Guests enjoy the Toy Fair and the Young Inventor Challenge winners pose with their game.

Thinking Outside The Box: Young Inventors Pitch The Next Big Thing in Toys and Games

A science fair’s never been this much fun! Last weekend we played sponsor (alongside long-time partner, Pressman Toy Corp.) to nearly 200 young inventors from across North America at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair’s annual Young Inventor Challenge. The super-creative bunch—ages 6 to 18—dreamed, drew, crafted and pitched their best ideas to toy industry experts, science-fair style. At stake? An incredible chance to bring the winning idea to life, with a little help from Target and Pressman, of course.

“One of the reasons families love to shop at Target is because we have a passion for providing them with unique products they can’t find anywhere else,” said Nik Nayar, vice president, toys and sporting goods, Target. That means constantly thinking outside the (toy) box to find—or dream up—the very best  games and toys for our guests… Inventing new games (like our cult-classic Oregon Trail board game) with partners like Pressman. Scouring crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo for up-and-coming gems. Or in this case, going straight to the source: Turning to kids themselves to create the next hot product.

And these talented kids were on the top of their game. But one stood out among the rest: “Ship of Treasures,” created by Illinois fourth-graders Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers (pictured with Mark Thoma, senior buyer, Toys, Target and Jeff Pinsker, president, Pressman Toys).

And their adventure is just beginning. Olivia and Brynna are about to embark on the mentorship of a lifetime—working hand-in-hand with experts from Target and Pressman on prototypes, packaging and more to perfect “Ship of Treasures,” and ultimately debut it at Target next year.

“This is the first time we invented a game,” said Olivia, who created “Ship of Treasures” with Brynna for a school project. “Everyone in our grade likes pirates and treasure hunts, so we know the suspense of the game will be fun,” added  Brynna.

Looking for even more fun and games this holiday? Check out our Top Toys list, Kid’s Gift Guide and great games for the whole family. Or head over to Target and Target.com for more than 1,800 new or exclusive toys.

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