The new Gaming Crate subscription service brings you Hasbro games like Monopoly, Twister and Pie Face
Meet the Birchbox of board games.
Hasbro launched a subscription service this week that delivers a mystery box of party games to your doorstep. Hasbro Gaming Crate will mail out a package of three games every three months for $49.99, and subscribers can choose between the adult-friendly Party Crate and the kid-friendly Family Crate. The deliveries begin this fall, and players can sign up at hasbrogamingcrate.com.
— Hasbro (@HasbroNews) June 19, 2017
Hasbro’s games, which include classics like Monopoly, Twister and Life, as well as more recent hits including Pie Face and Speak Out, have been great for business. Their games did $1.39 billion in sales in 2016, which pushed Hasbro’s total revenue to over $5 billion for the first time in its history.
“The market is ripe, and Hasbro is a leader in the board game area,” Adrienne Appell, trend expert at The Toy Association, told Moneyish. “It fits with the popularity we’re seeing now with Birchbox and all those other subscription services, and people shopping online instead of in stores.”
The toymaker didn’t respond to requests for comment before press time, but Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming, said in a statement that the new service also, “makes it easy and convenient for families and fans to try new games. Whether you’re planning a game night at home with your kids, or out with a group of friends, we’re confident the games our experts have selected for each crate will provide plenty of fun, laughter and friendly competition.”
The first two crates will dole out some new games, including Mask of the Pharaoh for families, and a NSFW version of Speak Out featuring internet star Joe Santagato for the adults.
Board games have been getting good play for the past decade — ever since the recession pushed Americans back toward more affordable nights in playing Scrabble and Monopoly. Even as overall toy sales dropped 3% in 2008, board game sales rose 6% to $794 million.
And these low-tech, affordable activities – many board games are $25 or less – have remained robust even as the economy has recovered. In fact, games and puzzles are the fastest-growing toy category overall, according to NPD Group data, with sales spiking 18% to $1.95 billion between 2015 and 2016.
Hasbro’s Scrabble even played a big part in Hulu’s “The Handmaids Tale.”
“A lot of people are making an effort to turn off their technology, put their screens down, and connect in person,” Appell added. “Adults are using games for entertaining when they have people over. And games are a way for parents to get teens and tweens to unplug and spend family time.” So combining cheap games families can play over and over again with subscription boxes, which are all the rage right now, could be a win-win. Game on.
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved