Interviews

Jon and Sarah Vanderbeek on why 2017 was a “pivot point” for Sweet Spot Studio

Having both been mentored under toy legends at Bang Zoom Design and The Obb, the Vanderbeek’s have gone on to develop major launches for the likes of Hasbro, Mattel and Spin Master.

Bang Zoom’s Steve Fink talks toy invention; past, present and future

Steve Fink is the co-owner of Cincinnati-based Bang Zoom Design, one of the most prolific product invention companies in the toy space today.

Richard Heayes on the launch of his new invention studio, PlayLenz

We caught up with Heayes to find out why he feels just as creative now as when he first started out 25 years ago.

Pietro Righi Riva on the big screen influences behind Escape From the Aliens in Outer Space

Pietro Righi Riva is the co-founder and director at Santa Ragione, an Italian design agency dedicated to creating experimental board games and video games.

Inka and Markus Brand on the origins of their escape room-inspired Exit: The Game series

The married design team won perhaps their most prestigious award to date when Exit scooped the Kennerspiel des Jahres earlier this year.

Sushi Go creator Phil Walker-Harding on accessibility, creativity and the future of his sushi series

We caught up with the designer of Sushi Go, Imhotep and Bärenpark to discuss his accessibility-focused approach to game design.

Darren Lee Phillipson on designing toys lines, TV characters and even the office layout in his first year at Alpha

We caught up with Phillipson to find out more about the creative culture at Alpha, how his own approach to design has changed over his 25 years in the industry and how the development process went for the firm’s Toy of the Year-nominated Drone Force Angler Attack.

Hasbro’s Rich Mazel on mining and creating the world’s best play experiences

We caught up with Hasbro’s Senior Director of Global Product Acquisition to find out how he stays creative, what his top find has been this year and why the phrase “you can’t surf from the beach” has stuck with him (and it’s not just because he’s a huge Point Break fan).

ChiTAG’s Mary Couzin on helping toy and game designers get the recognition they deserve

Ahead of this month’s event (taking place from November 16th to 19th at Chicago’s Navy Pier), we caught up with Couzin to talk about where the inspiration for ChiTAG came from, what to expect from this year’s event and how she stays creative (spoiler: it involved cocktails).

Marissa Louie on the story-led design process behind her new plush line, Animoodles

We caught up with Louie to find out where the Animoodles concept originated from, why Kickstarter is a perfect launch-pad and what her work with the Designers Guild (a family of Facebook communities encompassing over 15,000 members) entails.

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