Showcase 2021: Ravensburger builds on ‘phenomenal success’ of Escape Puzzles

Contact: 01869 363 830
Web: www.ravensburger.com

Escape Puzzles, leading license line-up, and GraviTrax’s natural phenomenon

2021 will see Ravensburger launch over 200 new products, building on a portfolio that has delivered strong growth throughout the last year.

New additions to the award-winning GraviTrax interactive track system will continue to provide a multitude of ways to challenge Gravitraxers. Building on the successful launch of GraviTrax PRO, there are many new adrenaline-fuelled additions in 2021. These include bigger, even more impressive sets and lots more add-ons to continue to thrill existing GraviTrax fans, as well as encourage new kids into this unique, action-packed system.  

An innovative and engaging advertising creative is also set to roll out, which will showcase this dynamic range at its very best.  

Elsewhere, and a raft of new puzzles will join the children’s jigsaw portfolio, many of which have been commissioned by Ravensburger’s UK-based product development team. Leading licenses such as Gigantosaurus, Super Mario, Bluey, Cocomelon and Baby Shark join the company’s line up, as well as puzzles celebrating much anticipated movies such as Minions: The Rise of Gru, Disney’s Raya & The Last Dragon and Paw Patrol, the Movie. 

Ravensburger’s generic children’s puzzles have seen extremely positive growth especially on My First Puzzles.  This range is a great introduction to puzzles and feature themes highlighted in the Dept of Education’s Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines.  

Ravensburger’s adult puzzle portfolio is continuing to go from strength to strength with the company maintaining the number one spot according to NPD data.  

2021 highlights include new 99-piece Puzzle Moments, offering an entry point for those new to the pastime or a handy time-out for seasoned puzzle fans. Other introductions include work from favourite artists including Aimee Stewart and Matt Sewell, plus special commissions from British artists Rebecca McCullogh and Veronique Oodian. And adding a new dimension to puzzling and riddle solving too are Escape Puzzles offering themed challenges and a great way to puzzle in a group.  

The company will continue to drive its Positively Puzzling campaign throughout the year.

With impressive growth demonstrated in 2020, Ravensburger’s market leading 3D puzzle range will benefit from new additions during 2021. 2020 saw the launch of the Lamborghini Huracan, one of Ravensburger’s most successful 3D puzzle launches to date. There will be a spotlight on the supercar fleet and new impressive buildings will launch too.  

A packaging refresh across the range delivers a fresh look and strong standout, with clear product benefit communication. For Spring, get ready to see the much-loved 3D Minions puzzles and strong generic 3D puzzles bringing new news. 

Strong momentum in the games category continues to build and Ravensburger is set to continue the growth with a strong portfolio across licensed, family and immersive games through the coming year. There will be a focus on our classics collection and some new strong additions including the hilarious Upsidedown Challenge Game.  

Among the licenses showcased in 2021 game launches are Minions: The Rise of Gru and Disney’s Raya & The Last Dragon. Evergreen game, mini memory welcomes new licenses to the range including Disney Classic, Marvel Super Heroes and Star Wars The Mandalorian.

BRIO World Smart Tech Sound innovation delivered exciting new news for BRIO in 2020. Once again, the brand raised the bar in railway play and there is more to come in 2021 including an adorable Steaming Train with real working steam effect and adorable pocket money trains too. BRIO will be supported throughout the year with a heavyweight marketing programme showcasing classic and new introductions. 

The Showcase Q&A: Ravensburger talks through the perfect escapism of adult puzzling

ToyNews catches up with Ravensburger’s UK head of marketing and product development, Katy Fletcher.

Hi Katy, to kick us off, can you talk us through the strength of the Ravensburger portfolio for 2021? 

Last year saw us achieve our ninth year of consecutive growth, against a backdrop of unprecedented challenges. Our portfolio continues to develop and grow, introducing offerings that deliver on the things that today’s consumer is looking for – entertainment, quality and play value. 

