Big kids! More adults buying toys for themselves now than ever before

My Little Pony figurines. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

My Little Pony figurines. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

From board games and puzzles to LEGO building sets and My Little Ponies, new research has found that children's toys are becoming increasingly popular with older buyers.

Playmobil camper van
Photo : Steve Adams

Playmobil camper van . Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk Ltd

According to retail analyst NPD Group, British adults are fuelling growth in the toy sector with one in every 11 toys sold in Britain last year being bought by an adult for their own use.

Since 2012, this kidult market, where adults buy children's toys for themselves, has grown a whopping 65pc in value to be worth £300m, increasing by 21pc alone in 2016.

Steve Kerrison, owner of Kerrison Toys in Norwich, has noticed the change over the last few years, he said: 'Adults have always been buying certain toys for themselves, but this is something that has definitely increased over the last two or three years.

'I think for a lot of people it's a case of cleaning out the loft and stumbling across old toys then wanting to get back the fun they once had with them, so they go out and buy a newer version, though most probably won't admit to it.

'We've always had a collectors market, thanks to franchises like Star Wars, but that's not what's driving the toy market for adults right now. There are lots of grown-up LEGO fans out there and we've recently noticed that complex board games are becoming more popular with adults.

'Playmobil sets are also selling well, especially the recent Ghostbusters range which tie-in with the 2016 remake.'

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Half of the spend among grown-ups buying toys can be attributed to Millennials (18-34 year olds) says NPD Group, who also found that men are more likely to buy toys than women.

The other 50pc is made up of Generation X-ers (35-54 year olds) who account for around a third and Boomers (55 years+) who are the remaining 18pc.

The findings also show that the toys are most commonly bought by adults online, with websites such as Amazon and Tesco being the favourite destinations.

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