Adults buying things for themselves make up quarter of all toy sales

If you've ever watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, then you already know that the film's most important message is for one to remain young at heart. Actually, the most important message is to bring a lawyer when heading into a reclusive millionaire's chocolate factory. The second most important message is to purge yourself of all spiritual and psychological maladies before entering said chocolate factory, lest you die an ironic confectionary-related death.

In any event, staying young at heart; that's the key. The world isn't any more insane than it was when you were a kid. Just ask the fine folks of 1478, 1863, and 1944, and they'll let you know that the world has always been on fire. Reality just seems more intense because we're all forced to spend time voting and consuming news. So why not shift your focus back on the things that occupied your mind as a child, and block out the chaos? According to NBC News, millions of adults are doing exactly that, as 1/4th of all toy sales are from adults buying toys for themselves. 

There are two things keeping the toy industry afloat right now: inflation and a consumer group known as "kidults."

These kids at heart are responsible for one-fourth of all toy sales annually, around $9 billion worth, and are the biggest driver of growth throughout the industry, according to data from the NPD Group.

This cohort, which NPD defines as ages 12 and older, has been steadily contributing to the industry for years, but spending has accelerated in the wake of the pandemic, leading to year-over-year gains despite tough comparisons.

Kidults, who tend to spend more on toys, have a great fondness for cartoons, superheroes and collectibles that remind them of their childhood. They buy merchandise such as action figures, Lego sets and dolls that might typically be considered "for kids." However, in recent years, toy makers have created product lines just for these consumers, realizing that demand is high for this generation of adults who still want to have fun.