We are seeing great performances across the board including our puzzles, games and toys portfolios providing an ideal foundation to build upon for 2021.

What are the key launches and the key trends that you’re tapping into for the coming year?

We have developed a range of truly show-stopping adult puzzles that will delight both seasoned puzzlers, and those who have taken up the pastime during lockdown. We’re also set to launch Puzzle Moments, a range of handy 99-piece puzzles that are perfect for mindful moments and ideal for gifting.

Puzzling has certainly been in the spotlight and you’ll see a lot more from our innovative Escape Puzzle collection this year. The range has seen phenomenal success across the world and we are looking forward to unlocking its potential here in the UK for those people who’d like even more ‘puzzle in their puzzle’. 

The Escape Puzzle range adds a new dimension to jigsaws, challenging people to both piece together the very challenging jigsaw and solve riddles hidden within the image to ‘escape’ the puzzle. 

You can also expect to see some fantastic things from our games portfolio. We’ve seen incredible interest in our growing immersive games range such as Villainous and JAWS, and the coming year will bring new launches to excite experienced tabletop games fans and casual players alike. 

How much do you think the trends for 2021 will be dictated by the events of the past year? 

Families have been getting creative in looking for more ways to stay entertained and connected at home. Increasingly this has translated into more interest in games and activities they can share. It’s a trend that has been building for some time, as more folks look to escape screens, but there is no doubt that 2020 saw that amplified.  

Many people who have rediscovered board games are likely to continue to stay engaged in the pastime providing the right product and communications are in place. Similarly, educational toys have been at the fore in many households and I think this area will continue to grow. Our GraviTrax PRO launch range has had a great reception already and 2021 brings further additions as we continue to establish this brand as a go-to for STEM play.

Games and puzzles have been a saviour of the past year. Has the sector uncovered a whole new audience, and do you think that audience is here to stay?

With double digit growth seen across our games and puzzles ranges, it’s clear that we’re welcoming new consumers into our brands. Many will stay in, but that is part of our challenge as a manufacturer – to understand the interests of any new audience and deliver the range that will keep them engaged into the future. I think the portfolio we have in 2021 will deliver that and more. 

Without a Toy Fair season in its traditional form in 2021, how are you guys maintaining presence and stand out with retailers?

There is no doubt we will very much miss the opportunity to catch up with our retail contacts face to face during London toy fair.  And we will miss showcasing our new ranges at a physical show too.  

We are working on a virtual fair which will be ready early February, and before that, our sales team will continue to make full use of the fantastic video conferencing services that we’ve all got very used to over the last twelve months. Our printed catalogues, showcasing our full portfolio will play an even more vital role, with updated catalogues later in the year highlighting new products for the second half across our ranges.

Why should retailers be excited to work with Ravensburger for the coming year?

We have a raft of exciting launches across our portfolio that are set to build on successes in 2020.  We’ve also recently commissioned extensive consumer research and we’ll be implementing many of those findings in forthcoming marketing campaigns, further increasing the effectiveness of our communications across the board.
We have demonstrated the strength and dependability of our portfolio throughout extremely challenging circumstances, and we are confident that our 2021 will raise the bar once again.

What’s the next big move for you guys as we head into 2021?

We’re set to launch around 250 new products across our ranges so there is much to look forward to. GraviTrax continues to be a big focus as we further establish its credentials in the construction category. As we build our Starter Set base, the extensive range of expansions and add-ons drive increasing brand attachment ratios.  

BRIO is one of our fastest growing brands and 2021 sees us full steam ahead delivering new news and exciting marketing plans. 

Among the news for our games and puzzles offering, next year marks the 35th anniversary of Labyrinth.  Expect to see plenty of activity to mark a big year for this classic hit. Our team of very talented local product developers will also be working hard on our 2D puzzle portfolio ensuring we offer best-in-class images. 

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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