Play Time at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Disclaimer: The Fandads were invited to this year’s Chicago Toy & Game Fair. All thoughts, opinions, and fun times are our own. 

The Fandads are lucky to attend to many fun events throughout the year, but the one event that we always look forward to attending is the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. I mean, how can you not like going to an event where you can play with the toys and just be a kid again with your kids? Here is our recap of the event and some of the toys we played with at the event. 

This year ChiTAG seemed a little smaller than previous years and I liked the feel of it. It felt like you were not as overwhelmed as previous years and you have a better opportunity to play with the toys or in our case talk to the representatives of the toy brands. Another new add-on this year was the adult beer garden. It was nice to see a spot sectioned off for the adults to have some drinks and play some party games. I think next year I will have to find time to enjoy this spot a little more.

Every year we go there are always a few booths that my children will find something to play with and spend a good amount of time there and this year it was the Magformers booth. Magformers are magnetic building toys that have endless possibilities as to what your children can build. At the booth, there was a reindeer and Christmas wreaths built with Magformers. My children had a great time at this booth and it was fun seeing their minds think of things to build with these intricate pieces. Parents, if you have children that love building blocks toys, this should be something that you need to add to your list. 
Building away at the Magformers booth.
The other booth my children had a great time was the Goliath booth. From Shark Bite to Pop the Pig and Greedy Granny, my children loved playing with these games. You might have seen the image we posted last year of my children posing inside the Shark Bite sign. Well, this year my son had to pose with it again and be a little ham about it. 
My children also loved playing with Greedy Granny and there was a real-life Greedy Granny there with a tray of cookies. Visitors at the booth would roll a dice and see how many cookies they can grab from her tray. Watching some of the children’s reactions when granny would try to stop them was hilarious, but it was also fun to see a real-life version of the game. 

Grabbing a cookie from Greedy Granny
Trying not to wake up Greedy Granny
While there are some big companies at the show, there are also some smaller companies that have great games that you and your family can enjoy. Last year we were introduced to Story Dealer from Bennett Innovations and it was a fun card game that had the players creating a story with the cards that they had in their hands. This year we were lucky enough to be given a pack of the Story Dealer deck and my children have been playing it since we got home that night. 
The great thing about the game is that the possibilities are endless and just hearing the stories your children create are fantastic. When my daughter was playing the game at the show, we were told that at the Bennett Day school, where this game was created, the teachers would write down the stories the children would create. Imagine the thousands of stories your children can create with the game. They could probably create a book with all of the stories written down. 
Custom designed cards from Story Dealer

As you can see from the picture below, we went home with some great stuff that will keep us busy on the upcoming winter break. Duh might be the game we play with the adults at our next party due to the debate factor of it. I think it will be a lot of fun to see how far these debates go.

My son loves, loves, loves the Automoblox cars from Playmonster. Last year he kept building and racing the cars on their small track. This year he was doing the same thing. I do not remember the number of times he raced his car, but he was having the time of his life there. We bought him two Automoblox minis for him to race in his room…and the playroom…and the dining room table…let’s just say he races them everywhere in the house.

My daughter was fascinated by the huge Marblecity display on hand and wanted to get one of the sets to build at home. STEM is becoming very prominent in a lot of toys coming out and Marblecity sets are great to enhance that type of learning. My daughter will learn about engineering principles and physics just by building this cool marble machine.

The final thing we received was the Zoom Tubes Car Trax. This set reminded me of the RC cars I had when I was young. We would race the cars, but if we went too fast the cars would go flying off the track. The Zoom Tubes have basically solved that issue by having the cars race around in an enclosed track. We will talk more about this item in our holiday gift guide along with some of the other toys we previously mentioned.

As always, another highlight of the show to me is seeing the 501st walk around and take pictures with the children. I love seeing what characters they will have every year and this year it was fun to stop them and take a picture with them. I love how they are so cool with the kids and give them a trading card after they take a picture with them.

Guarding the floor with the 501st!

We had a great time at this year’s Chicago Toy & Game Fair and we can not wait to see what next year will bring. What I do hope for next year is that I get to play more games with my chiildren and maybe spend a little more time at the beer garden.

Did you attend the Chicago Toy & Game Fair this year? Share with us in the comments what was your favorite toy or booth that you visited.

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