LINEUP CHANGE: Do sports related toys appeal more to adults than kids?

Any honest guy will tell you that if they’re strolling through a retail store and happen to find themselves in the toy department, specifically the NFL, NBA or MLB figures, their appearance in this particular section of the store isn’t by coincidence.

It’s by design.

The popularity of those aforementioned sports leagues easily translates into millions of dollars in retail sales that include player statues and figures that sport incredible, life like designs and intricate, remarkable detail.

The sheer brilliance and sales success of these figurines isn’t arguable. What is much more likely to be debated is whether these products pertain and appeal more toward kids or adults, even if they’re stocked with all the other toys for children.

Toys and sports related items created by the likes of McFarlane Toys truly tantalize more than just one specific demographic and tip toe between being labeled “toys” or “collectibles.” Most would argue that the latter description better fits these types of products, such as the statue of LeBron James or Tom Brady.

Kids don’t necessarily play with these types of figures, but that doesn’t keep creators or manufacturers from widening their sales spectrum to include kids as one of their key audience members. Every young child, boy or girl, grows up idolizing and emulating their favorite sports hero, and collectibles certainly fit the bill when it comes to kids wanting a statue to display that reminds them of their favorite athlete.

The idea of playing with it never really comes up, and that’s perfectly fine to simply want to gaze at the greatness of this player, even if he’s only six inches tall and plastic.

The real driving force behind sales, however, for these type of toys and collectibles are adults, be it men or women that want to showcase these statues of their favorite players in their game rooms, “man caves” or offices, no matter how old they are.

If you don’t believe that sentiment, pay attention to the next basement or social room in the house, and see if you notice a pattern if this person fancies themselves as a sports nut. In most instances, the room will be littered with nostalgia in the form of sports related items such as posters, mugs, cups, footballs, baseballs, basketballs and, of course, those athlete statues.

And there’s certainly no shame in that, either. Sports and their products transcend traditional buying, and toys are no different as part of this discussion.


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