Stressed Adults Are Driving Toy Sales — For Themselves

Lots of children opened their new toys this Christmas. But they weren’t the only ones enjoying playful pleasures: adults are as well.

A group of consumers known as “kidults” by toy industry insiders—has driven US toy sales boom by 37% over two years, to $28.6 billion in 2021, per data from NPD Group as reported by Bloomberg. A 2021 survey last year found that 58% of adult respondents bought toys and games for themselves.

“Everybody has their different passion as far as it comes down to it,” said Vinny Indolini, a remote-controlled car enthusiast in an interview with “Just in [remote-controlled] trucks alone, I’ve probably got about $15,000 invested. Just in trucks. Not including batteries, parts, hours, paint, none of that. I was like a grown man? Hey, OK, everybody has hobbies and then he took me out and I did my first run on his car and I loved it,” she said. “I was like, this is fun. You can have so much fun. There’s so much to do with them.”

Experts attribute the uptick of adults’ interest in toys to their commitment self-care.

“With the kidulting, you’re seeing a continued focus on adults understanding the importance of having time for themselves,” says Jim Wagner, president of Razor USA. 

According to recent findings from a survey, 87% Americans are stressed due to the rising inflation in the country, up from 59% in August 2021 and 58% in June 2021. “

Adults were using play as a way to live through the Covid pandemic,” said Cristina Liquori, Lego’s head of US marketing in an interview with Bloomberg. “Hopefully that’s a sticky behavior.”

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