Caine Monroy has proven there’s no limit to what you can create from a big pile of cardboard and an even bigger imagination.
The 9-year-old from Los Angeles built a fantasy arcade in his father’s East L.A. used car parts shop during his summer vacation. He created the entire arcade by recycling cardboard boxes and set up a pricing model: $1 for four plays or a $2 for a “fun pass,” offering 500 plays in a month.
The problem was that no one walked by his arcade, because his father’s business has gone mostly online.
Caine’s first costumer, filmmaker Nirvin Mullick, was worth the 9-year-old’s wait. Mullick came looking for a car part, but fell in love with Caine’s story, which he has turned into a now viral documentary sensation.
The 11-minute documentary has been viewed 1 million times on Vimeo and almost 500,000 times on YouTube.
In the film, Mullick used Facebook and Reddit to plan a flashmob to surprise Caine at his arcade, in what would become “the best day of Caine’s life.”
The silver lining to this story is the scholarship fund Mullick set up for Caine’s college education, which has already raised more than $90,000. Mullick astutely notes, there’s no saying what this boy could accomplish with an engineering degree.