Toy Companies Find the Adult Active Play Market

Readers of Essentials of Marketing will recall our Chapter 4 case opener on Lego. We use this case to introduce segmentation and targeting, talking about how Lego uses different marketing mixes to target boys, girls, younger kids, older kids – and adults. Lego stumbled into the adult market segment but now sells 10% or more of its products to AFOLS (Adult Fans of Lego). Now more toy companies are finding a market for their products among adults. As quoted in this Time article, a CEO of a toy consulting firm says, “Toy companies began to say, ‘We’re not in the kids business. We’re in the play business. And anyone can play.”

What does that mean?

  • Mattel now serves alcohol at its American Girl store,
  • A Gucci-Build-a-Bear collaboration sold out in less than a minute,
  • Squishmallows (stuffed animals – see photo) are appealing to parents and their kids.

To see a few samples of Lego’s efforts to target AFOLs, see three ad examples below.

The article and/or video linked above offers more examples and rationale. This could be a fun addition to your coverage of segmentation and targeting (Chapter 4).

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