Blogger Alena Belleque Recaps ChiTAG 2013

ChiTAG Blue Orange Games

This year was the first time that Blue Orange Games exhibited at ChiTAG, the public fair put on by the Chicago Toy & Game Group. ChiTAG showcases the best new toys and games and gives people the chance to meet inventors, play in tournaments, enjoy live entertainment and score some hot deals and freebies.

Chicago Toy & Game Group was founded 10 years ago to bring together the inventors, manufacturers and industry experts for a family of annual initiatives that encourage and promote the innovation of the game industry. Our CEO, Julien and Director of Sales, Martin joined our team of game gurus in Chicago to attend the T&GCon as well as the fair. The 2 day conference was jam packed with educational presentations, inspirational speakers, networking opportunities and even an inventors award ceremony.

Here is what our CEO, Julien said about his time at the conference:

“My first T&GCon was a fantastic experience. I was deeply impressed by the warm, familial atmosphere and the smooth execution of the large scale event. So many great companies were represented, and we thoroughly enjoyed connecting with talented new people and seeing familiar faces. The well selected speakers captivated the entire audience, whether you were a game inventor, marketing guru, or running a board game company like myself. We cannot thank Mary Couzyn enough for gathering the game industry every year for an invaluable exchange of ideas!”


After the conference, the fun really started when Blue Orange opened it’s booth to the public at the ChiTAG Fair at Navy Pier. In case you weren’t in frigid Chi-Town for the event, we wanted to give you an attendee’s perspective. Alena Belleque of The Homemade Creative posted a great recap of the Fair on her blog and graciously allowed us to repost excerpts and photos here. Enjoy living through her and her adorable daughter Serenity’s adventures! You can also read the full post here.

Getting Our Game On! | ChiTAG 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

There’s nothing so fun as a good adventure. At least I sure think so! I’ve been dying to get into Chicago, and I found the perfect opportunity in this year’s Chicago Toy and Game Fair…

ChiTAG 2013 sign

One of the coolest new toys at the fair was the Crazy Cart by Razor. It’s this awesome motorized cart that spins on a dime, and looks like it would entertain kids (or adults) for hours. The awesome sales rep at the Razor booth gave Serenity a ride!


She wasn’t quite sure what to make of being handed to a stranger, but she loved riding on the Crazy Cart. Just ask the people who watched her have a huge melt down when she had to get off!

The cart is rated for ages 9+, and I think it would be a really fun addition to a youth group room. Razor makes ride-on products for younger kids, and a huge range of powered and non-powered ride-on products for all ages.

The TDC Games booth had lots of unique games. The Cambell’s Alphabet Dice Game is super popular, and what drew me to the booth. They also have a line of puzzles, and seem to specialize in crazy-difficult ones. The World’s Most Difficult Puzzle is double sided, with no way to tell which side is which until you get it all put together. They also have The World’s Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle – they average 200 pieces, and are the same size as a 4×6″ photograph!

ChiTAG 2013 TDC Games

One of the cool things about the Chicago Toy and Game Fair is that they highlight inventors! I had the pleasure of meeting two inventors who debuted their brand new games at the show.

ChiTAG 2013 Inventors

Samir Lyons is the creator of Daytrader, a revolutionary new game designed to bring “the trading floor [to] your dining room table.” I’ll admit, I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about the stock market before, but the sleek and sophisticated design of this game drew me in, and suddenly I’m actually interested in learning Our economy is apparently built on this stuff, so a game that makes learning about stocks and trading fun and challenging sounds like a good deal to me!

Tony Aceti is a farmer from Bend, Oregon, who came to the show with his game Lucky Farms. It’s a fast paced “game of action, luck, and making deals”, and is modeled after a roulette wheel. The fun colors and graphics draw you in, and the surprising intricacy of the design – with simplicity of play – promise hours of fun.

Goliath Games had a huge booth, featuring tons of great games, all of which were overshadowed by a huge Gooey Louie. I do not understand that toy, but there sure were a lot of little girls having a blast pulling on his giant booger!

ChiTAG 2013 Goliath Games

We also met Tim Fort, creator of Stick Storm, at the Goliath Games booth. Tim performed on America’s Got Talent, and has won major accolades for his kinetic invention.

The Blue Orange Games booth was bright and colorful, and made me wish I had lots of spending money. The Pengoloo game is so cute, with the little peg penguins! I’m super excited to be featuring three games from this creative brand this month in my Christmas gift guide. Be sure to check back on Wednesday for my review of Spot It! Party, and next week for Twenty Express and Keekee the Rocking Monkey!

ChiTAG 2013 Blue Orange Games

Our favorite booth, by far, was Mayfair Games. If you can call it a booth – they had a Settlers Of Catan game rug that could have easily carpeted the entire ground floor of my townhouse! The Settlers of Catan Worldwide Championship USA Pre-Qualifier took place at the fair, and oh my goodness I wanted to play so bad!! I’m not nearly good enough for that yet, but give me a year or two… *wink*

ChiTAG 2013 Settlers of Catan

We discovered that Settlers of Catan can actually get cooler. Did you know they have Star Trek Catan??? Out of all of the games at the fair, that’s the one Serenity decided she needed to take home (sadly, we didn’t). She’s saying “please” up there in the right-most photo.

ChiTAG 2013 photos

Some of the other games and toys we saw included SET Enterprises, the creators of Quiddler Jr. and other great educational games for children; the inventors of Floppets, collectible wearable pets that are super ridiculous cute; The Un Block by Aha! Concepts, which are wooden building blocks that interlock (check out the photo, above – he’s holding that huge structure up off the table by the top block only!!), and the creator of Shoulder Buddies, the zany mini-friends that stick to almost anything with a magnetic clasp!

ChiTAG 2013 Shoulder Buddies

Serenity and I had a great time at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, and we’re looking forward to next year. I hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our adventure!

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