York Street’s Elandrial Games enjoys the fruits of a global board-game-buying bonanza

Campbell WilliamsonAlbany Advertiser
Elandrial Games' Kale Brenzi with some more traditional board games.
Camera IconElandrial Games' Kale Brenzi with some more traditional board games. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The humble board game has been making a serious global comeback with sales riding high after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global sales of board games went up by almost $1 billion in 2020, rising from $10.4 to $11.3 billion, according to Euromonitor International.

It is an astonishing global wave that has taken York Street’s Elandrial Games with it.

The store’s events co-ordinator, Kale Brenzi, said demand for board games had been quietly building for a few years now but had “exploded” in the aftermath of COVID.

“Essentially in April when lockdown started to happen, our profits plummeted as most businesses did and we were really struggling to come up with ways to keep the business afloat,” Mr Brenzi said.

“After that we sort of had quite a big boom.”

With many people living under COVID-19 restrictions, demand for board games and hobbies started to grow.

Elandrial Games' Kale Brenzi with figurines.
Camera IconElandrial Games' Kale Brenzi with figurines. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

People stuck in isolation had to find new ways to keep themselves entertained.

As local restrictions fell away, the appetite for board games did not.

“The hobby game is what we saw a lot of growth of during COVID times,” Mr Brenzi said.

“(During lockdown) we would get far fewer customers than we would normally, but what they were spending was on par with how much multiple people would spend.

“We’d have people coming in spending $400 or $500 dollars on miniatures and paints which was absolutely crazy.

“And then as restrictions have eased off a lot of people have paper miniatures that they want to play with.

“People had to find something new and I think the board game world is a really welcoming place for that.”

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