The “Kidult”

By Haley Stermetz

Traditional toys have been making a comeback in recent months and the “kidult” is helping to drive this trend. As younger and older adults search for comfort and nostalgia amidst the pandemic, they are gravitating toward their favorite childhood toys. Whether it’s the 1970s train sets or the 1980s Rubik’s Cube, an increasing percentage of ‘kidults’ are abandoning digital experiences in favor of tactile play. The “kidult” market is no longer a niche, but rather a strategy to gain mass appeal by connecting to a diverse age group. 

The purchasing power of “kidults” is here and is increasing exponentially. “Kidults” seek personalized experiences that are innately unique and specially tailored to them. Retro toys reintroduced for a new generation of families like Nintendo-64, collector-driven action figures (He-Man!) and games (Scooby Doo Monopoly anyone?), and toys based on old-school properties (hello Star Wars) making a reappearance are all aspects of this trend. It also feeds into the direct-to-consumer movement of fan-driven and backed toys. Many factors are driving this trend, but the most important is people’s desire to reclaim their youth, as well as a focus on self-care and wellbeing. Brands are learning that toys aren’t only for kids: they tap into an intrinsic need in children and adults alike. 

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