May 14, 2012

Concept Connects Industry Leaders, Young Inventors and General Public In Casual, Creative Competition on Facebook, Pinterest and New Dedicated Website

Chicago, IL (May 14, 2012) – The Chicago Toy & Game Group, in partnership with local toy inventor Ruth Green Concepts, Inc., has launched a creative and casual social media contest that spotlights the inventiveness of the City’s toy and game makers, as well as the general public around the globe. The “Toy Mash-up” is a specific take on the general “mash-up” trend that has infiltrated many aspects of pop culture from movies to music to food, and now has a dedicated home on the world wide web at”We were talking with a group of friends and colleagues at a monthly industry party when the idea just kind of clicked,” said Ruth Green-Synowic, a Chicago-based toy maker and Advisory Board member for the Chicago Toy & Game Group who conceived of the concept and now facilitates the monthly contests. “I think our competitive creativity and play tendencies took over from there and when some concepts posted to Facebook and Pinterest were quickly shared, the real fun began.”Now as a contest, sponsors and judges have signed on to participate in the play. Participants only need to create a mash-up concept of toys or games and submit the entries to be shared on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair’s Facebook page. Submissions can be digital renderings, scanned sketches or collages, or even photos of actual mashed-up game concepts. Each month guest judges, including professional toy and game inventors, will choose a winning mash-up concept and award a prize such as a game autographed by the inventor

“The rules of the contest are not really what are important to us…even though many of us are game makers!” said Mary Couzin, president and founder of the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. “We just really want to share in some online creative play and in that Chicago is the toy and game inventor capital of the world we know there’ll be some great submissions. Who knows maybe a concept will catch fire and become the next big thing!”

Participants are encouraged to post their mash-ups every Friday. The May contest is sponsored by Lund and Company Invention, LLC, a Chicago-based toy design and product invention company. The prize for this month’s contest is an autographed copy of Lund’s award-winning game Doggie Doo.

“When the Chicago Toy & Game Group told us about this concept and invited us to be the first judges, we immediately agreed to participate!’ commented Bruce Lund, founder of Lund and Company Invention. “The Toy Mashup is great way to play and be inventive and, as a social media concept, an engaging approach to sharing that creativity with friends.”


ABOUT THE CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP  The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. is a family of toy industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments.  The Chicago Toy & Game Group consists of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair; the International Toy & Game Inventor and Industry Conference; the Social Media @Play Conference; the International Summit for Professional Inventors; the Toy & Game Inventor Awards; Games for Educators; and Discover Games.  For more information visit, become a fan at or follow the fun on Twitter @ChicagoToyNGame.
Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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