Shelby Township couple creates the Punch Box Party Game, alternative to pinata

Posted: 4:30 PM, Sep 20, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-20 21:05:49Z

Pinata fails. They make for some great YouTube videos and have entertained audiences on America’s Funniest Home Videos for years. They also inspired a mom and dad from Shelby Township.

“Either kids were already diving in and getting hit in the head with candy,” Angela Shtogrin says. “Or some were getting more than others and some didn’t get any, and someone was crying.”

So Angela got to thinking… there had to be a better way to have some party fun. And what she and her husband Jeff came up with is something called  the Punch Box Party Game. It’s a sturdy cardboard box with compartments that can be filled with whatever party gifts or surprises the host chooses. The kids punch through an removable insert that covers the compartments. The Shtogrins describe it as an “interactive party game that creates an element of mystery and surprise.”

“We’ve done gift cards, we’ve done candy, we’ve done small toys,” Angela explains.

And it’s reusable, because you can buy the inserts separately. They come in all different colors.

The idea isn’t revolutionary. You can find videos on Pinterest and YouTube teaching you how to make similar boxes, usually with cups and tissue paper. But it’s time consuming. 

“Our friends were borrowing it and it was going throughout the family and they kept saying, ‘you need to do something with this.’”

So after much homework, they did. A Romulus manufacturer makes the pieces of the Punch Box. The Shtogrins then assemble the boxes in their basement, and ship them off.

Their two daughters are the stars of YouTube videos showing people how they work. It’s truly a family affair, which is the most important aspect to Jeff.

“For me, it was focusing on the kids and just showing them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work to it,” he says.

Perhaps the kids favorite part is coming up new ways to play with the Punch Box. Once the holes have been punched or shot out with a nerf gun, the kids put bottles in each compartment and made it into a ring toss game.

“I want to go into business when I get older and this really does help with the different aspects of different things,” 12 year old Natalie Shtogrin explains.

So far the Shtogrins have sold close to 175 Punch Boxes. They both have full-time jobs that keep them busy, but they’re hoping when word gets out about their party product, they’ll have a shot at turning the Punch Box into a money maker… the nicest surprise of all.

The Punch Box costs $25, with additional inserts costing $8 each. They’re sold right now on Etsy.