Richard Gottlieb is well known in the toy industry for his speaking engagements and the companies he consults and represents. He recently spoke about his thoughts on the increasingly popular “kidult” segment of the toy buying public and the toy industry in general. Here are a few of his thoughts:
What are your thoughts on “kidults” ?
Adults love to play. 15% of all toy purchases are for adult end use. Think how much bigger that would be if the toy industry became more of a family industry and less of one that is focused only on children.
Do you think “kidults” are becoming a major toy buying segment?
Again, they are at 15% without the industry making an effort. Most action figures purchased are by adult collectors. Puzzles, games and toy cars are also big adult areas.
Do you believe companies would want to market to such a segment?
They should but most do not. Toys r Us does dedicate space to adult collectables for action figures, statues and cars but Barnes & Noble is really the only retailer that has a large toy department dedicated to adults.
Are toy brands transitioning to lifestyle brand?
Hello Kitty has had a strong lifestyle presence for a very long time being the only female property that works at all ages. Disney is going after adults with Princesses lines of clothes and shoes for adults.
Is there a product or company that has really caught your eye recently?
Yes, Shapeways, a 3D printing company. They will revolutionize the current business model for manufacturing.
How do you view the state of “play” today?
There is a confluence of adults and children primarily around technology based play. Cell phone and tablets are used by both.