Nostalgia Is the Name of the Toy Sales Game

By: Anneken Tappe · February 06, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Never Too Old for LEGOs

“Kidults” have become as important to the toy industry as actual kids.

In the year ended September 2023, consumers 18 and older drove 16% of all U.S. toy sales, according to market research firm Circana. That means adults bought $6.7 billion worth of toys for themselves last year alone, $700 million more than the year before.

This is a big deal for toymakers, especially leaders in the kidults space, like LEGO.

Family Affair

LEGO has long enjoyed enduring appeal among adults and kids alike. But in 2020, it took the significant step of explicitly designing toys specifically targeted at adults.

This included sleeker packaging, and product lines tied to intellectual property older consumers may feel nostalgic for, such as the TV series Friends and The Office, as well as strategic partnerships with Formula 1 and pop and hip-hop producer Pharrell.

But catering to kidults doesn’t just tap into a new customer segment. It drives growth among kids as well. An internal survey found that 95% of parents said playing with LEGOs together helped to build family bonds. For LEGO, getting its toys in the hands of kids remains the top priority. But if attracting more adult buyers lays another brick in the same foundation, all the better.

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