Monday, March 4, 2024

Toy industry takes a bit hit although board games see surge in sales

While Mexico’s toy industry has suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, one bright spot has been for board game makers: they have seen a sharp increase in demand from consumers confined to their homes.

“Board games have taken the lead, followed by toys for infants, then by toys for children aged 3 to 7, followed by superhero toys and electronic games,” said Mexican Game Makers Association (Amiju) president Miguel Ángel Martín in an interview with El Universal.

Board game makers are riding a wave of specialized demand for both their types of games and electronic toys, although the toy industry as a whole has so far suffered a 50% decrease in sales in 2020.

But with entire families confined to their homes, board games have made a comeback in Mexico, as parents seek entertainment they can engage in with their children and escape the sense of confinement. Electronic toys and games that connect to the Internet, such as electronic robots that can be controlled by a smart phone, have also been popular.

The vast majority of sales are happening online, said Martín.

In general, the industry is “hoping for a miracle” for the rest of the year, he said, expecting to close 2020 with half the sales it saw in 2019 — and that’s assuming holiday sales numbers of US $1.4 to $1.5 billion in December, a far cry from the $2.8 billion the industry earned last year.

A big blow to the industry this year came from the cancellation of the annual Day of the Child celebrations due to restrictions on public gatherings. Martín cited the holiday, celebrated on April 30, as the center of an entire spring sales season for children’s toy sales. The holiday’s cancellation “punished the entire season,” he said, and ran right into what is normally a low-demand period during the summer that lasts until December and January, when Christmas and Kings Day spark more gift buying for children.

In addition, Martin said, many small toy manufacturers in the country have closed due to the pandemic, creating a perfect storm where medium-sized retailers that relied on the smaller toymakers for merchandise are facing supply problems in addition to being unable to open to the public because of government Covid-19 restrictions.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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