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'Secret Hitler' board game has been a top-100 seller for 97 days at Amazon despite calls to remove it

1 week ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Consumer, Retail

A board game called "Secret Hitler" has been a perennial best seller for the past three holiday seasons at Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN), and organizations are calling for it to be removed from the e-commerce giant. So far, Amazon has not responded.

The game is not new to Amazon, as our data shows. Instead, it has been a top-100 seller since at least 2017, with sales spikes in the new year each year.

In 2017, the game peaked at a sales rank of 53 out of 100 on January 17. The following year, it peaked at around 60 on January 2. In 2019, its best year, it hit spot #28 out of 100. And just last Christmas, the game once again soared to a sales rank of 31 on December 27.

Critics of the game are asking Amazon to remove it, saying that it normalizes Hitler as a fun, fictional character as part of a game night.

“Anything that depicts anything regarding Hitler is a very sensitive issue, especially with growing anti-Semitism throughout Canada, the U.S. and around the world,” B'Nai Brith Canada regional director Harvey Levine told the Montreal Gazette.

Meanwhile, its creators argue that the game acts as a reminder and warning about how fascism can form, even in today's world. Its product page on Amazon describes it as such:

Secret Hitler is a dramatic game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930's Germany. Players are secretly divided into two teams - liberals and fascists. Known only to each other, the fascists coordinate to sow distrust and install their cold-blooded leader. The liberals must find and stop the Secret Hitler before it’s too late.

Each round, players elect a President and a Chancellor who will work together to enact a law from a random deck. If the government passes a fascist law, players must try to figure out if they were betrayed or simply unlucky. Secret Hitler also features government powers that come into play as fascism advances. The fascists will use those powers to create chaos unless liberals can pull the nation back from the brink of war.

But of all the products that use the word "Hitler" in their titles that have sold at Amazon, "Secret Hitler" is the only product that is of an entertaining nature. Only three products at Amazon with the term "Hitler" in their titles have sold well for more than a single day.  

A collectible coin has ranked for 81 days, hitting ranks as high as 10 of 100 in Amazon's collectibles category. Similarly, a collectible Iraqi currency from Sadam Hussein's reign mentions Hitler in its title, and ranked as high as 12 out of 100 across 10 days. Other top Hitler-mentioning items at Amazon tend to be history books and other collectibles.

But none have sold as well as "Secret Hitler", and none are games or toys.

The full list of items at Amazon containing the term "Hitler" that have ranked in the site's top-100 since 2017 are listed below.

Name

Category Rank (Min)

Days in top-100

Secret Hitler

28

97

Rare Nazi Swastika 1 Reichspfennig German Coin World War Two WW2 with Hitler Head Stamp MNH

10

81

Iraq 250 Iraqi Dinars 1995 Dinar Saddam Hussein Dictator Like Hitler Or Stalin (WW2, World War, Nazi, Gulf War, George Bush)

12

10

The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb

52

6

Survival in the Shadows: Seven Jews Hidden in Hitler's Berlin

25

5

Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939

23

4

DE 1939 Adolf Hitler: A Collection of Four Coins and One Stamp In Wood Box with Certificate And Story Very Good

73

3

An Honourable Defeat: A History of German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945

57

2

Italy, Postage Stamp, #413-418 Mint Hinged, 1941 WWII Hitler, Mussolini

47

1

High Times May, 1982 Zippy The Pinhead Cult, Hitler's Drug Preferences

71

1

The Filthy Thirteen: From the Dustbowl to Hitler's Eagle’s Nest - The True Story of the 101st Airborne's Most Legendary Squad of Combat Paratroopers

50

1

Hitler's Spy Chief: The Wilhelm Canaris Mystery

61

1

1977 Edito-Service, World War II, #14.09 Eban-Emael, Hitler

24

1

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

92

1

RUDOLPH HESS Parachutes in Scotland - Escapes Adolph Hitler NAZIS 1941 Newspaper HERALD EXAMINER, EXTRA, Los Angeles, May 15, 1941

26

1

East German Communist One Mark Coin. Circulated After WW2 in Communist East Germany Post Hitler and Nazi Cold War Coin. Circulated Condition (One Mark)

93

1

1924: The Year That Made Hitler

25

1

Hitler's Last Secretary: A Firsthand Account of Life with Hitler

36

1

The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe

54

1

Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography

70

1

Gi Joe America's Elite #1 2005 Variant Devil's Due Comic Book Captain America defeats Hitler #1 1941 Snake Eyes Cobra Commander Cover Swipe Homage

55

1

The Spy in Hitler's Inner Circle: Hans-Thilo Schmidt and the Allied Intelligence Network that Decoded Germany's Enigma

66

1

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler

61

1

1979 Panarizon, Story Of America, 40.11 Adolf Hitler (Part 2)

52

1

1977 Edito-Service, World War II, #16.18 Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Hitler

56

1

Und pass the Intuition Felt & Tarrant Comptometer Anti-Hitler Anti-Nazi ad 1943

97

1

Hitler

62

1

POLICE GAZETTE 5 1952 Hitler is Alive Part 1; Eddie Stanky June McCall

75

1

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

62

1

German Stamp Sc B203 1942 WWII 3rd Hitler's 53rd Birth Commemorative MNHVF

82

1

LITERARY DIGEST College Football Hitler Reichstag Fire Negroes on Jury 10/7 1933

76

1

Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women

57

1

While Amazon hasn't removed the game, Montreal retail chain Tour de Jeux stopped selling it after receiving a call from B'nai Brith Canada.

The game was co-created by Max Temkin, who also created the wildly successful Cards Against Humanity. He's also Jewish.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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