Our work is incredibly fun—curating the Top Toys of the season, surprising guests with only-at-Target fun and creating epic throwback collections. But we’re super-serious about finding the very best new ideas to bring to Target, and inspiration can strike anywhere. This time it came rolling in from Illinois 11-year-olds Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers. A year ago, they were dreaming up a board game for a 4th grade class assignment. Today, they’re bona-fide inventors, celebrating the launch of their pirate-themed “Ship of Treasures” game at Target.
We first met the budding creators last November when we played sponsor at Chicago Toy & Game Fair’s Young Inventor Challenge. There, the duo’s game won grand prize. Their reward? The mentorship of a lifetime and the chance to bring their game to Target. Over the following months, Olivia and Brynna worked hand-in-hand with experts from Target and Pressman Toys, covering everything from developing instructions and perfecting game rules to creating the perfect packaging artwork. And just this month, all their hard work paid off when “Ship of Treasures” launched at Target.
Each player grabs a treasure map and embarks on a search for hidden treasure. The first pirate to capture treasure chests from each of the fellow pirates wins!
And now that Olivia and Brynna have their sea legs under them as young inventors, we caught up with them for the scoop on their great adventure…
How did you come up with the idea for Ship of Treasures?
It was originally a school assignment and we paired up together to create a game. Olivia really wanted to create a treasure hunt game and Brynna really wanted to create a pirate themed game. We combined the two ideas and eventually came up with Ship of Treasures.
What was it like to showcase your creation at the Chicago Toy Fair’s Young Inventor Challenge—and win?
What an exciting learning experience! It was really interesting to see everybody’s entries into the Challenge. We were nervous, but excited to play our game with everyone who came around. And winning was a surreal feeling—we could hardly believe it.
What was it like to work with Target to bring the game to life?
It was a wonderful experience. All the people at Target were really helpful and supportive and super-nice. We were surprised how many times we had to play-test the game. We had to test each new rule every week then combine the new rules. Ship of Treasures was really one of the only games we played for a whole year!
What have you learned about being inventors?
It takes a long time to bring an idea to life and see it at Target. There’s a lot of hard work but it is SO worth it!
Any advice for other kids who are also dreaming big?
Work hard, stay positive, have fun and get critiques from you friends and family because they always come up with other ways to think about your invention. And be creative—don’t create a flat board game.
Now your game is officially at Target! How does it feel?
Amazing! We love Bullseye the dog, of course. But we also love that Target is an awesome store with awesome people—everyone from the people in the back stock room to the people in the cool offices at headquarters are so incredible. They were really interested in us and Ship of Treasures. We love being part of the Target family!
Go ahead, get your game on with “Ship of Treasures,” only at Target. And keep your eye out for more unique, entrepreneurial treasures, at Target, too. A few recent gems? PlingPong, a fast-paced game of skill, luck and strategy, was born out of a Kickstarter campaign and now is exclusively available at Target. And then there’s YouTube sensation Karina Garcia’s DIY slime kit, which lets kids craft the perfect glowing, sparkly batch of slime. You never know what you’ll find!
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