Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Long Overdue ChiTAG Update

Hi Neighbors!

My life has been a whirlwind ever since we went to Chicago for ChiTAG, the Chicago Toy and Game Fair!  We spent 2 weeks in Chicago and then a family returned with us and some other friends came up from down south at the same time.  We have been feeding 22 people, along with homeschooling and staying on top of posts and giveaways.  One family left Saturday (the family of 4), and the others will be leaving Friday.  So maybe you can understand some of my confusion the past couple of weeks.  We love it, but it sure makes it hectic.

Anyway, I wanted to take some time and share a little bit about ChiTAG.  We arrived and were able to check-in, with some spare time to grab a quick breakfast at their table.  My children loved the granola bars!  As a blogger (PR), we were able to enter a little earlier than the actual public.  It was really exciting.  We saw some old friends, and made some new ones.  I do wish we had more time to meet and greet the other bloggers.  I would love to get to know some of them.

Since other members of my family are also bloggers, we split up into groups and started around the room.  First person I spoke to was Tim Walsh, the inventor of BLURT the boardgame.  My children love to play this!  It does have a tendency to get a little loud, but that is part of the fun.  We still play BLURT, so you know it was a hit in my family.

One of my favorite booths was the Nano Blocks.  They are tiny building blocks, and when I say tiny, I mean tiny.  The structures they build with them are really detailed.  You will see a review of them At the Fence shortly.

Reverse Charades looks really fun too!  That is another game we will be reviewing here At the Fence.  In Reverse Charades, a whole team acts out the words or phrase and one person has to figure out the solution.  They were having visitors participate and it really looks like fun!

My daughter likes the Floppets!  They are collectible wearable pets. They attach to a piece of velcro, and then you can put them on a backpack or purse strap, wear them on a ponytail.  Anywhere you can think of to attach them.  And they are really cute too!

Razor had a couple of new products they let the children and parents test out.  One was a pogo stick type product called BOGO, and the other (my children's favorite) was a gun gun that shoots gel type pellets. The VAPOR rep there shot himself to show that it did not hurt, but I do not recommend shooting each other with them.  The great thing is, it burst and evaporates leaving behind a sort of rubbery substance that can be vacuumed up.  This will be reviewed At the Fence soon also!

Wise Alec was represented again this year and it was great to talk with the creator for a short time.  Wise Alec is an educational game that we reviewed last year, and will be reviewing a new set of cards and a new game called Oversight.  Keep your eyes peeled for some great reviews!

My daughters thought the Aquapets were really neat.  It is a cute little character(s), that live in water, but that interact with your child.  They also have dew drops that can be removed from their water-filled world.

And my son thought the Perplexus Balls were great!  You have to run a small metal ball around a track inside the plastic ball just by turning the ball around.  Sound easy?  It's not!  One of the friends visiting with us this past week liked it so much she wants to get one for her dad. 

I have just hit a few highlights of our visit, but there was so much more there.   I also met a young man who had created removable stickers for blocks like Lego, so you can change what you play.  There was a family that invented a game called Abundant Harvest on sowing and reaping.  We will be reviewing some of the products At the Fence over the next month or so, so please be sure to keep visiting.

If there is anyway you can plan to visit ChiTAG next year it is well worth the effort.  We are already on planning to be there next year so maybe we will see you!  I also want to thank everyone who put all the effort into ChiTAG!  We LOVED it!  You can find more information about ChiTAG on their Facebook page or the ChiTAG website.  You can also follow them on Twitter to keep posted on ChiTAG happenings!

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