2013: The year of the board game?

Games specialists report resurgence in sales; suppliers confident of "another excellent year".
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Board games are enjoying a sales boom after consumers took strongly to the category in 2012.

And leading suppliers have told ToyNews they expect 2013 to be another successful year.

Recent research by Netmums and Mattel shows that double the number of parents believe board games are good value compared to computer games, while over half of parents still keep treasured board games from childhood.

Plus, nine in ten families say board games have the greatest appeal across the generations.

“We have seen the general consumer move towards board games in the last few years, and a large number of our lines that were perhaps previously regarded as specialist, are now achieving strong sales,” Esdevium Games marketing executive Ben Hogg told ToyNews. 

“It would seem consumers are now coming to like a broader range of games than in the past.

“We’ve seen consistent growth in our board games for the last five years and we expect this to continue in 2013.”

Richard Wells, sales director at Paul Lamond Games, added: “2012 has been our best year to date and the launch of the new Subbuteo has gone someway to help that. 

"Going forward we are extremely confident and optimistic about the board games market and will be launching over 50 new lines of games and puzzles at Toy Fair 2013.”

Drumond Park says more people holidaying within the UK has helped sales rise. 

Joint founder and marketing director, Claire McCool, said: “We found year-round sales were up, largely thanks to people holidaying in the UK and wanting to get together with family and friends. We have some great surprises in store for 2013 and are confident that another excellent year lies ahead.”

Big brands have flocked to the board games category, from A Game of Thrones to The Hunger Games, and with a Fifty Shades of Grey party game coming from Imagination in 2013, the category is hotting up further.

It has also seen innovation, with Little Wigwam turning playground activity British Bulldog – now banned in several schools – into a board game.

“Next year we plan to develop some of our other playground-related ideas, so we hope this will be the first in a range of playground-based board games from us,” said Mark Slade of Little Wigwam.

Toy industry consultant Steve Reece commented: “Despite all the tech hype, and the negativity and cynicism towards the traditional categories, these still make up the majority of a large industry. 

“I predict the board games category to see a renaissance in 2013.”

NPD’s Frederique Tutt added: “We expect the app board games to start taking off as penetration of tablets increase. This is the most significant innovation that’d bring new customers to the market and get the existing ones to upgrade their board game collection.

"That said, a TV game or a strong licence can also revolutionise the category.”

Picture credit (used with permission): Jonathan H. Liu at GeedDad

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