The following is a guest post from  Nate Scheidler, Director of Community Marketing,Chicago Toy and Game Group

The 2009 Chicago Toy and Game Fair was a terrific success.

From the quality and content of the Toy and Game Inventor’s Expo that precedes it, to the emotion of the TAGIE Awards ceremony, to the activity and spirit of the ChiTag exhibit floor, everything came together as we wanted. Several exhibitors were selling out including their demo copies. Children were everywhere, from building towers to playing new board games to mushing clay.

The show is and will always be a celebration of invention. The Rio Grande Design Contest delivered designs of such caliber that Jay Tummelson agreed to publish 4 of the finalists. Reuben Klamer, Leslie Scott, Daryl Hannah and many others were all signing copies of their games. And an amazing showing by our future game designers. The Young Inventor’s Challenge produced some great games. While I was too busy to play all of them, the two I played were really solidly designed (Samurai Petrify and Umbra), with high quality prototypes and interesting mechanics.

The board game library was a new addition this year, and it saw some great activity. In fact, we had to grab tables from another section of the hall to accommodate all the players we had for our special “One night in Essen” event, where attendees got to sample a selection of 24 games brought back from Essen Spiel 09. All the games were raffled off for charity on Sunday morning, and we collected $907 from the ticket sales to donate to Child’s Play.

It will take some time for us to sort through everything following the show, and we’ll have more information will be available in the coming weeks.

It was a lot of work from a lot of people to get to this point. Thanks to the efforts of Mary Couzin and numerous volunteer staff, the Chicago Toy and Game fair 2009 made some terrific breakthroughs and is taking its place among the great play destinations in the USA.

Nate Scheidler

Director of Community Marketing
Chicago Toy and Game Group (