G A MES & P U Z ZLES
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THE GAME With families increasingly looking to make the most of quality time together away from digital screens, the booming games and puzzles category is in the perfect position to capitalise. PPS catches up with some of the key players to find out what they have coming up this year.
uzzles have always been seen as a key development toy for preschool children,” begins Mike Hartshorn, head of sales at Orange Tree Toys, “as they really help encourage the development of fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination, problem solving and so on in a fun way, so children are learning and developing as they play. By adding an additional aspect such as letters or numbers, we are adding more value to the learning aspect and that has huge appeal for parents.” Orange Tree Toys is just one of the companies currently enjoying success in the booming games and puzzles category. Its Crocodile Alphabet Puzzle has consistently been the company’s number one bestselling
product every year since it was launched in 2012. Over the past year, it has added to its puzzle offering with more alphabet and number puzzles, plus new mini-puzzle sets. Further launches are planned for this year including Disney licences, while August will see the arrival of Orange Tree Toys’ Moon & Me collection which includes number puzzles, among Right: Matcha-Rhyme, a sing along nursery rhyme tile game is part of Green Board Games’ new Leaps & Bounds range.
Above: Let’s Go Lotto is among the new launches from Orchard Toys.
other lines. “I think if you have the right licence then it can be hugely important, but having a licence that works for your product and target consumer is critical,” says Mike. “This is why we are so excited to be involved with something as special as Moon & Me from its inception.” Jumbo Games has also been enjoying the fruits of major licences such as Peter Rabbit of late. “Our 4 Shaped Puzzles in a Box and Giant Floor Puzzle have opened up new retail outlets through gift and garden stores, as well as being popular in traditional toy shops,” says Steven Russell, Jumbo’s UK marketing manager. The company is also due to launch a collection for Moon & Me in September including a 4 Shaped Puzzle Box Set and 4-in-1 Puzzle Pack. “We are also working on two additional puzzle formats that combine PROGRES SIVE PRESCHOOL