• Pamela Brill

ChiTAG Opens Submissions for Annual Young Inventor Challenge

young inventorCHICAGO  -- Registration is now open for the 11th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) through October 28, 2017. Held annually as part of Chicago Toy and Game Week (ChiTAG) on Navy Pier, the Young Inventor Challenge invites girls and boys between the ages of six and 18 to present original toy and game concepts to media, consumers and industry heavyweights, with the possibility of being picked up for distribution by a major toy company or retailer. 2017 YIC sponsors include Target, Pressman Toy, Mattel, PlayMonster, Spin Master, LEGO and Hasbro.

“It’s no surprise that kids themselves have some of the most brilliant ideas for toys and games,” said Alicia Alexander, director of the Young Inventor Challenge. “With last year’s winner just about to hit shelves at Target, the sky is truly the limit not just for winners but also for all participants.”

Entrants are given the opportunity to showcase their original toy and game ideas to a panel of play industry experts on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG).  2017 award categories are as follows:

  • Most Marketable Concept (Sponsored by Target and Pressman Toys)
  • Most Creative Concept (Sponsored by PlayMonster Toys)
  • Best Educational Concept (Sponsored by LEGO)
  • Best Outdoor or Active Play Game/Toy (Sponsored by Hasbro)
  • Most Outstanding Presentation (Sponsored by Mattel)
  • Best Pitch Video or Commercial (Sponsored by Spin Master)

This year, for the first time, Young Inventor Challenge hopefuls can submit their entries via video, and participate in the contest remotely without traveling to Chicago. A partnership with WorldChicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting citizen diplomacy through programs that connect the Chicago community with the world, will help extend the reach of the 2017 YIC to young hopefuls around the globe.

Entries will be evaluated based on innovation, presentation and creativity. First place and runner-up awards will be given out in each award category to both a junior entrant (aged 6-11) and a senior entrant (aged 12-18). One “People’s Choice” award will be selected by the Fair’s more than 30,000 attendees. The prize for each senior award is $1,500, with $1,000 going to reach junior award winner. All winners will be announced on Saturday, November 18, 2017.

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 have volunteered their time to mentor and inspire young toy and game inventors. The panel includes 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, Ben Dermer, VP of Creative Development at Spin Master, Lee Allentuck, Licensing Market Lead for LEGO and Dan Klitsner, Founder of KID Group.




Pamela BrillPamela Brill | Editor-at-Large, Gifts and Decorative Accessories

Pamela Brill, the proud mother of two young daughters, has been writing about parenting and children's products for over a decade. Before she began her freelance writing career, she served at the helm of two industry publications: Small World, which specialized in baby products, and Playthings, which is now part of Gifts & Decorative Accessories. She is currently an Editor-at-Large for Gifts & Decorative Accessories. Her previous blog postings can be viewed at www.talkingwalnut.com

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