2017 Chicago Toy and Game Week Young Inventor Challenge winners announced at fair
The winners of the 11th Annual Young Inventor Challenge, held annually as part of Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG), were announced at Navy Pier. The competition invites girls and boys between the ages of six and 18 to present original toy and game concepts to industry heavyweights, media and consumers, with the possibility of being picked up for distribution by a major toy company or retailer. 2017 YIC sponsors included Target, Pressman Toy, Mattel, PlayMonster, Spin Master, LEGO and Hasbro.
After a day spent showcasing their original toy and game ideas in a setup similar to a science fair at the 2017 ChiTAG Fair, the winners were announced following a rousing address from Dougal Grimes, Director of Product Development for Hasbro. Speaking to an audience brimming with youthful enthusiasm and anticipation, Grimes reminded the young hopefuls that invention is not just about a single great idea. But rather, success comes from prolific creation. Grimes stressed the importance of each young inventor continuing to develop new concepts, regardless of the day’s competitive outcome.
Entries were evaluated by a panel of illustrious toy and game industry luminaries based on the criteria of innovation, presentation marketability and creativity. The prize for each senior award was a $1,000 scholarship, with a $500 scholarship going to each junior award winner. Following is a complete listing of the 2017 Young Inventor Challenge winners:
Most Marketable Concept (Sponsored by Pressman and Target)
・ Senior Winner – Ellie Skalla – Galactiquest (Oak Park, IL)
・ Junior Winner – Patrick Ready – Dino Can You Dig It? (Palos Heights, IL)
Best Outdoor / Active Play Concept (Sponsored by Hasbro)
・ Junior Winner – Noah Berg – RUINOWAZLIB (Chicago, IL)
・ Junior Winner – Sampson Neyman – Exercise Challenge (Chicago, IL)
Most Creative Concept (Sponsored by PlayMonster)
・ Senior Winner – Tiggy Sliwinski – Draw-n to Crime (Palos Hills, IL)
・ Junior Winner – Edie Piacenza -? There’s a Poo on My Shoe! (Elmhurst, IL)
Most Outstanding Presentation (Sponsored by Mattel)
・ Senior Winner – Charlotte Jiru – Alicia Boop Insta-Boutique (Whittier, CA)
・ Junior Winner – Tanush Doshi – Chase the Loot! (Chicago, IL)
Best Pitch Video/Commercial (Sponsored by Spin Master)
・ Senior Winner – Liam Kivirist – Virtual Reality Colossal Chess (Browntown, WI)
・ Junior Winner – Charlie Rosynek & Broderick Rosello – Balance Boat (Palos Heights, IL)
Best Educational Concept (Sponsored by LEGO)
・ Senior Winner – Puzzleletters – Dana Dimitriu (San Antonio, TX)
・ Junior Winner – Abhi Majumdar – Magnetic Marchers (Chicago, IL)
Upon giving the awards for Most Marketable Concept, David Norman, CEO of Pressman Toy reminded the winners that while not guaranteed, their concepts will now be vetted for potential retail distribution. Last year’s winning game, Ship of Treasures, invited by Olivia Wasilewski and Bryanna Siewers, went on to be manufactured by Pressman, and is now being sold at TARGET stores nationwide.
With each and every entry being reviewed by mulitple toy industry mentors, the value of the Young Inventor Challenge to its participants begins the moment an entry is received. This year, for the first time, Young Inventor Challenge hopefuls were able to submit their entries via video, and even participate in the contest remotely without traveling to Chicago.
The judges and mentors for the 2017 Young Inventors Challenge represent a collective of more than 40 professional toy inventors and industry leaders from four countries who volunteered their time to mentor and inspire young toy and game inventors. The panel included Dave Harris, Director of Inventor Relations and Strategic Partnerships for Fisher-Price, Lisa Wunnerman, Director of Marketing for PlayMonster, Mark Thoma, Senior Buyer of Toys and Games for Target, Brent Bushnell, Founder of Two Bit Circus, Erik Hansen, Director and Innovation Officer for LEGO and Dan Klitsner, Founder of KID Group.
To learn more about the Young Inventor Challenge visit, http://www.chitag.com/yic.