Originally published at www.marketplace.org 4/10/20
Written by Kristin Schwab
Have you played a board game in the past couple of weeks? Maybe you’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle? You’re definitely not alone.
Puzzles are selling out fast. Demand for them is surging and many stores can’t keep stock on the shelves. At Ravensburger, the global market leader, sales are up 370%. “We’re pretty much experiencing Christmastime at Easter,” CEO Filip Francke said.
The first puzzles to sell out were cozy scenes in front of the fireplace. Next were ones of dreamy, far-away places. Another popular category is expert-level puzzles that are, for instance, of nothing but bright orange mac and cheese.
“Maybe it’s that satisfaction of completing something in an otherwise kind of messy world around you,” Francke said.
The other reasons they’re popular are not so puzzling.
“It’s very therapeutic [for a lot of folks] because it’s a simplistic play pattern that’s tech free, it’s screen free,” said James Zahn, senior editor at The Toy Insider.
The sales boom isn’t just good for puzzle makers. As big retailers sell out, it’s also helping small toy shops grab a piece of the puzzle.