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February 17, 2013 (New York)--Pressman Toy (, announced winners of its first annual Mastermind Braintwister Challenge February 10 at its 110th annual American International Toy Fair. The first place winners, 4th grader Gaurov Bansal, age 10 from Stamford, CT; won for “Letters Equal Numbers” and 5th grader Sophi Schneider, age 10 from Dresher, PA, won for “Wordsticks Mode 4 – Let’s Race.”  Each received a $1,000 scholarship.

Three Braintwister category winners were also awarded $100 each:

  •          “Difficulty” – Luke Cepurac, 10, La Mesa, CA,  for his entry “Order Up”
  •          “Skills” – Erica Blakely, 12, Tinley Park, IL, for her entry “Who, What, Where”
  •          “Creativity” – Max Hartle, 12, Tampa, FL, for his entry “Air Attack”

At the event, Pressman Toy also unveiled new MASTERMIND packaging, updated with a modern day look.  “We introduced our most famous MASTERMIND packaging 40 years ago,” said Jim Pressman, president, Pressman Toy.  “Forty years later, this classic game remains a relevant teaching tool that offers a fun way for students to learn about math, logic, reasoning, and deduction.  We’ve just refashioned it to speak to a new generation of 21st century students.”  Inspiring nostalgia among show attendees, the 1973 MASTERMIND retro packaging featuring that iconic MASTERMIND couple was also on display.

In addition to the awards presented onsite, each first place award winner was asked to name their most inspirational teacher.  Ms. Julie Vlosky, Gaurov’s 4th grade teacher at the Hart Magnet School, received a $250 award for the nomination.  Mrs. Jennifer Schneider, Sophi’s mom, who is also a teacher, was named for being Sophi’s inspiration for entering the contest.

Jim Pressman noted, “It’s clear that a tremendous amount of hard work and creativity went into all of the MASTERMIND Braintwister Challenge entries, and every student who submitted should be commended.  However, the winning entries stood out because they incorporated the skills learned in MASTERMIND by challenging players to solve and earn points as they deciphered clues.”

From October 1, 2012 until January 7, 2013 kids ages 7 through 12 nationwide were invited to enter their own braintwisters in categories such as puzzles, word problems, riddles and games with solutions.  More than 150 submissions were received.

The MASTERMIND Braintwister Challenge was part of a larger MASTERMIND education initiative.  As part of that program, more than 10,000 educators received a free MASTERMIND game to enrich classroom learning.  Educators and parents who already have the game can also download MASTERMIND educational activities, including an interactive white board activity, free of charge at

MASTERMIND is a two-player game that puts the Codemaker against the Codebreaker.  The Codemaker secretly places any four Code Pegs in the shielded code area. The Codebreaker puts down a line of color pegs and tries to uncover the secret code.  The game is appropriate for those ages 8 and up.