Adults of the 21st century are channeling their inner child, one toy at a time.
Children of the 80’s and 90’s are now the adults in this new era of wealth and it seems that those same new adults are reaching into their inner child. Millenials are becoming major consumers in the toy industry.
Now, it’s trendier than ever to be an adult collecting toys – even getting its own nickname, the ‘Kidult’, a combination of ‘kid’ and ‘adult’.
This change in the market has triggered a saturation with toys geared at pleasing the inner child in every adult.
Professor Christine Yano from Hawaii University accredited this adult need with the idea that adults are still seeking comfort in relation to family-like things.
“People look for cute, lovely and comfortable family-like beings especially in times they need comfort.”
– Professor Christine Yano
The “Kidult” Market is a very specialized consumer market geared toward individuals to satisfy a certain sense of nostalgia. The toys that once may not have been affordable or even accessible to some children are now manufactured and sold to adults in large quantities. These toys range from classic Disney and Pokémon to coloring books and even blocks. Other popular Kidult features include toys like Bearbrick and ordering the McDonald’s happy meal.
One major toy brand that has ranked up serious revenue is KAKAO Friends, which is associated with the very popular messaging app Kakao talk. The brand even has it’s own 5 story store!
This new ‘Kidult’ culture is an extremely lucrative market. In 2015 sales reaching up to 700 billion dollars, and these numbers are projected to rise.
This culture is not just for collectors, but for many adults who find comfort and entertainment engaging in childhood play with their loved items. Kidult Culture welcomes everyone to embrace the comfort and fun.
The culture sprouting from the Kidult trend has even become popular among K-Pop idols, such as BTS‘s Rap Monster and TWICE‘s Jihyo who have publicly expressed how much they like to collect Ryan toys. It has reached people of all ages, genders, and celebrity status. Kidult Culture definitely can bring out the child in everyone’s hearts!