development.
About People of Play
People of Play (POP), formerly Chicago Toy & Game Group, celebrates and empowers toy and game innovation worldwide by providing educational opportunities, recognition and community for industry professionals, amateur inventors and people of all ages who love to play. People of Play oversees a number of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the New Inventor Conference, the Professional Inventors Conference, Play in Education Conference, the Bloom Report and the People of Play Foundation.