Dads rejoice – we’re officially allowed to get stuck in at the toy shop.
There are no two ways about it: as much as we want our toy purchases to please the kids, us parents want to play with the damn things too. Recent Netflix series The Toys That Made Us hammered home just how much toys rooted in pop culture of yesteryear still mean to adults today; and when you see the price tags attached to some of the most desirable toys out there (say, some of those gargantuan Lego Star Wars sets), it’s abundantly clear that not everyone who buys these things is doing so entirely for the benefit of the young ‘uns.
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Now Smyths Toy Superstores have teamed with Barclaycard to open a ‘Big Kids Aisle’, an area designated for adults specifically designated for adult play, between January 15 and 17. The UK ‘kidult’ market (i.e. adults buying toys for themselves) is worth over £300 million, but Smyths and Barclaycard have also opened the Big Kids Aisle to offset the effects of the ‘Blue Monday’ on January 15 – recognised as the most depressing day of the year.
There will be life-size board games, an adult-size Pony Cycle, and a wide range of toys to play with, both old school (Lego, Tamagotchi, Teddy Ruxbin) and more up-to-date (Cozmo).
Barclaycard and Smyths report that 51% of adults enjoy children’s toys for stress relief, with colouring books, cuddly toys, board games, jigsaws, action figures, Lego and games consoles said to be among the biggest sellers for grown-ups. (Of course, the suggestion that gaming is first and foremost for children probably won’t go down well in all corners.)
Can we expect the Big Kids Aisle to become a common right in toy stores nationwide? Is this necessarily something everyone wants to see? The jury may be out – but we can’t deny that if there’s a grown-up size slide and/or ball pool just standing there, we’ll be diving right in.
Picture credit: Barclaycard