More than 30,000 visitors attended this year’s Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) capping off the annual Chicago Toy & Game Week at Navy Pier last month.

The annual Young Inventor Challenge, which showcased the work of more than 250 creative kids across a variety of categories, was among the highlights. Each participant received written feedback from industry mentors from companies including Mattel, YULU, Kid Group, Target, Ideo, Nextoy, Getta1Games, and more.

Winners of the 2019 Young Inventor Challenge Junior (ages 6-10) and Senior (ages 11-18) competitions are below.

Best Game (sponsored by Spin Master)

  • Junior: Quinn Curran, 4th Grade, from Palos Heights, Illinois, for Blindfolded Builder
  • Senior: Diego Humberto Martínez and Dario Yañez, 9th Grade, from Monterrey, Mexico, for Tic Tac Cubed

Best Playful Learning Concept (sponsored by the Chicago Toy and Game Foundation)

  • Junior: Mason Marable, 4th Grade, from Palos Park, Illinois and Cash Phillips, 4th Grade from Orland Park, Illinois, for NFL Battles
  • Senior: Aashi Sinha, 8th grade, from Milwaukee, for Rescue Buddies

Most Creative Concept (sponsored by PlayMonster)

  • Junior: Violet Kooyenga and Piper Sterling, 4th grade from Palos Park, Illinois, for Beat the Bullies
  • Senior: Donnie Corbitt, 8th grade from Santa Clarita, California, for the Flying Mjolnir

Most Marketable Concept (sponsored by Pressman/Goliath)

  • Junior: Addison Wiersma, 4th grade from Palos Heights, Illinois, for Totally Chick
  • Senior: Zoe Bain and Isabella Murch, 6th grade, from Fishers, Indiana, for House of Cards

Best Presentation (sponsored by YULU and The Toy Association)

  • Junior: Iliyan Shariff, 4th grade, from Chicago, for Cube World, the Board Game
  • Senior: Eliana Lawrence, 9th grade, from Denver, for Firehawk
  • and Kyle Levy and Robert Becker from Glencoe, Illinois, for Barrier Battles

Interviews with select winners of the Young Inventor Challenge can be heard on a special edition of the “Power Kid Podcast” by Phil Albritton.

Attendees were invited to vote on their favorite toys and experiences at ChiTAG. The winners are listed below.

No. 1 Fan Favorite Experience

  • The World’s Largest Kid-Powered Nerf Rocket by Kite and Rocket Research, sponsored by NERF

Fan Favorite Top Five Toys

  • Super Things (Goliath)
  • PlayFoam (Educational Insights)
  • GeoBender Cubes (GeoBender)
  • UGears Mechanical Models (UGears)
  • Squirmles Magical Pet (Nowstalgic Toys)

Fan Favorite Top Five Games

  • Heist (University Games/Megableu USA)
  • Meltdown (PlayMonster)
  • Gator Golf (Goliath)
  • Hoot Owl Hoot (Peaceable Kingdom)
  • Trapper Keeper Game (Big G Creative)

Plans are already underway for the next Chicago Toy & Game Week, set to take place next Nov. 19-22. The 13th annual TAGIE Awards Gala will take place Nov. 20 at Navy Pier in Chicago.

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.