Inventor Stories

“One rule of invention: before you can invent it, you have to imagine it.” –James Gunn

Goo on My Shoe

Creator Edie P.

Like any kid, Edie enjoys a lot of the same things her peers do—playing sports, watching TV and spending time with her family. But, what sets Edie apart is that she has invented her own game that has made it to market! Not many grade-schoolers can make that claim!

Draw Into Crime

Creator Tiggy S.

Typically, a 13-year-old can be found spending their time watching YouTube, playing video games, hanging out with friends, and so on. It’s not every day that a middle-schooler will use their limited free time from school, activities and chores to focus on a challenging project like inventing a board game, but that’s exactly what Tiggy did…and she did it full-force!

Super Spinner®

Creator Greg Cordray

Greg Cordray is a fixer. Since he was a young child, he was always on a mission to fix broken things, and as you can imagine that kept him very busy! He enjoyed taking things apart, evaluating them, “fixing” them if “needed,” and then putting them back together. Sometimes this left things “improved,” and sometimes it left things permanently broken. The older Greg got, the better he got at fixing things. Today, one of his greatest fixes is his Super Spinner Swing—a better, safer way to swing!

Marbleocity®

Creator Adam Hocherman

Growing up in New York, Adam Hocherman loved construction toys and disassembling, repairing and tinkering with things – building R/C (radio controlled) cars, electric trains, balsawood airplanes, and whatever else he could get his hands on. This ultimately led to his love of engineering, and his passion for product design.

The Island of El Dorado

Creators Daniel Aronson, Michael Howard and Nick Tompkins

Strategy games. That’s a groan-worthy phrase for some people, right? The “non-gamers”, as they’re known, hear that phrase and run for the hills. The stereotype is that strategy games are long, boring and complicated, but that’s not the case. It’s just one genre of games among many different genres.

The Game of THINGS...®

Creator Tom Quinn

Tom Quinn has always understood the power of laughter Tom Quinn has always understood the power of laughter Tom Quinn has always understood the power of laughter Tom Quinn has always understood the power of laughter

Relative Insanity®

Creator Jeff Foxworthy

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has a lot of accomplishments under his belt…things like books, Grammy nominations, TV shows, a great pair of jeans…but he holds nothing dearer to his heart than he does his big, loud family. And it’s apparent with his newest project, the Relative Insanity™ game, that his family can be his inspiration!

Wonder Crew®

Creator Laurel Wider

“Boys aren’t supposed to cry.”

That was it…the moment Laurel Wider decided to do something about gender stereotypes for boys. Her son came home from preschool and made this declaration, something he learned at school, and Laurel’s heart sank. She didn’t want her son growing up restricted by gender stereotypes. As a psychotherapist and a mother, Laurel wondered what might help him (and other boys) to feel comfortable with ALL of his feelings.

MOLUK®

Creator Alex Hochstrasser

Alex Hochstrasser, founder of the Swiss toy company MOLUK and designer and inventor of the TOTY award-winning Bilibo, draws his inspiration for the toys he creates from many different places. He loves traveling and exploring the world around him, observing how people and children interact with toys and everyday objects. Memories from his own childhood also play a role in what he works on, as he says, "I basically design the toys I would have loved myself when I was a kid!"

Kid O®

Creator Lisa Mahar

“Children are the most inventive, humorous, eccentric creatures on the planet.”

As founder of Kid O Toys, Lisa Mahar spent every day working to cultivate these qualities, which are natural in all kids. Kid O Toys are informed by research into childhood development as well as Lisa’s professional training

Utter Nonsense®

Creator Tim Swindle

Despite a high tech background as a software entrepreneur, Utter Nonsense creator, Tim Swindle, went decidedly low tech with his first foray into creating board games. Tim and his friend developed the basic concept for Utter Nonsense over several years while on weekend getaways and needing some entertainment for the group. It began as a simple hat trick: two piles of paper, one with accents and one with ridiculous phrases.

Walkie Chalk®

Creator Matt Damman

Shauna and Matt Damman were living a happy, busy life in Detroit, Michigan, enjoying their growing family, when they stumbled upon a genius idea that was the solution to a problem, but also a lot of fun. Rather than just keep it to themselves, they dove into the world of manufacturing, marketing and selling, so that the world could enjoy the benefits of their invention, Walkie Chalk®!

5 Second Rule®

Creator Michael Sistrunk

here’s a notepad on Michael Sistrunk’s bedside table, where 5 Second Rule™ started to become a reality.

Sistrunk embraces his creativity and writes down every idea, every game he dreams of, in that notepad. He’s had a lot of practice inventing games, he’s been doing it for over 15 years. Sistrunk grew up in a small rural town in Mississippi and didn’t have cable television or video games to occupy his time.