Play Happens, Broken Down

Last week we announced our exciting new board game that will provide this year’s Toy Fair Attendees with a unique opportunity to explore NYC in their spare time. Like you, we’re gamers at heart, and by using some pretty cutting-edge mobile technology we’re able to make a competition out of your Big Apple visit. The game is rather simple and from our initial invitation requests it seems as though the concept is generally understood. Nevertheless, we wanted to take this time to re-introduce the game and break it down into a little more detail.

The Skinny

The game, Play Happens, is a virtual and social board game just for Toy Fair participants – the perfect marriage of the online and offline activity of the show. Play Happens provides an interactive opportunity for players to explore the sights, neighborhoods, events, restaurants and entertainment experiences that make New York the city that never sleeps and the prize is truly one of a kind.

The person who earns the most points will win a New Year’s Eve weekend for two complete with airfare, accommodations at the world-famous Marriott Marquis Hotel in the heart of Times Square, 2 tickets to the Marriott’s exclusive New Year’s Eve Gala, police escort into Times Square for the dry-run countdown (with photo opportunities) and Ball Level viewing of the drop at midnight! WOW!

Sounds Cool, But How?

Play Happens uses the check-in technology of Foursquare to pinpoint your location throughout specific, predetermined areas of NYC. These areas will be participating restaurants, Toy Fair events, neighborhoods, etc and will be determined in advance by Toy Fair Show Management. If you are unfamiliar with foursquare you should read this Toy Fair Blog Post as well as visit the official Foursquare information page. Basically, the Foursquare mobile app allows you to “check-in” to a location. For the Play Happens game, each one of these “check-in points” will be given a point value and every time you check-in to a participating location, this point value will be added to your total score. Point values will range from 1, 3 and 5 on average but some locations will have larger values. At the end of the show the attendee with the highest point value will win.

Who is Eligible to Play?

Any registered buyer, exhibitor or official trade guest is eligible to play. Toy Fair and TIA employees are not eligible.

Is There a Limit to How Many People Per Company Can Play?

No. As long as each attendee is officially registered with the American International Toy Fair they are welcome to participate. However, there is a limit to the amount of players we are accepting, so be sure to request your invite now!

Before the game starts we will provide each participating attendee with a list of Play Happens check-in points. Only these locations will count towards the game, but you are more than welcome (and encouraged) to check-in at any location that is part of Foursquare.

Do We Need a Special Mobile Application to play the game?

Play Happens does not have its own mobile application but you will need to use the official Foursquare App. This means that you will need to have a phone that supports Foursquare. Currently the following phones will work: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, OVI Nokia, Palm, and the Windows Phone.

How Will Play Happens Know That I am Part of the Game?

When you register for the game you will be asked to connect your foursquare account to the Play Happens web application. You only need to connect once; from that point on the Play Happens Game will know when you check-in to a participating location and credit your score accordingly.

Are There any Specific Check-in Rules?

Yes. You may only check-in once to a location within a 24 hour period. For instance, one of your check-in points will be the hotel in which you are staying. Only one check-in per day will be allowed. You are also only allowed to check-in to the hotel where you are staying. Lastly, you may not check-in to multiple places within 30 minutes of each other. (This is to discourage people playing the game without actually taking the time to explore that particular location).

How Can I determine my Progress and Position within the Game?

Once the game is live you will be able to monitor your position at Note: this will not be available until the game is active.

What if there is a Tie?

If two or more participants have the top score, Toy Fair Show Management will randomly choose a winner by picking a name out of a hat.

What Do I Do If Something Goes Wrong?

This year’s attendees are our BETA testers and though we expect everything to run smoothly, there is the chance that something could go wrong. We will provide a specific contact form just for this and we will be monitoring it regularly.

Can I Provide My Feedback?

Yes! And we hope that you do. What a better group than you to help us evolve this game. We welcome all constructive criticism as well as thoughts to creating more facets to the game in the future.

I’m Interested in Playing! What Now?

In order to participate you must first request an invitation. Later this month we will send out invitations, at which point you will need to connect your foursquare account to the Play Happens web application. Sit tight until then, but don’t hesitate to register once we are open because there are only a limited amount of spots available.

If you still have some questions or concerns please leave them below and we will add them to the Play Happens FAQ page.

For information about becoming a TIA member or attending one of TIA's go-to-market events including Fall Toy Preview and Toy Fair, please visit

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