8th Annual Young Inventor Challenge presented by Spin Master

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, including one of Spin Master’s newest products, Zoomer Dino, a highly loveable robot dinosaur.

The contest, which takes place November 22nd at Chicago’s Navy Pier, invites 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. 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 some brag-worthy trophies and medals, winners will receive an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of Lund & Company, where toys like Tickle Me Elmo™ and Doggie Doo™ were created.

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”, and that he was inspired by games like Pokémon and Super Mario Brothers.

The 18-year-old inventor is still making games using DIY tools like GameMaker and GameSalad, and says that he frequently brainstorms story ideas for new games, books and even TV shows.

Any aspiring, young programmers should also try Scratch Jr. a free iPad app that was specially designed for game designers between the ages of 5-7. The original Scratch app is also available for ages 8 and up.

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

Young inventors have come up with some pretty amazing stuff. 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.

Traditional board games and toys, as well as “outside-the-box” entries  are also welcomed and encouraged by Young Inventor Challenge judges. Last year, 9-year-old Dora Ivkovich of Michigan took home the 2013 Junior Category winner title with her original board game, Race To Rescue. Creativity is king, so get those brainwaves wiggling and be sure to sign up before November 4th!

Registration for this event is free and open to anyone between the ages of 6 and 18. Register now on EventBrite.

For more information, visit the event page on the ChiTAG website.

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