Exclusive: Spotlight on Games & Puzzles

Published on: 11th September 2023

Alongside the September issue of Toy World, a supplement dedicated to supercategory Games & Puzzles contains a deep dive into this enduring category.

Games & Puzzles

Games & Puzzles is a bright spot within the wider toy industry, continuing to expand both in terms of new products and sales. Historically a standout performer in Q4, the category is set to benefit from some highly anticipated launches and the comeback of organised play and in-store demos. Toy World speaks to a number of leading games and puzzles suppliers as it pieces together a picture of what there is for retailers to play for this year.

According to Circana, Games & Puzzles is now the fourth largest supercategory in the UK Toy market, ahead of Action Figures, Dolls and Plush. Impressively, it’s also the fastest growing (YTD July 2023), up +11% compared to the overall market trend ( -4%) and adding over £9m additional sales versus the same time period last year. While the category undoubtedly benefited from lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, leading some to believe that subsequent years would be challenging in comparison, continued growth in 2023 indicates that consumers are still seeking out and purchasing entertainment for the home in the form of games and puzzles.

The variety of top performing games is testament to the breadth of this category. Hasbro has launched the eagerly-awaited The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth into the Magic: The Gathering universe during the brand’s 30th anniversary year. According to Craig Wilkins, senior vice president Marketing – Hasbro, EMEA, LATAM, Asia & Pacific, the new addition not only allows existing players to join the Fellowship for the very first time but has also enticed a whole new audience into the world of Magic. Pokémon remains huge for Asmodee, remaining one of the most frequently mentioned brands by our retail contributors, issue after issue, while Anil Boodhoo, sales director at Asmodee UK, says Dobble – currently the No. 4 game in the UK – likewise continues to hold its own with the launch of Dobble Connect. Mattel, meanwhile, is keeping its Uno brand fresh with new additions including Uno Flip and All Wild. The latest Circana data shows Uno to be the best-selling game so far this year.

To read what some of the most prominent games and puzzles companies, including Ravensburger, Konami, Big Potato and Gibsons Games, have to say about the category this year, click here for the full article.


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