Ravensburger passes 500 million sales milestone with puzzle trend

International Toy Fair Nuremberg 2020

Ravensburg, January 28, 2020 – In the last fiscal year, the Ravensburger Group achieved the highest sales figure in its history:
EUR 524.2 million*, an increase of 6.7% on previous year. This was partly due to the company’s success in tapping into the sustained trend for hands-on games, deceleration, and relaxation. As a result, consumers turned increasingly to Ravensburger puzzles or the bestseller GraviTrax marble run. Demand was also higher for family games and ThinkFun brain games. The Group increased sales especially abroad, with high growth rates in both Europe and North America. This is where the international-ization strategy the company has pursued for some years paid off. In total, Ravensburger grew faster than the overall toy market.
The Chairman of the Board, Clemens Maier, explained the Ravensburger business figures on the evening before the International Toy Fair:
“Our products are evidently in tune with the zeitgeist. As a balance to their jam-packed daily routines, people are searching for social interaction as well as relaxation in the form of playing games and reading. We’re delighted that Ravensburger helps fill exactly that need.”

Internationalization strategy delivers growth

Last year the Ravensburger Group once again outperformed the market as a whole. With the exception of Germany, Europe’s five largest toy markets experienced a slight decline**, but Ravensburger achieved clear overall growth on these markets, above all in France, Italy, and Spain. The Group also grew well above the market level in North America, the largest toy market. There, Ravensburger had previously expanded its position with greater sales activities and takeovers. This positive business performance validates the internationalization course Ravensburger has followed in recent years. Today, the Group achieves two thirds of its toy sales abroad.

Ravensburger brands BRIO and ThinkFun take off

The Group also gained ground in 2019 thanks to its multi-brand strategy. In recent years, Ravensburger acquired two renowned toy brands, BRIO in Sweden and ThinkFun in the USA, in a push to tackle new markets and target groups. Sales of both brands soared last year.

BRIO won over consumers above all with a combination of traditional toys and digital “Smart Tech”. Now fitted with RFID chips, its train sets with enhanced play options attracted more buyers. In Germany, BRIO also benefited from the restructuring of Ravensburger’s Sales Department. This involved merging the separate sales organizations into one unit that covers all brands and products.

The new desire for slower, analog activities: 21 million puzzles sold

Over the last five years, the toy industry has experienced a rising demand for hands-on activities and analog games that offer relaxation and social interaction in contrast to the digital world we live in. The trend is also reflected in Ravensburger’s business performance: In 2019, the company achieved sales growth of just under 20% for adult and children's puzzles. This translated into sales of more than 21 million units. Especially the “ESCAPE Puzzles”, which combine the relaxation of joining the pieces with the interaction of solving riddles together, generated well above average sales. Next in popularity were the “nature edition” puzzles, which appeal to customers with beautiful pictures of nature.

Just like in 2017 and 2018, the Ravensburger product range with the strongest growth was the GraviTrax marble run. Developed by Ravensburger itself, GraviTrax was successfully launched on further international toy markets and has become established as a system with numerous add-ons and a supplementary app. Ravensburger sold 3.8 million GraviTrax products in 2019.

Minecraft video game also successful as a board game

In line with the trend toward analog games, sales of games for families and adults as well as ThinkFun brain games from the Ravensburger Group also increased. Top of the hit list here were titles with well-known characters: Disney Villainous, a strategy game featuring Disney villains, and Jaws, in which one of the players takes on the role of the notorious shark from the movie of the same name. Both these games launched successfully on the US market. More than a half-million copies of the bestseller Disney Villainous were sold.

Ravensburger also released a board-game version of Minecraft, transferring the blockbuster video game from PCs to living room tables. The game concept and design closely resemble the original. However, in the board game, players build their Minecraft worlds face-to-face and in direct contact with their co-players. Excitement in the fan community was running high before its release, and the game sold out in the Christmas business shortly after market launch.
* Net revenue of the Ravensburger Group AFTER consolidation. All figures as of 01/2020.
** Source: NPD Eurotoys, G5 countries: Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain