G A MES & P U Z ZLES
RETAIL BOOSTERS “It is always good to have demo product around, often if a child spontaneously picks up and plays with a toy in-store, that can really help with the buying decision, we see this time after time with our own Push Alongs,” says Orange Tree Toys’ Mike Hartshorn. “If this is not possible, then the next best thing is to make sure that the products are offered in a bright, colourful eye catching display so that it can speak for itself; this is where packaging is so important so consumers can see what they are buying.” Orchard Toys’ Simon Prest is a big advocate of in-store demo days: “In-store demo days seem to really work well, giving parents Right: Puzzles have always been seen as a key development toy for preschool children, says Orange Tree Toys.
the show’s storytelling and
creativity, with engaging puzzle manufacturing,” Steven continues. On top of its licensed collections, Jumbo Games has also invested more into its ‘think green’ initiative for 2019, developing a range of games for ages 3+. “Each product in the Eco Games range has been manufactured using 100% recycled paper, cardboard and plastics, in response to retailer and consumer demand,” Steven says. “Our first titles in this new range are Catch the Mouse, Colour Chameleon, Peek-a-Boo and Honey Yummy. We already use % recycled cardboard to manufacture our jigsaw puzzles, so our new range only strengthens our commitment to sustainability.” Orchard Toys, meanwhile, is celebrating exceeding some challenging targets on its games and jigsaw puzzles over the past 12 months, with the company seeing uplift across the board in all retail sectors. “Our top sellers in the 0-3 year old preschool category have been Smelly Wellies and Farmyard Heads and Tails,” offers sales director, Simon Prest. “These products have
the opportunity to engage and interact with products and see the value and quality of them.” Jumbo’s Steven Russell agrees that having stock out of the box and on display is a great way for retailers to further boost their sales in the category. “Having the product ranged for the specific target ages and making this easily identifiable in-store is also key,” he adds. “Along with promoting the educational values and game play formats through eye-catching displays; making their value clear and precise is a good way. This means less time spent wondering ‘is this suitable?’ or ‘what does it offer?’ for educational value, is an easy win.” consistently outperformed expectations and sales; we attribute the attractiveness of these products to their simplicity and fun.” The company will be adding six new colouring book titles to its existing range, while it has also launched travel-themed Let’s Go Lotto, plus a collection of two-piece Mummy and Baby jigsaw puzzles with six in a box. Simon continues: “We live by our values of learning made fun, ensuring education and fun is a priority in our games. Designing games that are fun and
simple keeping little minds engaged is the recipe for success for us.” Since its launch in 2008, over eight million BrainBoxes have been sold worldwide in 28 languages across 64 countries. Green Board Games’ Karen Nunn says: “My First BrainBox and Fat Brain products continue to perform well in this category and are real must-have staples for any preschool portfolio. The easy game-play and innovations seem to resonate with both consumers and in turn retailers who are looking for fun, educational properties to promote learning and early skill development.” In addition, the company has launched a new Footsteps range, aimed at ages 3+, plus Leaps & Bounds for under-3s. “The Footsteps collection stands out with striking on-trend designs and includes proven formats to help children fine-tune their motor skills and hand eye co-ordination,” says Karen. “With RRP typically under £10, Footsteps is a great capsule range for retailers of any size. “Further bolstering our robust preschool offering is Leaps & Bounds, promising safe and engaging high-quality play experiences for the under 3s. This range includes Miximals, complete with fun-tolearn animal facts and Match-aRhyme a sing along nursery rhyme tile game for extra interactivity.” In this digital age, it is encouraging that the games and puzzles category continues to be as robust and innovative. And with digital detoxing on the rise and families looking for activities they can all participate in, there can only be further growth on the horizon.
Right: Colour Chameleon is part of Jumbo’s new Eco Games collection. PROGRES SIVE PRESCHOOL