An opinion piece in the Guardian highlights the growing trend of adults needing toys for play – including LEGO bricks.
The focus on adults interested in LEGO building continues to grow, with the Guardian now spotlighting the hobby. With the LEGO Group looking to China for expansion and the western markets seemingly having reached saturation point, the only consumers left for the company in Europe and the USA are the ‘grown ups’.
Accordingly, mainstream outlets are now looking at this trend of more adults playing with toys – and specifically LEGO bricks. The broadsheet reports that toys bought for people older than 12 is now 23% of all toy sales in Europe.
Examples of the LEGO Group’s strategy that the article highlights include launching LEGO MASTERS around the world, the recent launch of LEGO Creator Expert 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United, trying something different with LEGO FORMA, buying out Bricklink – and it seems that there will be more adult-focused initiatives later this year.
The Guardian notes that nostalgia is part of adults connecting with the LEGO world, but that having a relaxing hobby is too, highlighting the book Build Yourself Happy. The DK release focused on LEGO building as a calming activity.
In conclusion, the opinion piece offers a positive but bittersweet view on play:
Many of us could do with more rest and recreation in our lives. Yet there is something dismal and even contradictory about the idea of play as a tool to make us more fit for the relentless demands of the adult world, and about the growing hunger for such an escape. Play is, as David Hockney once observed, serious. It is a basic human need, whether it involves pieces of plastic or simply the attitude people bring to their lives. But toys are no substitute for a world that offers children and adults the opportunities for creativity and control in their daily lives.