Following a record year for finalists entering into licensing deals with toy and game industry giants, registration is now open for ChiTAG’s 12th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC). The annual competition provides an opportunity for children ages six to 18 to present original toy and game inventions to industry professionals, the media, and consumers. The deadline for online submissions is October 31, 2018.
Hosted by the Chicago Toy & Game Group, the goal of the Young Inventors Challenge is to inspire creativity and innovation and to provide mentorship to students in the process. All entrants will receive scores and written feedback from seasoned product development, acquisition, innovation and marketing professionals following the event. Prizes total $10,000 in scholarships plus the possibility of having a submitted idea developed and distributed in partnership with leading brands. Past winners and finalists have gone on to enter licensing and distribution details with brands including Pressman, PlayMonster and Target.
To enter, hopefuls are required to provide a brief toy or game project description, prototype, photos and a pitch video. Judging is split into two categories, Junior (ages 6-10) and Senior (ages 11-18). One Junior and one Senior Winner will be selected in each of the following categories:
Most Creative Concept – Sponsored by PlayMonster
Best Ride-On or Wheeled Concept – Sponsored by Razor
Best Game Concept – Sponsored by Spin Master
Best Playful Learning Concept – Sponsored by Lego
Most Marketable – Sponsored by Pressman and Target
Best Presentation – Sponsored by The Genius of Play™, an initiative by The Toy Association
Winners will be announced, and prizes awarded at 2:30pm on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at ChiTAG Toy & Game Fair in Chicago at Navy Pier following online and in-person judging. Thanks to the addition of video participation in 2017, entrants need not attend ChiTAG to be eligible to win.
“The Young Inventors Challenge is an opportunity for kids to ignite their imagination and creativity,” said Alicia Alexander, director of the Young Inventor Challenge. “It also provides a very real chance to get a head-start in the toy and game industry, with some entries being developed and distributed by top toy and game manufacturers.”
The judges and mentors for the Young Inventors Challenge represent a collective of nearly 50 professionals who have volunteered their time to foster the next generation. The panel includes
Tony Serebriany, director of new product development & inventor relations at USAOPOLY, Erik Hansen, direction & invention officer LEGO System A/S, and Nick Metzler, a former YIC winner now working for Spin Master.
To learn more and register for the Young Inventor Challenge visit www.chitag.com/yic. For more information about ChiTAG Week November 17-18, 2018, visit www.chitag.com or follow @ChiTAGWeek on social media.
About the Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. promotes and hosts initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments. Chicago Toy & Game Group initiatives include the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), the Toy & Game Innovation Awards (the TAGIEs), Inventor Conferences for New and Professional Inventors and Product Acquisition Executives, the Young Inventor Challenge, the Young TECH Challenge, Play in Education Conference, Discover Games Inventor Co-op, the PlayCHIC Fashion Show, and the Chicago Toy & Game Foundation. For more information, visit www.ChiTAG.com.