ChiTAG Young Inventors Challenge

ChiTAG Young Inventors Challenge
Source: Chicago Toy & Game Group/The Toy Book

In an effort to foster creativity during the COVID-19 era, the Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) kicked off its 15th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) with its first-ever virtual spring event this year.

Now, ChiTAG, along with sponsors Mattel, Magformers, Scholastic, and the American Specialty Retailer Association (ASTRA), have dropped the curtain on the winners as chosen by inventor relations executives at Mattel and Magformers.

“We are always amazed at the ingenuity and creativity of the kids who enter the YIC,” says Leila Nosrati, director of the Young Inventor Challenge. “This year’s spring challenge winners went all out creating detailed prototypes that rival some of the ones that I’ve seen in the professional toy and game industry.”

Mattel’s Picks:

  • Senior Winner: Color Code by Andrew Hebdon, 5th grade, Forest, Virginia.
  • Junior Winner: Cooking Collision by Analise Potsander, 3rd grade, Goshen, Indiana.

Magformers’ Picks:

  • Senior Winner: PuzzleBots by Weston Aram, 7th grade, LaGrange, Illinois.
  • Junior Winner: Slap Happy by Emery Alderson, 3rd grade, Horsham, Pennsylvania.

Each winner will receive a prize pack containing more than $250 in toys and games.

Kids are 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. Entries for the fall competition are being accepted through Oct. 31 at

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.