Category Archives: Uncategorized

Take It On The Road – 49/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Take It On The Road – 49/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Board game business news

Some Games are tailor made to be taken on the road, and therefore, when people are planning a road trip, the occasion often stimulates a purchase propensity. Anyone who has tried to entertain overactive children on a long car journey, flight or train trip can testify that things get fractious pretty quickly unless you pre-plan and take entertainment with you. Needless to say, this often today results in ‘zombiefied’ screen time to keep those little darlings quiet, but with a little planning, long boring journeys can be turned into quality family time.

From basic card games using a standard 52 card deck, through to more complex games, the lay opportunity is strong when you get a group of people with nothing much to do for a while.

One of our team travelled the world for a year with a deck of cards, a travel chess set and the classic French card game ‘Mille Bornes’, which loosely translates as a thousand milestones. Coach trip after coach trip, long haul flight after long haul flight, our team member entertained themselves, their travelling companions and plenty of other random strangers with just these 3 games!

So perhaps a portable version of your best-selling game may prove to be a lucrative spin-off, or perhaps you can create a bespoke gameplay and theme around the central topic of people travelling.

You don’t want a lot of loose playing pieces and complicated balance/dexterity involved though if you are selling to people travelling on jerky trains and bumpy car rides.

 

Our Managing Director, Steve Reece, works with a limited number of companies as a non-executive director, independent board director and as a board adviser. If you are interested in finding out more about this, just click here:

https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/board-advisory-service/

Have you checked out our PLAYING AT BUSINESS podcast? We talk all things toy & game business & interview interesting people from across the business: https://playingatbusiness.libsyn.com/

 

 

Let Kids Play At Being Grown Ups – 46/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Let Kids Play At Being Grown Ups – 46/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

One of the most fundamental underlying foundations of the entire toy & game industry is that children like to play at being adults – from toy stethoscopes allowing children to play at being doctors, through to toy workbenches, children playing as adults is a major theme.

The same applies with board games. If you look at some of the all time best-selling board games, several iconic games follow this same path of children replicating and playing at being adults. Just to name three – Operation, Game Of Life and Pay Day. Operation is again back to kids playing with stethoscopes, except in Operation they go one step further they have been promoted to the role of surgeon! Game Of Life is at the very core of the gameplay a simulation of adult life. Pay Day (one of our favourites) is a simple family game based on the concept of replicating the monthly cashflow cycle of a salaried worker.

 

We run a Consultancy business for toy & game companies. We work with major companies through to start ups. For more information on how we help toy companies grow their distribution around the world: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/blog/toy-co-growth-booster-program/

Create Games Where Couples Can Compete – 44/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Create Games Where Couples Can Compete – 44/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Aah, the after-dinner Gaming opportunity. And what could be better than intimate couples showing how well they know each other (or not!). Many a long evening has been bickered away over a game of Articulate!

Board games represent a social interaction experience, and there are certain often repeated occasions where people can & will play games. Traditionally, one of these is dinner parties with adults, who sometimes need a bit of a hand to get the conversation going. Games like Articulate, Scattergories, Taboo or Battle of the Sexes allow couples to compete & facilitate entertaining conversations (or even conflicts!).

 

Our Managing Director, Steve Reece, works with a limited number of companies as a non-executive director, independent board director and as a board adviser. If you are interested in finding out more about this, just click here:

https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/board-advisory-service/

Have you checked out our PLAYING AT BUSINESS podcast? We talk all things toy & game business & interview interesting people from across the business: https://playingatbusiness.libsyn.com/

 

 

Add Another Dimension – 43/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Add Another Dimension – 43/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Scrabble is one of the most successful Board Games of all time, as mentioned earlier in this series. The game play is classic – arranging letters to lay down words and win points.

BUT – that’s a largely 2d play experience. What about adding the height dimension also, how would that change things? Well, that’s what Upwords does. By just adding 3d elements board games can be revolutionised, made more intriguing and appealing, the gameplay can be improved, and it becomes easier to advertise or create video content about them.

The classic MB Game ‘Hotel’ featured a number of high rise 3d buildings which made the game raise above and beyond the board thus improving the experience for players of the game.

And finally, Connect 4 had a 3d version – called Connect 4 Advanced which enjoyed some success at the time. The gameplay was quite radically changed by allowing players to connect on 3 dimensions instead of the normal 2.

 

Our Managing Director, Steve Reece, works with a limited number of companies as a non-executive director, independent board director and as a board adviser. If you are interested in finding out more about this, just click here:

https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/board-advisory-service/

Have you checked out our PLAYING AT BUSINESS podcast? We talk all things toy & game business & interview interesting people from across the business: https://playingatbusiness.libsyn.com/

 

Let The Players Collect & Compare Their Heroes – 42/55 Features Of Best-Selling Games

Let The Players Collect & Compare Their Heroes – 42/55 Features Of Best-Selling Games

Top Trumps is a great example of collectability combined with comparison-based gameplay. There are so many versions of Top Trumps today, with one for seemingly every fanbase or niche topic. The brand is on sale in more than 30 countries with at least 10 language versions on sale.

But beyond such simple gameplay we can take a look at trading card games including Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon. Pokémon has reportedly sold more than 34 billion cards since first launching back in 1998. There are more than 20,000 unique Magic: The Gathering cards in circulation with more than 20 billion cards printed over time. Yu-Gi-Oh cards had sold more than 22 billion by as far back as 2009.

