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Geneva boy’s game in the running for young inventor award

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 9:14 a.m. CST
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(Sandy Bressner – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Michael Curshellas, 8, of Geneva has been nominated for the sixth annual Toy and Game Inventor Awards in the Young Inventor of the Year category for his Mission Unboxable spy kits.

GENEVA – A young inventor from Geneva is in the running for the 2013 Toy and Game Inventor Awards and now is seeking online votes to win.

Michael Curshellas, 8, has been selected as one of five nominees for the Young Inventor of the Year award in the sixth annual TAGIE Awards, also known as the Toy and Game Inventor Expo.

Michael helped invent a spy game called Mission Unboxable – an “unplugged” game that spurs creativity and imagination.

The awards ceremony is the evening of Nov. 22 and will be at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom in Chicago. The dinner is sponsored by Hasbro, along with several organizations including the Chicago Toy and Game Group and the Toy Industry Association.

Michael’s mom, Lisa Curshellas, said she’s proud of her son and that she is honored that his game is being recognized.

“The kids he is up against seem well-established, in the sense that they have received previous awards or have their product already in a major store,” she wrote in an email. “Michael is definitely the underdog, and no matter the outcome, I am so proud.”

Mission Unboxable is available to families on a subscription basis. Families who sign up receive a Mission Unboxable briefcase in the mail packed with spy gear.

Kids and parents can receive up to 13 missions each month, depending on how many months a family seeks.

The missions are available in three-, six- or 12-month subscriptions, with each costing $10 to $15 a month.

Missions challenge kids to think outside of the box, such as using a balloon to power a toy car or lifting a fingerprint using cocoa powder.

Curshellas said if Michael wins the award, one prize is a trip to the New York Toy Fair, “which is apparently the place to be if you want to sell or license your product to a major company,” Curshellas wrote in an email.

Inventors also are up for awards in categories such as Excellence in Toy Design and Rising Star Designer.

“With electronics taking over our daily lives, it’s nice to have a fun, ‘unplugged’ toy parents and kids can enjoy together,” Curshellas wrote.

Know more

To vote for Geneva resident Michael Curshellas, 8, as Young Inventor of the Year in the 2013 Toy and Game Inventor Awards for creating the Mission Unboxable game, visit www.tagieawards.com/us/poll2013/younginventorpoll.php. Voting ends Nov. 1.

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