While most people break down cardboard boxes for recycling day, 8-year-old Jake Edelstein of Caldwell fashions them into skee ball, claw machine, mini-soccer and other arcade games.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, Jake will participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge and unveil his 10-game cardboard arcade on the front lawn of his family’s colonial home at 30 Bowers Road.
It’s one of more than 100 events taking place in 25 countries to mark the anniversary of a flash mob visiting Caine’s Arcade in Los Angeles last year. Ten-year-old Caine has inspired a movement of young inventors with the charming story of the cardboard arcade he created at his father’s auto parts shop in east L.A.
The 10-minute video has three million views and counting, and has led to the creation of the Imagination Foundation. The mission of the foundation, Jake explained, is for “kids that have a lot of imagination like Caine, for them to go to college.”
Robert Edelstein shared the Caine’s Arcade video with his son last October shortly after Jake had read a book and became inspired to create a trash-eating robot out of an old box.
The Jefferson School third-grader said he often goes to arcades when he’s on vacation. His favorites include Mr. Tee’s and Fantasy Island on Long Beach Island.
While Jake does the design work, his dad said he acts as his technical advisor, makes runs to the hardware store and operates certain tools.
“I can use the scissors, but I can’t use the box cutter,” Jake said.
Neighbors have helped out by donating boxes and on Oct. 6 Jake’s friends will assist in working the games.