Showcase 2021: Gibsons readies planet-friendly puzzles, traditional games, and the play detox

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Planet-friendly puzzles, traditional gaming, and a year of detoxing through play

Gibsons, the family owned jigsaw puzzle and games company, is ready to start 2021 with a fantastic range of new puzzle designs and even a new licensed family card game. 

Gibsons’ jigsaw puzzles are now planet-friendly which means all its new designs come in compact boxes without any shrink-wrap plastic. They are sealed with biodegradable stickers and the box has a gloss coating for extra protection. All its puzzles are made from the thickest board on the market which is 100 per cent recycled and are produced in the UK and Europe. 

Among the new designs soon to be released is Golden Hour, a beautiful 1000-piece puzzle that has been painted by the talented Steve Crisp and shows a group of friends bobbing along a river on a Summer day. Amsterdam Café is a new 1000-piece puzzle created by Thomas Kinkade. This detailed design features a café as night falls and the last of the sunshine glistens on the canal.

Meanwhile, Gibsons is adding a third game to its Transport for London licensed range. Connecting London is the is the brand-new TfL game where players must race to build Zone 1 of the London Underground by placing tiles on the board. Make connections and lay famous landmarks to earn Scoring Tokens and win the game! There are now nine products in this popular range which includes four jigsaw puzzles and three family games. 

This year Gibsons is also starting to roll out a new packaging design for its traditional and wooden games which will give a fresh lift to this range. Its Travel Folding Cribbage and Solitaire will soon come in contemporary and colourful boxes that will look great on any games display.

Keep an eye out for further traditional games being rolled out in this packaging throughout the year. 

Samantha Goodburn, PR and marketing manager

The Showcase Q&A: Gibsons talks trends and the strength of its 2021 portfolio

Can you talk us through the strength of the Gibsons portfolio for 2021?

We are thrilled to have ended 2020 on a high, having found out we are shortlisted for four Gift of the Year Awards. This highlights the hard work that our team have put in to create original and exciting products during these unprecedented times. Over the last year, puzzles have gone from strength to strength, so we are riding the wave for 2021 with over 40 new titles by favourites such as Steve Crisp, Linda Jane Smith, and Trevor Mitchell, as well as working with some brand-new artists, including Tabitha Brown and Bethany Lord.

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

A key focus for us this year is to continue to improve our environmental footprint. All of our puzzles now come in compact planet-friendly boxes without any shrink-wrap plastic. They are sealed with biodegradable stickers, we use vegetable-based inks and the box has a gloss coating for extra protection. 

Our product development team has also been focusing on developing our White Logo Collection of puzzles. These are contemporary designs for a new wave of puzzlers who may be looking for less traditional scenes. We are launching seven new puzzles at the end of January which have been created by some talented artists that already have a huge following, like Ana Hard and Studio Grand Pere. 

How much do you think the trends for 2021 will be dictated by the events of the past year? 
Sadly, it looks likely that we are still going to face some restrictions as we move into the new year. Like much of 2020, we will all be forced to slow down, and people will continue to turn to toys and traditional pastimes to keep them entertained.

The green movement is pushing forward at full speed, which is why alongside our planet-friendly puzzle boxes we made the decision to have two of our games, Quirk! and The Card Game for Rebel Girls, made in the UK in plastic -free packaging. 

What kind of lasting effect do you think the pandemic has and continues to have on consumer mindsets and the toys they buy?

Slowing down, focusing on mindfulness and detoxing from our digital devices is so important, which is one of the reasons why we saw a 33 per cent increase in puzzle sales in 2020. In August last year we launched our Rainbow Heroes puzzle. This celebrates all the key workers and the wonderful heroes who are helping us through this pandemic, and we are donating £2 from every puzzle sold to the Samaritans charity.

We are working hard to develop a whole host of new products to entertain all generations as consumers focus on traditional pastimes. 

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

We have had lovely messages from new customers explaining how puzzles have been a saviour throughout lockdown and that they have found a new hobby. We have also seen popular TV series like The Queen’s Gambit take our screens, which has sparked a new consumer interest in traditional games.

In fact, in December our games sales were up 28 per cent so we hope this trend continues. This year we are rolling out new packaging designs for our traditional games. Travel Folding Cribbage and Travel Solitaire are the first to have a makeover and now come in contemporary and colourful boxes.

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

We make our puzzles in the UK and Europe, we work with diverse range of artists and champion innovation. We have product launches planned throughout the year, so there will always be something new to offer your customers.

We value kindness and care about our partners. In our team, you will find passion, excitement and a determination to bring joy with our puzzles and games to our customers across the world.

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

We are hosting our own Virtual Trade Showcase from February 1st to 5th. The virtual show will take the form of an online conference and will give buyers the opportunity to partake in a private showcase of our new products releases, have one-to-one meetings with the team and confirm listings for the year.

The link to our booking platform will be released in the new year.  If you are interested in signing up for more information about the event, please email

About Robert Hutchins

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

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