kids start younger and last longer

kid2kidult.png

Kids start younger and last longer = great design opportunities & some unique challenges. The age range & market is growing for toys & games, and at the same time is more segmented and interested in sexy or tech led experiences.

We are not evolving as fast as fashion changes, so underlying each of the kids marketing categories are really the same kids wanting compelling experiences. Marketing is a key part of creating an experience (creating anticipation & desire), and a significant limitation on the types and selection of products played (fads, trends and fashion).
Finding ways to offer engaging experiences for a particular market is a key design challenge.

Categorizing kids; in the 60’s the were just kids (2-11), now there are Toddlers (0-3), Preschoolers (2-5), Kids (6-8), Tweens (9-12), Teens (13-15), Kidults (16-26)

Kids Getting Older Younger (KGOY) vs Kids Staying Younger Longer (KSYL). Two trends pulling in different directions? Age compression at one end of the scale; with younger kids seeking higher tech and sexier products, and the Twixter/Kidult at the other end; with twenty-somethings living at home with their parents, playing more games and leaving responsibility to others.

American kids are abandoning not just Barbie, but also most other traditional toys, at ever-younger ages.
(http://george.loper.org/trends/2002/Feb/73.html)

Tech toys are the fastest growing sector of the toy business, with ‘toy’ laptops, cell phones, cameras & anything with a chip in it being seen as cool. Some form of technology and enhanced play is needed to meet kids’ interest in technology-enhanced play.
(http://pages.citebite.com/m1s0i4s9a2esl)
(http://pages.citebite.com/a1g0u4h9v4uut)
Sex’ing up products & using sexy marketing, is important to selling to the tween market. Bratz replaces Barbie.
(http://pages.citebite.com/k1n0x4m9m1dep)

According to Christopher Noxon, author of Rejuvenile, many adults are more playful than they were twenty years ago, as it is more socially acceptable to collect toys, frequent theme parks, and play games. Corporations with eyes toward profit and psychologists who measure mental health support the transformation. A new form of adult has evolved, which may be called a rejuvenile, a kidult, an adolescent, or a twixter.(http://pages.citebite.com/n1c0x4s9p5rie)
Japan has long had a culture with cool toys for grownups (http://blog.wired.com/wiredphotos35/) & office life has featured desks & cubes covered in plastic toys or gadget supplied from many targeted retailers (http://www.firebox.com/)

Are their costs associated both KGOL & KSYL trends, impacting our culture far beyond the playing with toys & games.

Perma-parenting; the inability for some people to accept adult responsibilities and the impact of a lack of an adult in family life.
(http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1175/is_5_36/ai_n6028108)
Reactionary thinking; looking to the Vikings to demonstrate taking responsibility, and doing the hard things themselves.
(http://www.therebelution.com/blog/2005/10/a-lesson-from-the-vikings-do-hard-things%e2%84%a2/)

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1 Comment »

  1. we know that kids loves games a lots

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