Online toy retailer reveals lines that kept people entertained during lockdown


With just over a year since the UK was first put under governmental restrictions, the British public have had to adapt lockdown rules and find different ways to keep themselves and their families entertained whilst at home. With physical, high-street toy stores closed for the majority of 2020, families turned to e-commerce stores for their entertainment purchases. The online discount toy retailer, Bargain Max, has analysed data over the last 13 months (March 2020 – March 2021), compared to the previous 13 months to see which toys and at-home activities saved lockdown.

With homeschooling becoming the new normal in the past year, parents invested in products that would help to educate their children whilst encouraging play. Bargain Max saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 294.63% for sales of electronic learning and discovery products.

The numerous lockdowns also gave families across the UK newfound free time together, and so they invested in new board games and puzzles to keep themselves entertained. Bargain Max saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 228.07% for sales of games and puzzles.

When the first lockdown was announced back in March 2020, Bargain Max’s traffic to board games increased 284% year-on-year. There was also a resurgence in September when government restrictions were reintroduced; 2000+ board games were sold in September alone, with the Santorini Board Game the best-selling board game that month.

As the hot weather hit in the summer months, families were also spending more time in their gardens and invested in products to use in their outdoor space. Bargain Max saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 213.73% for sales of outdoor toys and also sold out of hot tubs in August; people invested in hot tub accessories too, in the hope that they will be able to reuse them for future summers!

As children got creative in their free time and showed their appreciation for the NHS by creating rainbows from all sorts of materials, Bargain Max saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 126.95% for sales of arts and crafts products.

In the year children had less chance to socialise with others and spent more time entertaining themselves, Bargain Max saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 75.64% for sales of dolls and playsets. Bargain Max also saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 72.56% for sales of action figures, vehicles and playsets and a year-on-year revenue increase of 44.71% for sales of role play, bedroom and accessories, as children used their imagination in place of social activities and friends.

As parents used some of their spare time to renovate their home, children mimicked this trend by showing an increased interest in building and construction-related toys. Bargain Max saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 72.56% for sales of construction toys and a 285% rise in sales of Lego in the last 12 months.

As travel restrictions were implemented and people were told to stay local, interestingly the least popular category of toys during the past year was cars, remote control, trains and planes, which only saw a year-on-year revenue increase of 12.73% – perhaps children were adhering to the travel restriction rules in their play too?!

Alex Woolfstein, senior buyer at Bargain Max, commented: “The growth in revenue across key onsite categories reveals the sheer demand from parents to keep their children entertained in what has been a testing time for many families. We are working nonstop with our suppliers to meet consumer demand and our most recent partnership with Clearpay, following the successful rollout of payment provider Klarna, means we can continue to offer our customers more flexibility when it comes to purchasing.

We are happy to be able to provide an excellent range of low-cost toys and games to families right across the country.”