Toy Makers Tailor Products For ‘Kidults’ Responsible For Biggest Source Of Industry Growth

Over the years, one might have suspicions about various kids toy and media companies targeting nostalgic adults instead of children. 

For example, there are no new original stories anymore, just shameless reboots of old classics meant to drive sales and maximize profits without creating anything state of the art. Just think about Star Wars and Legos.

Toy companies specifically have chosen to focus their marketing efforts on adults – or as they label them, “kidults” – to increase growth and stay afloat amid roaring inflation. 

The way they see it, feeding the fandoms is more lucrative than inventing new IP.

From CNBC:

“The definition of adulthood has definitely evolved,” said Jeremy Padawer, chief brand officer at toy company Jazwares. “What it used to mean, to be an adult, was to be a very upstanding, serious member of society. And to do that you had to demonstrate it intellectually, emotionally, in every other single way.”

“Now we feel a lot more free to express our fandom as a part of our adulthood,” he said.

The outlet adds that these “kidults” are responsible for “one-fourth of all toy sales annually.” 

This newly identified market is “the biggest driver of growth throughout the industry,” according to data from the NPD Group.

This tactic from toy conglomerates of overusing nostalgia to push products can be seen in virtually all mainstream media reboots. Like the new Barbie movie Hasbro is promoting, for instance. 

The film will feature celebrity stars Margort Robbie and Ryan Gosling. And is intended to engage “kidults” with brands they grew up loving. 

Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz has a point when he said the upcoming Barbie movie will be a “cultural event.” 

Some critics say this push to milk once popular franchises for all they have left will turn out to be a short-lived scheme. Saying that the American yearn for new and original stories is greater than it has ever been before.

Needless to say, this trend pays enormous homage to the state of the country right now, where older demographics don’t want to grow up or accept any of traditional the responsibilities that come with being an adult.

After all, “embracing the inner kid” is far easier and a lot more fun. So it’s interesting to watch toy corporations capitalize on this cultural shift.

They know what they are doing, and they are keeping their industry alive by promoting brands, such as Funko, toward adult collectors who are in-tune with their inner child.

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