The 8th Annual Young Inventor Challenge, Presented by Spin Master

A budding young inventor shows off her original game idea at ChiTAG.

A budding young inventor shows off her original game idea at ChiTAG.

This year’s Young Inventor Challenge promises to be the best one yet, with Spin Master lined up to deliver a live toy invention challenge and prizes that will surely be on the top of every Christmas wish list. Spin Master’s VP New Ideas and Innovation, Benjamin Dermer, will be on hand to offer tips and give out trophies and prizes, including one of Spin Master's newest products, Zoomer Dino, a highly lovable robot dinosaur.

 The contest, which takes place November 22nd at Chicago’s Navy Pier, has been encouraging young inventors between the ages of 6 and 18 to present their original toy or game idea “science fair style” at Chicago Toy & Game Fair since 2007. 1st and 2nd place winners will be selected by a panel of toy and game industry experts, along with two fan favorites, in both junior and senior categories.  

In addition to going home with some cool prizes and shiny trophy bling (generously provided by The United Inventors Association), winners will receive a tour of Lund & Company (home of Tickle Me Elmo™ and Doggie Doo™). In 2013, winners were invited by The Toy Industry Association to New York Toy Fair to present an award at the Toy Of The Year awards ceremony.

2013 Young Inventor Challenge winners Dora Ivkovich and Nathan Sun with staff from Spin Master and G2 Inventions at the TOTY Awards.

2013 Young Inventor Challenge winners Dora Ivkovich and Nathan Sun with staff from Spin Master and G2 Inventions at the TOTY Awards.

Could a kid really invent the next Boom Boom Balloon™ or Rainbow Loom™? Just ask Greyson MacLean, who dreamt up Lego™ sticker phenomenon BrickStix™ at just 9 years old, or two-time Young Inventor Challenge winner, Nick Metzler whose game Squashed™ was licensed last year by PlaSmart. Let’s not forget about Cain Monroy, a 9-year-old whose incredible imagination and cardboard arcade games inspired millions of people around the world.

“Kids’ creativity is very inspiring,” said Young Inventor Challenge Director, Julie Blake. “They don’t have the same sort of barriers that adults have when it comes to thinking about what is or isn’t possible, so it’s really exciting to see what they can come up with.” 

Last year’s Senior Category winner, Nathan Sun of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, beat out over 100 entrants and baffled the minds of ChiTAG fair-goers and judges alike with his digital game, Mr. Derp. Sun says his goal was to make Mr. Derp “brutally hard”. 

2013 Young Inventor Challenge Senior Category Winner, Nathan Sun with his digital game invention, Mr. Derp.

2013 Young Inventor Challenge Senior Category Winner, Nathan Sun with his digital game invention, Mr. Derp.

Sun’s favorite subject at school is math, but it wasn’t until he began apply the principles to computer science and game design that he started to appreciate it. “I used to hate it, but that was back when I didn't understand. It's most fun when you can piece it all together with everything you learned. It's even more fun when I get to use it outside of class, like computer science.” 

Sun, who says he frequently brainstorms story ideas for games, books and TV shows, is currently working on a number of digital and mobile games, and hopes to study Game Design at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Registration for the 8th Annual Young Inventor Challenge is free and open until November 4th. 

For more information visit the Young Inventor Challenge event page on the ChiTAG Fair website.