Brian presents his idea to JAKKS Pacific executives in California L to R: John Blaney (SVP, Marketing), Ken Malouf (Sr Director, Marketing), Dominic Laurienzo (SVP, Design/Inventor Relations), Jeremy Padawer (EVP, Marketing), Genna Rosenberg (SVP, Corporate Communications/Investor Relations/ Philanthropy)

Brian Sumereau solved the riddle of winning thousands of dollars in cash and prizes with his game “The Puzzler” in this year’s Invention Dimension national competition.

The 11-year-old of River Vale, N.J., beat thousands of other contestants with his highly original new game, which combines logic puzzles with board games.

Brian received a $1,000 prize package from toymaker JAKKS Pacific and a $1,000 gift card for a shopping spree at Toys“R” Us. He will also was flown to the JAKKS Pacific headquarters in Southern California for an opportunity to pitch his game to JAKKS’ product team. Youth innovation firm By Kids For Kids hosted the contest.

Brian is no stranger to accolades. He has earned recognition in a science fair exhibit and is a member of his school’s band, Scrabble and math clubs. He’s also enrolled in his school’s Supplemental and Gifted Education program.

His winning idea indirectly came about when Brian first learned the game of Sudoku from his dad. He quickly became hooked, and developed a passion for brain teasers and board games.

“One day, I was sitting around my grandma’s beach house, bored,” he says. “I decided to make my own board game from my love for puzzles. I was thinking, ‘How can I combine the two?’”

If he could spend a day with any historical figure, he says it would be Albert Einstein, and he’d like to pursue an engineering career.

“Someday,” he says, I’d like to build carnival rides that no one has ever seen before.”

Meantime, he plans to start PowerPoint and entrepreneur clubs at his school.

Editor’s note: This article appears in the August 2010 print edition.

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