Board games beat the lockdown boredom

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Global information company The NPD Group has released data on the board game and toys playing habits of Brits and our European neighbours during lockdown confinement. According to the latest consumer research, 31% of Brits said they had played with games and toys more since the start of lockdown. This compares to 37% in France and 27% in Germany. The growth of play is more marked among 18-34 year olds and parents of young children – 47% of both these groups said they’d spent more time on play. At 24%, the same is true of those without children too.

Finding new ways to entertain the household was high in the consciousness of many British people and toys and games figure prominently in their planned purchases to ease boredom. One quarter of Brits said they would buy toys and games before the end of lockdown, which is more than the Germans (18%) and the French (21%).

Sales of games and puzzles increased by 42% since the beginning of the year to April 18 and they represent 13.2% of all toy sales by value, compared to 9.4% for the same period a year ago. Top 10 best-selling games and puzzles for the period 15th March to 18th April in the UK by value are:

1 Monopoly Classic Hasbro
2 Cluedo Hasbro
3 Dobble Asmodee Editions
4 Uno Original Mattel
5 Jenga Classic Hasbro
6 Twister Hasbro
7 Monopoly Junior Hasbro
8 Scrabble Original Mattel
9 Game of Life Classic Hasbro
10 Articulate TOMY

While board game sales dominated during the week pre-lockdown (peaking at 21% of total toy sales in between 15th and 21st March), the outdoor category has been the largest by far since then, with 29.3% of sales and a spend of £7.7 million in the week of April 12th to 18th. That represents a growth of 1.7 points in market share compared to the same period last year. Among the top 10 best-selling outdoor toys for the latest week of data are the classic early spring items such as ride-ons from Little Tikes and Mookie Toys, sports toys like the Wubble Bubble from Vivid, splash pools, water balloons, bubble toys and Nerf blasters.

Top 10 best-selling Outdoor and Sports toys week ending April 18th, ranked by value sales are:

1 8ft Fast Set Pool And Cover Wilton Bradley
2 Wubble Bubble Ball Without Pump Assortment Vivid Goliath Group
3 Scuttlebug Mookie Toys (pictured)
4 Aquaplay 516 Aqualand With Loc Simba
5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary MGA Entertainment
6 Bunch Of Balloons Zuru
7 Bunch Of Balloons Rapid Fill Water Slide Zuru
8 Little Tikes Dinosaur Cozy Coupe MGA Entertainment
9 Gazillion Tornado Bubble Machine Funrise
10 Nerf N Strike Elite Disruptor Hasbro

Frédérique Tutt, Global Toy Market Expert for The NPD Group comments: “During lockdown, leisure and play activities have taken a central place in family life. With the arrival of sunny days, parents want to see their children play outside and get fresh air where they can, especially if they are lucky enough to have a garden. This could continue if travel remains limited during the summer holidays.”