The game's not up

IT SEEMS, that in a flat year for the toy market it was board games that took a bit of a beating at retail.
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Even with the Christmas three for two offers, their perfect gift-giving price point (hell, they’re even easy to wrap) and traditional appeal to parents craving that family bonding experience, games had it hard.
And that is, of course, a little worrying for this market because whatever other bells and whistles video games and other electronics items have offered in the past, board games have been the one unique, wholesome experience that the toy industry alone could provide. Toys has always had the er...monopoly on that particular type of social bonding.
But not any more. The video games sector and Nintendo’s Wii in particular, now offers that same kind of all-age socially interactive experience. It has finally landed its counter on the toy market’s remaining piece of valuable real estate. Bugger.
But all is not lost. Hasbro’s purchase of Cranium is a welcome piece of good news in helping the toy market fight its good fight. The coupling of a forward-moving, smart thinking, brand with Hasbro’s distribution and marketing strength looks like a great fit and will breathe some new life into a Hasbro range that has become known more for its ability to re-work classic lines than produce new concepts.



Game on

Despite new pressure from the video games sector, which has moved into social gaming in a big way, a recent Reuters poll showed many consumers are returning to board games and puzzles, as staying in becomes the new going out. ToyNews finds out what is new in the market...

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SECTOR GUIDE: Puzzles and games

Sales of board games and puzzles are up year-on-year, despite the rise in popularity for apps and digital games. With more than half of 2011?s overall sales for tabletop games coming in Q4, we looks at the hottest new products out in time for Christmas...


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For years, the second and the third largest toy company were content to share top-range licenses such as Star Wars, to cater to the same young boy demographic, and to otherwise keep out of each other?s way ? with one short-lived exception.

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