The coronavirus pandemic has folks at home looking to keep their minds sharp and their kids busy ... and now puzzles and toys are becoming all the rage.
Honchos at Hasbro tell TMZ ... the toy-making giant is seeing a huge demand for Play-doh and Nerf, plus games for the entire family to play together ... but it's nothing like the attention being cast on Peppa Pig.
Hasbro's decision to scoop up the rights to Peppa Pig last August is already paying off big time ... PP is now officially the most-watched series on demand in the world, with more than 30 BILLION YouTube views, plus another 84 million downloads on smartphone apps.
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As you know ... folks have A LOT of time on their hands now with "shelter in place" orders becoming commonplace in America and across the globe.
Puzzles are also making a dramatic comeback as a preferred choice for entertainment ... puzzle makers tell us their products are selling like hotcakes.
Serious Puzzles tells TMZ ... they're seeing record sales of jigsaw puzzles since March 13, when schools started closing due to the outbreak. We're told sales are up 300% and most folks are gobbling up 1,000-piece and 500-piece jigsaws. The top themes -- collections and collages, animals and birds, vintage nostalgia.
Puzzle Warehouse, the largest puzzle distributor in North America, tells TMZ ... they're setting new sales records every day, it's busier than Christmas time and half of their inventory has already been cleaned out. PW says sales are up 600% from this time last year and they hired about 20 workers to help out in the warehouse.
Here in Los Angeles, Miracle Mile Toy Hall says they're seeing a mad rush for puzzles, board games, Legos and art kits. They've already sold out of 1,000-piece puzzles, and they are down to their last few jigsaws. The big seller -- the eeBoo Women's March Puzzle.
And, how's this for another blast from the past ... FAO Schwarz tells us they've seen a sales increase for indoor toys across all categories.
Now, if we could just solve the coronavirus vaccine puzzle.