Article content continued
Now it is December, long regarded as the big game among toy makers. Have a bad December, the rule goes, and you have had a bad year.
With the virus, however, each successive month has been a game unto itself, and the games have all been going into triple overtime as fans keep hollering for their parents to buy more.
“The only thing that is going to slow things down is when some of the manufacturers start running out of products,” Ramsay said. “If there is something you are looking for, you had better go get it now.”
The great pandemic toy rush boosted Spin Master’s third-quarter revenue in its arts and crafts, board games, puzzles and stuffed animals division to US$172.5 million, a 13.2 per cent year-over-year increase, while total revenue increased 4.3 per cent to US$571.6 million.
Much like time itself, the toy industry typically ticks along, year to year, without any huge swings in sales growth or declines. Sometimes, a hot new toy, say, a 21st-century equivalent to the Cabbage Patch doll, appears on the scene. Even when it does, there’s still the same number of kids and birthdays, and there is only one Christmas.
Then along came COVID-19, and people started snapping up puzzles, for example, in April, a historically slow time for puzzles. But they didn’t want just any old puzzle. The demand among shoppers was for ever-larger puzzles, some consisting of 2,000 pieces and more.
But not everything is selling like mad, Harary said.