With the population dropping off a cliff because of the low birth rate, several industries stand to take big financial hits, like diaper companies, formula companies, kids' clothing companies, etc.
However, one kids' industry doing surprisingly well are toy companies. What is keeping the toy industry going?
Adults that refuse to grow up, AKA kidults.
Kidults are defined as anyone age 12 or older that are spending money on toys for themselves. They are particularly fond of cartoons, superheroes, and collectibles that remind them of their childhood.
According to the NPD Group's checkout data, the kidult cohort is responsible for 60% of dollar growth in the toy industry this year and one quarter of total toy sales.
"The definition of adulthood has definitely evolved," said Jeremy Padawer, chief brand officer at toy company Jazwares. "What it used to mean, to be an adult, was to be a very upstanding, serious member of society. And to do that you had to demonstrate it intellectually, emotionally, in every other single way."
"Now we feel a lot more free to express our fandom as a part of our adulthood," he said.
This also explains all the recent movies featuring kids programming for a grownup audience, like Hasbro's new Barbie movie coming out next year. These films are not being made to sell toys to kids, but to engage kidults with brands they grew up loving.
You just have to watch the trailer for the new Barbie movie to know they're not marketing to children.
My daughter would have nightmares for weeks if she saw those baby-dolls being dashed against the rocks like Herod's massacre of the innocents.
When you think about it, the pivot of all these franchises away from children seems like a pretty short-lived scheme. How are they going to attract a new generation of fans/customers when parents can't share these things with their children?
On the other hand, it will leave the door wide open for new franchises to swoop in to capture the hearts and minds of the next generation.
Conservatives take note of this misstep and don't let the opportunity pass.