ChiTAG Young Inventors Challenge

The Chicago Toy and Game Group officially launched the 15th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) with its first-ever virtual spring event.

The annual competition presents budding inventors with a chance to have their ideas in front of some of the major players in the toy and game industries during a global search to find the most innovative new products designed by kids, for kids. The spring event is designed to encourage creativity and innovation while kids and families are spending time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an introductory video, Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson welcomes kids to the Young Inventor Spring Challenge:

Mattel is the presenting sponsor for the event and is joined by supporting sponsor Magformers and promotional partners including Scholastic and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA).

Kids can enter for free and will receive a certificate of participation in addition to being eligible for a chance to win one of four prize packs including more than $250 in toys and games. From there, entrants will be encouraged to participate in the fall competition, in which winners will receive $1,000 in toys and games in addition to the opportunity to have their idea developed and distributed in partnership with leading toy and game manufacturers. Previous winners and finalists entered into deals with PlayMonster, Goliath/Pressman, and Target. The 2018 winner, Betcha Can’t, recently arrived at retail.

The YIC Spring Challenge includes a full suite of helpful materials for inventors including a design guide, inspirational videos and articles, and a new series of videos from top toy and game inventors, including Deirdre Cross of Funko Games and Nick Metzler of Spin Master.

Steven Anne and Shannon Swindle of Big G Creative and David Norman of Goliath look at a submission during the 2019 Young Inventor Challenge at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

Young inventors are required to submit an original toy or game project description, photos, and a pitch video showing the prototype and explanation of how the toy or game works. The deadline for online submissions is June 15, 2020. Winners will be announced on July 1 and will be judged by members of the Mattel and Magformers design and marketing teams.

To learn more about the Young Inventor Spring Challenge, visit

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.