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Business strategy: the kidult consumer and their impact on gaming

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Death to Stock
Mar 07, 2024 By WGSN Insider

The kidult market presents an opportunity for brands to tap into collectible game and toy franchises that evoke nostalgia. ⁠Kidults fondly indulge in childlike play, wonder and pastimes as adults, when downtime equals playtime. Read on to explore who kidult consumers, how they are reversing adulthood trends and how brands can connect with them.

The kidult consumer

Kidults are adults that shop like children. From ages 19 to 99, they are reframing their adult years. For kids' brands, they offer ripe opportunities for expansion. For others, they represent a new approach to grown-up life.

Pexels / Cottonbro Studio
Pexels / Cottonbro Studios

In a world where adult life often means stress, cherishing the joy of childhood has become important. This is why toys that evoke nostalgia and cater to both children and adults are gaining attention. Between July and September 2022, online collectible sales jumped by 104%. By 2032, the value of collectible toys could hit $35.3 billion, fuelled by demand in the children’s market for toys that evoke nostalgia.

This trend is an opportunity for brands to create products that resonate with grown-ups who still love to play - a shift in focus that is crucial for market growth.

The opportunity

US toy sales spiked 37% over the Covid-19 pandemic’s first two years. Experts initially attributed the surge to burnt-out parents buying distractions for their kids, but new data shows adults were buying toys for themselves.

The Toy Association found 58% of US adults bought a toy during the pandemic, with upticks in scooters, dolls, skateboards and tabletop games. In the UK, expensive construction kits and collectible dolls were kidults’ toys of choice.

Unsplash / Cottonbro Studios
Unsplash / Cottonbro Studios

The children’s market has turned into a playground for brands tapping into nostalgic franchises from the 1980s to the 2000s. They have a special allure for Generation Y, Gen Z and the kids of today. Offering collectible toys and games steeped in nostalgia will capitalise on this multi-generational appeal.

By 2027, the global toys and games market is anticipated to grow by $70.12 million. Collectible toys are predicted to skyrocket to a market value of $35.3 billion by 2032.

WGSN subscribers can read the full content, including actionable insights, in the Key Trend: Collectible Games & Toys report.⁠ Not yet a subscriber and curious to find out more? Book a complimentary WGSN demo via this link.

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