'Kidult' toys offer new margin makers for retailers, says NPD

Jade Burke

By Jade Burke

May 25th 2017 at 10:00AM
UPDATED May 25th 2017 at 12:23PM
'Kidult' toys offer new margin
makers for retailers, says NPD

Now that more adults are choosing to treat themselves with purchases of collectables, board games and building sets, the NPD Group feels that the growing ‘kidult’ market is a ‘sign of the times’ that retailers can’t ignore.

With more adults spending their hard earned cash on toys for themselves, market research group NPD believes that ‘kidult’ toys could be the next big margin maker for today’s retailers.

Games and puzzles, collectables, action figures and even building sets are proving popular with today’s millenials, as well as adults aged from 35 to 54 years old, which the group believes retailers should be tapping into.

“It is one way to differentiate from the competition if nothing else and it is a growing segment (increasing by 65 per cent since 2012),” Frederique Tutt from the NPD Group, told ToyNews.

“The kidult spending power is not negligible and when buying on impulse or for collection this consumer might not be as focused on price so that could present some good margin opportunities too.”

According to the group, the ‘kidult’ market has grown by 65 per cent in value terms since 2012 and has increased by 21 per cent in 2016 alone, indicating this sector could offer retailers a huge margin boost. Tutt continued: “This is in part being driven by younger consumers, millennials, and also adults with no kids at home.

“They probably have more time and a disposable income compared to young and not-so- young families.”

Last year, one in every 11 toys sold was bought by a grown-up for personal use, and with popular TV and film properties such as Star Wars and Breaking Bad releasing toys and games, it’s no wonder adults are showing a growing interest in toys, which Tutt feels retailers can take advantage of.

“If retailers have an in-store presence, then an ‘impulse’ section or themed section could drive sales,” continued Tutt.

“While online retailers could put forward a grown-up section/ store-in-store like they do for LEGO or Barbie to make it easier for the consumer to navigate.”

This spike in ‘kidult’ toys clearly shouldn’t be ignored, and can certainly offer today’s retailers a way of standing out from the crowd, as Tutt cited: “The trend for the not-so-young buying toys for themselves is a sign of our times.”