How far does TV and film influence board games?

Terminator and Game of Thrones have all inspired board games, taking the property from the big screen and applying it to a humble game. Here, Nicki Gumbrell, sales director at Gibsons, reviews why TV and film has such a huge presence in the sector.
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TV shows and films have had a great impact on the toy and games category and listings over the last few years. TV programmes, like board games, are a fantastic way to bring family and friends together. Not only do they increase family bonding as they encourage discussion and open communication channels, they can also generate lots of laughter, which has been proven to increase circulation and lower blood pressure.

Yet over the last few years we have seen renewed interest in traditional pastimes as families and friends are taking the time to turn off their devices to spend quality time with their loved ones. Although this means a step away from the big screen, it hasn’t stopped players from enjoying their favourite TV show or film.

Toy shops and departments stores are filled to the brim with licensed games in Q4, with titles including The Chase Card Game, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway Game, The Walking Dead Monopoly and Game of Thrones Board Game.

It’s clear that TV and film has a huge influence on consumer purchase decisions and we hope it continues to support the board game industry.

Nicki Gumbrell, Gibsons

Our detective board game, 221b Baker Street is another example of how TV can influence purchase decisions. First launched in the 1980s before the BBC’s award-winning TV show, the popularity of 221b Baker Street has increased year on year, with 2016 annual sales rising by 42 per cent when compared with 2015. With a new Sherlock Holmes-inspired film set to hit cinemas in 2018, we have high hopes for the board game next year.

But 221b Baker Street isn’t the only success story. We teamed up with the nation’s favourite cooking programme, The Great British Bake Off last year to release three licensed jigsaw puzzles that have sold like hot cakes. Each jigsaw is presented in a box or cake-shaped tin that features the recognisable GBBO artwork, making them perfect for Bake Off fans nationwide. With the first episode of new Channel 4 show airing August 29th, we are anticipating another significant uplift in sales this autumn/winter season.

It’s clear that TV and film has a huge influence on consumer purchase decisions and we hope it continues to support the board game industry as well as reminding people of the value of sitting down and playing a game with the whole family.


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