Grownups Are Buying More Toys, Driving Industry Growth

A consumer group known as ‘kidults’ has been driving the growth of the toy industry in the last two years, according to data from market research company NPD Group.

This group is defined by NPD as consumers ages 12 and older, and it has, over the last two years driven 25% or about $9 billion of all toy sales annually, particularly for board games, building sets, puzzles, and action figures.

But the rediscovered love for table games and collectibles may have been pandemic-driven, as sales volume fell 3% in the first quarter of the year, but higher toy prices and kidults’ tendency to spend more on toys helped make up for the decrease in volume. Sales revenue for the first quarter of the year was up 3%.

Toy makers have long embraced this cohort — companies like Lego, NECA, Hasbro, Hot Wheels, McFarlane Toys, and Mattel have been making lines of toys designed specifically for this older market, leveraging nostalgia, or partnerships with brands and beloved franchises.

McFarlane Toys has been producing the official action figures for the DC Multiverse, Hasbro has the Black Series which features more premium Star Wars collectibles, while Lego also has a number of lines for its kidult buyers.

Toy companies are also crossing back into creating their own content — and now on a bigger scale.

Mattel has partnered with Warner Bros to bring a live-action “Barbie” into the big screen in July next year. The movie will star Academy Award nominees Margot Robbie as the titular character and Ryan Gosling as Ken.

Hasbro, meanwhile, through eOne, will be releasing “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” in March. 

Information for this briefing was found via NPD Group, CNBC, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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