Chicago Tribune: Inventive Spirit Invades Navy Pier

Special to The Chicago Tribune, Cheryl Jackson reports on the business side of toys and games with 2-page feature on the Chicago Toy & Game Group:


Inventive spirit invades Navy Pier

Toy & Game Fair offers a chance for children to see and companies to show newest creations

“Mary Couzin is so game to support the toy industry.

“This weekend’s Chicago Toy & Game Fair — and a growing list of side events — is part of Couzin’s efforts to bring attention to toy and game creators.

“Founder of, a game inventor co-op, Couzin said that while an author can become famous and film directors can snag Oscars, toy inventors in this country garner no public recognition — unlike in Europe, where their names are commonly featured on packaging.

“You sell 10 million toys or games (in the U.S.) and nobody knows who you are,” said Couzin, 54, who until four years ago worked for a real estate management company.

“She estimates her company, Chicago Toy & Game Group, the fair’s producer, will spend more than $100,000 on rent, staging and public relations. Open to the public, the fair is Saturday and Sunday at Navy Pier. This year she added a fashion show, featuring outfits inspired by toys and a cruise. Friday marks the fifth awards program, akin to the Oscars, for toy inventors. …”


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