In short, cards which are collectable and have an underlying gameplay can be really popular and massive commercially speaking. Of course, Yu-Gi-Oh & Pokémon demand has largely been stimulated in conjunction with TV programming, with hugely popular animated content driving both.

Beyond these mega-brands, we can also look at sports collectable cards and stickers – baseball cards have been a huge cultural phenomenon in the USA, whereas football (soccer) cards and stickers are massive business in Europe.

 

Our Managing Director, Steve Reece, works with a limited number of companies as a non-executive director, independent board director and as a board adviser. If you are interested in finding out more about this, just click here:

https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/board-advisory-service/

 

 

 

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words – 41/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words – 41/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Drawing based Games have shifted lots of boxes! Pictionary has sold in the region of 40 million games since first being published in 1985 and has the rare honour of having been published by both toy giants – Hasbro and Mattel.

Over time there have been several other high selling board games which have featured drawing as part of the gameplay – Cranium being one of the most notable.

One point we have observed over time is that some people are better at drawing than others, so if you can find ways to make drawing games easier and more fun for people who are not good at drawing you may increase the size of the potential audience and therefore the commercial potential of your game.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

Sign up now for our free BoardGameBiz newsletter offering insights, news and analysis of the business of Board Games. We’ll also send you a free copy of our book ’55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games’ – just click here to sign up

 

 

Deliver Suspense And Tension – 40/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Deliver Suspense And Tension – 40/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

In the same way that we love to watch TV shows that are filled with surprise and sudden shocks, so we love to play Games which have us on tenterhooks like Jenga. Just watch out for that tower tumbling, and tension levels rising before it goes!

We have research tested the game of Jenga many times with families, and there is a palpable level of tension with children, because the tower is a much more significant size if you are much smaller child than if you are an adult – to put it in context, the Jenga tower starts the game at around 28 centimetres, but can end up significantly higher, while the average height of a 6 year old in the UK is around 91cm…therefore the tower is just under 1/3 of the height of the child. All this arithmetic points towards the collapse of the tower being a major event for children, which builds even greater tension and anticipation for the inevitable collapse of the tower.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

Sign up now for our free BoardGameBiz newsletter offering insights, news and analysis of the business of Board Games. We’ll also send you a free copy of our book ’55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games’ – just click here to sign up

 

 

Test Powers Of Deduction – 37 Of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Test Powers Of Deduction – 37 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Games like Guess Who, Battleship and Mastermind offer a light test of deductive skills (and sell in large quantities). Note the emphasis on ‘light’, the concept can be really simple, making something very complicated won’t necessarily be mass market.

Guess Who seems simple, but the mechanic/matrix of characters and variations behind it is surprisingly complicated. Battleship is very basic, but also highly compelling. Mastermind is not frankly speaking the most exciting board game in the world, but it has still sold millions of games over time.

What all these games have in common is their effect – this type of simple deductive thinking positively aids the cognitive development of children. So, while adults may not find these gameplays very compelling, for children they can be quite challenging and therefore particularly stimulating.

Guess Who is reported to sell around 2million games each year, Battleship is so big that a Hollywood movie starring Liam Neeson & Rihanna based on this classic game grossed more than $300m at the global box office and Mastermind has sold tens of millions of copies over time. Commercially speaking, simple deductive games are major news.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

Sign up now for our free BoardGameBiz newsletter offering insights, news and analysis of the business of Board Games. We’ll also send you a free copy of our book ’55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games’ – just click here to sign up

 

Turn Your Players Into Detectives – 36 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Turn Your Players Into Detectives – 36 of 55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Classic sleuthing Games such as Clue/Cluedo, Mysteries Of Old Peking and 221B Baker Street put people into the shoes of Detectives, but so do more modern iterations such as the CSI games launched some years back. This genre is not going away, either in terms of general
everyday culture, TV programming or Board Games.

There is something so fundamentally appealing about sleuthing as an entertainment theme. But more than that, there is also a great fit between the theme of detective work and board game play.

In more recent times, Escape The Room has become the modern incarnation of this type of deductive reasoning game, with both top selling games in a box, as well as physical Escape The Room venues to visit.

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

Sign up now for our free BoardGameBiz newsletter offering insights, news and analysis of the business of Board Games. We’ll also send you a free copy of our book ’55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games’ – just click here to sign up

Give People An Excuse To Get In Close Proximity – 35/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

Give People An Excuse To Get In Close Proximity – 35/55 Features Of Best-Selling Board Games

For a variety of reasons(!), people just love to be close to each other. The all-time classic example of this is of course the game Twister.

Originally at launch, Twister because successful at least partly because host of the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson played it with actress Eva Gabor, leading to the publishers being accused of selling “sex in a box”!

On a more innocent level though generations of children have enjoyed trying to twist themselves around and collapsing in a heap together when they couldn’t quite make it.

So, whether you create a game based on facilitating physical intimacy, or just on having innocent fun for kids there could well be success in your game’s physicality!

 

We run a Consultancy business helping board games companies to grow. We have experience of most major board games markets around the world and our team has developed more than 200 board games including versions of classic games like Monopoly, Clue/do, Risk, Game of Life etc. For more information on our services (including our Export sales Consultancy) please just click here: https://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/

Sign up now for our free BoardGameBiz newsletter offering insights, news and analysis of the business of Board Games. We’ll also send you a free copy of our book ’55 Features of Best-Selling Board Games’ – just click here to sign up