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Hasbro capitalizes on board game craze, launches subscription service

  • Hasbro has created its own subscription service that delivers board games to consumers.
  • The company will offer two crates, one for families and one for adults.
  • The subscription service comes after a strong year of board game sales for Hasbro.
Hasbro launches first-ever gaming subscription service.
Source: Hasbro
Hasbro launches first-ever gaming subscription service.

Hasbro's next big bet isn't on tech or a big movie franchise: It's on board games.

The toy company launched its first-ever subscription service Monday that will send a curated collection of new board games straight to consumers every three months.

The Hasbro Gaming Crate comes in two varieties, adult-only and family-friendly, and features new three board games exclusive to the brand. Each crate costs $49.99.

"Delivered right to subscribers' doorsteps, the Hasbro Gaming Crate subscription service makes it easy and convenient for families and fans to try new games," Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming, said in a statement.

The first crate is expected to ship in early fall 2017, the company said.

The subscription service comes after a strong year of board game sales for Hasbro. The company's game segment grew 9 percent last year, fueled by successful new games like Pie Face and Pie Face Showdown.

Industry-wide, the games segment saw sales soar 20 percent in 2016, according to the NPD Group.

Sales of children's games rose 27 percent this year; family strategy games, such as Uno, were up 56 percent this year, and brainteasers, such as the Rubik's Cube, were up 40 percent.

And family-friendly games aren't the only ones jumping off shelves. Hasbro and other companies have found success selling adult-themed versions of longstanding favorites such as Trivial Pursuit and Taboo.

In fact, much of the strength in surging game sales is coming from games that target adults. Sales in the adult party game segment jumped 138 percent between November 2015 and November 2016.

Investors seemed to back Hasbro's move into subscription services Monday, as shares rose about 1.3 percent following the announcement. Hasbro's stock has grown more than 43 percent this year, overshadowing its rival Mattel, which has struggled to convince shareholders that it can complete its promised turnaround.

Mattel's shares were down 1.3 percent on Monday, and have slumped more than 25.8 percent since January on sluggish sales and lowered revenue expectations.

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