Kidults market continues to grow as adults spend £383m on toys for themselves in 2017, says NPD

The Kidult market grew by eight per cent over the last year; a surge of £30 million spent on games and puzzles, building sets and action figures on 2016.
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The profitable ‘kidults’ market is continuing to grow as new data reveals that adults spent £383 million on toys for themselves in 2017.

According to the NPD, the kidult market has grown by eight per cent in value over the course of last year and now amounts to 11 per cent of the total toy sector; a rise of £30 million in value since 2016.

To put that in to context, £1 in every £9 spent on toys today is adult buying toys for themselves.

The latest results results from the toy industry tracking group reveal that millennials account for almost half (48 per cent) of the spend among grown ups buying toys for themselves, while Generation X-ers account for 28 per cent and Boomers account for 24 per cent.

Among the millennials market, 62 per cent of the money spent on toys for adults is by young parents. Another four in 10 (38 per cent) are not yet into parenthood and many of this young group are fans of pop-culture, expressing their fandom by buying toys.

It’s been discovered that men are more likely than women to buy toys for themselves, especially as they grow older. They represent 55 per cent of millennials spend on toys, but it rises to two thirds (66 per cent) of Generation X-ers and 70 per cent of Boomers.

The categories where the kidult trend is most prominent are games and puzzles (19 per cent of sales), building sets (15 per cent of sales), action figures (12 per cent of sales) and dolls (11 per cent).

Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst, toys, NPD, said: “The wide variety in the toys adults are buying for themselves reveals the many reasons older people buy toys: from playing board games with adult friends to building sophisticated models, drones and robots.

“And the collectable market has expanded beyond the timeless classics of dolls, plush and action figures to include pop culture models. Rather than a nostalgic trend, I’d say much of this is providing an escape from the stresses and strains of modern day living, fulfilling our need to find down-time.

“The rowing kidult trend shows that where manufacturers and retailers can understand and meet the evolving needs of their audiences, they can grow sales in a very competitive and fast-paced sector. That is equally true whether your brand enjoys a strong heritage or features the very latest cool pop culture figure.”

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