With sudden popularity, local jigsaw maker in a puzzling dilemma

Apr 16, 2020

Are your family members doing jigsaw puzzles while they are cooped up in the house during this pandemic? A local company is doing so well in the national lockdown that it's running out of product to sell.

Destination puzzles have been popular sellers.
Credit Buffalo Games

Buffalo Games is the maker of puzzles that may have been collecting dust until recently.

That's not the case anymore. Puzzles are being shipped out of the company plant near the Main Post Office as fast as remaining workers can manage.

Many workers have been sent home, with the business deemed non-essential by Albany. Buffalo Games has even shut down its website because it can't meet orders, but its products can be found through national retailers.

Sales, Marketing and Product Development Vice President Ben Jamesson said being local is good for business.

"We can see right away if a certain image is selling well or not selling well and we can change it out of the assortment of the mix, right away," he said. "So we don't have to wait the 6-8 weeks that you would need to, if you have overseas manufacturering. So it's been such an advantage for us, having the manufacturing in Buffalo and the retailers know that."

However, the company may have to go overseas for more product.

Dog 1,000-piece puzzles have been popular with families.
Credit Buffalo Games

"We definitely have a pretty diverse sourcing profile for our products, both puzzles and games. The majority of our puzzles are made in Buffalo, but we have other vendors that we use in the United States, in other states outside of New York State. A lot of those are now shut down, as well. And we have vendors that we use in China," he said.

Jamesson said families appear to want the 1,000-piece puzzles, moving past the 300 or 500-piece sets, as they group together in search of something everyone can do together.

"We're seeing like a lot of destination images, photography images that are selling well, a lot of pet, like dog and cat images, those are really popular with families," he said. "It's really all over the board, pretty much anything that we can still ship to retailers. It's selling right away."