SERIES: ChiTAG’s Rising Star of the Year Nominees: In Their Own Words — Dominic Yard

Laura Richards
2 min readNov 16, 2017


By Laura Richards

Dominic Yard, Toy Inventor

Dominic Yard has created many games and toys in his career and is one of several nominees of the Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG) Rising Star of the Year Award which will be presented at this year’s ChiTAG Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIE’s) ceremony in the Ballroom at Navy Pier on November 17, 2017 from 6pm — 11pm.

Dominic in his own words:

I’m an independent Toy Inventor based in Los Angeles, California. Recently relocating to the US from London UK.

2017 is a breakout year for me as four different products hit the market. Two items with the Tech Deck brand for Spin Master and two items which I collaborated with fellow Inventor Gil Zalayet of Studio Play for the Thomas brand & Fisher Price.

I worked for four years as an Inventor at Play On Design & Fuse London Ltd. and left to pursue a solo career in 2013. After four years of many ideas and pitches it’s amazing and rewarding to finally see my ideas out on the shelves and in the hands of kids! It was great to find out I received the Nomination!

Dominic’s toys that have been released in 2017:
— Tech Deck — Transforming SK8 Container
— Tech Deck — Skate Anywhere Park (3 Skus)
— Thomas Adventures — Shark Escape Playset — Inventor Collaboration with Gil Zalayet of Studio Play
— Thomas Adventures — Sea Monster Pirate Set — Inventor Collaboration with Gil Zalayet of Studio Play

I became an Inventor slightly by chance. I studied Product Design at university and moved to London in 2008 where I was searching for any sort of design job to get started. I found a job working on Polly Pocket for Play On Design, which was totally not on my radar at the time! I applied, got the job and have never looked back! I couldn’t imagine not working in the toy industry now!

While working at Play On & Fuse I invented items for Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket and Tech Deck. Winning the award would be an amazing way to round out a great breakout year!

For further information on ChiTAG and the Rising Star Award, please visit their website:

To read about the other nominees for Rising Star of the Year Award, click on the links below:

Brian Gomez Team
Joyce Sprau
Thijmen de Schipper
Brady Peterson



Laura Richards

Bylines at The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe Magazine and more. Portfolio: