Sales of Games & Puzzles Rise Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Britons on lockdown are buying board games, puzzles and building sets at 240 percent higher rates than before the lockdown.
License Global

April 4, 2020

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The NPD Group

 has published the top 10 best-selling toys in the U.K. as Britons prepared to go into lockdown in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The top ten toys are:

  • Monopoly Class;
    • L.O.L. Surprise! Hairvibes;
      • Dobble;
        • L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Lights;
          • Technic Bugatti Chiron Construction Kit 1:5;
            • Scrabble Original;
              • Technic Land Rover Defender 2573 Pieces;
                • Cluedo;
                  • L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Doll Asst;
                    • and Uno Original.

                      The biggest selling toy category in the first official week of lockdown was games and puzzles, which earned a 21 percent share of weekly spend across the entire toy sector. The categories spending shared marked a nine percent increase from the same week in 2019. Outdoor and sports also saw growth with 18 percent of all sector spend, up from 12 percent last year.

                      “Our figures clearly show that consumers are preparing for the coming weeks of isolation with a selection of family board games, outdoor and seasonal summer toys, craft kits and building sets,” says Frederique Tutt, global toy market expert, The NPD Group. “It’s interesting to see the classic games of Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo and Uno on this list. These ‘standards’ have shown us over and again that they can stand the test of time when reinvented and so it looks like

                      they’ll continue entertaining generations of Britons as householders look to release stress and tighten family ties during these challenging times.


                      In the U.K., Brits are also buying some of the toughest building sets available. With their price points at around £233 for the Technic Bugatti Chiron Construction Kit and approximately £153 for the Technic Land Rover Defender kit, these sets are not just for kids.

                      “We’re seeing a clear ‘kidult’ and adult trend here,” adds Tutt. “Perhaps some of the buyers are grabbing the opportunity to use their newly found spare time to achieve a long-term dream to build one of these cars in LEGO.”

                      Other top sellers include playhouses, slides and swingball sets. Also, to keep the kids occupied, sales in the Arts & Crafts category almost doubled (up 97 percent) with slime, dough and craft kits all making it into shopping baskets.

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