Green Board Games is stepping up its pre-school activity with a new range of early years educational games from MindWare and Fat Brain Toys. Robert Hutchins talks to CEO, Keith Grafham about the firm’s plans for the space this year and beyond and why pre-school is a key area for an educational games company to be in.
Can you talk us through the MindWare and Fat Brain lines, what are they bringing to the pre- school sector?
MindWare has been producing and distributing learning games in the US market for nearly 28 years, similar to Green Board Games in the UK, and the partnership is a long-standing one of mutual distribution.
MindWare’s most popular game is Qwirkle which has sold very well across the world, but they have
a host of other great games and products aimed at all ages. We are pleased to be increasing our range with them this year and have had great response from retailers and consumers already.
Fat Brain Toys brings a whole new range to Green Board Games, but still with a learning and play value, which you’d expect. They offer a fantastic range of colourful pre-school toys like no other, all of which are proven best-sellers in a number of territories.
What demand have you seen for the ranges?
The demand has been more positive than even we hoped for, I think because they are fresh and new and look fun and colourful. Games like Thumpin Thingdoodles and Peek-A-Doodle-Doo look as fun as they sound and have become instant hits.
How important has the pre- school sector become to Green Board Games?
Pre-school is a key area to be in as an educational games supplier and we know that our games cross ages and ranges, so it makes sense to use what we have to maximise our reach. The Fat Brain Toys range particularly offers something new and exciting in this sector and gives Green Board Games a credible toy offering which will only get bigger.
Have you seen an increased demand for these educational ranges? If so, why do you think this is?
I think learning focused games and products are core to any retail offering, largely because parents put value on their children developing and supporting their school learning.
With retail prices increasing and money being tight for most people, purchases are more considered with play value and content being more important than simple short term fun. That’s not to say these products can’t be fun, as they definitely are. However, they have added value and longevity.
What can we expect to see from the MindWare and Fat Brain brands over the coming years?
Both these brands are well established in the US and in other countries and we believe they wil become family favourites here too. They are pushing their product development teams to keep offering more fun products which help children develop real skills and core competencies.
How has business been for Green Board Games?
The year has started well, we were obviously aware it would continue to be challenging from last year but we always expect to grow and set ourselves stretched goals.
BrainBox continues to be our hero brand and we have been busy developing a wider range
of products, licences and price points which should enable retailers to meet their customers’ requirements.
Couple this with the Fat Brain Toys and MindWare ranges, and we feel that our offering is now far broader and interesting than it has ever before.