Thursday, September 6, 2007

What Games Will We Buy This Holiday Season?

Invariably, every holiday season a plethora of new video games is introduced for our collective consumption. More often than not, they are well promoted and much anticipated. You know their names - Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, Halo 3, and more. This year will be no different I imagine.

Board games have not historically carried the same hype as their video counterparts. Yet more often than not, board games put in a solid showing year in and year out. This year is likely to be another solid, if not better than average year for board games. Here's why:

1) Economic Uncertainty exascerbated by subprime issues and mortgage foreclosures will push people to seek value in their holiday purchases. Board games have been and will continue to represent tremendous value. Generally speaking, they have a long-lasting, repeatable, experiential quality about them. They can be enjoyed again and again and again and again...

2) Family Time continues to be a strong theme in today's culture. Games are a great way for families to spend quality time together.

3) Great Titles from solid companies have been introduced over the last few years and will again remain strong. You can certainly expect a solid showing from companies such as Cranium, ThinkFun, and Out of the Box. (Out of the Box actually recently relinquished distribution rights to Mattel for its uber popular Apples to Apples games, which I would think will only increase its reach and popularity.) Also look for individual games such as Ingenious, Mad Gab, and Wits & Wagers to continue their upward climb. And don't overlook Pentago (if you haven't heard of this game, do yourself a favor and educate yourself).

Beyond some of the aforementioned titles, look for a strong showing from more traditional offerings or variations on traditional offerings - Scrabble, Mille Bournes, Trivial Pursuit, Uno, etc. In uncertain times, shoppers will look for tried and true, familiar items on which to spend their hard earned cash. Because of this, I imagine the Big E Toys' charades-based game Stumblebum will again have a solid showing this year. It doens't hurt either that Stumblebum is great for all ages, easy to understand, and a downright hilarious game to play.

Have fun. Play hard.

Copyright 2007, C. Engdahl, Big E Toys. All Rights Reserved.

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