I continue to be perplexed by the toy industry’s unwillingness or inability to see adults as end users. Despite the fact that between 15% and 19% of all games and toys are purchased for adult end use, most toy departments and stores are merchandised and marketed for children. There are some notable exceptions of course (Barnes & Noble’s excellent adult game departments and Marbles the Brain Store are two examples) but most stores fail to develop this potentially huge market. The message to adult end users is: “This part of the store is not for you.”
If you want to see how much adults love to play, just check out StreetWars. As the StreetWars website puts it:
StreetWars is a 3 week long, 24/7, water gun assassination tournament that has already taken place in New York City, Vancouver, Vienna, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, and Paris…Your (or your team’s) mission is to find and kill (by way of water gun, water balloon or super soaker) your target(s)…If you are successful in your assassination attempt, the person you killed will give you their envelope and the person they were supposed to kill becomes your new target. This continues until you work yourself through all the players and retrieve the envelope with your (or your team’s) picture(s) and name(s). Then you win. Cash…but first live in fear.
They are now moving on to other big outdoor game events. Rental Car Rally (the logo seems inspired by Hot Wheels) took place in New York on October 21, 2011 and will take place in Los Angeles on June 22, 2012. Here is how the race is described:
Rental Car Rally's 4th-ever high-speed, highly absurd autopalooza will take you and your fellow bartertowners to a diabolical backwoods destination in the mountains of upstate New York. Expect impenetrable blast doors, ragnarokian runways, the doom sound of klaxons, and one big motherloving party. What's all that mean? Apocalypse.
How cool is that! What is that? I don't know, I don't know but it sure sounds like lots of fun. Shouldn’t Super Soaker, Nerf or the Marshmallow Gun Company be sponsoring some of these shooting events? Shouldn’t Hot Wheels or any other toy car companies be behind the Rental Car Rally?
There are a growing number of ways to reach out to adults. If you are promoting to adult end users let us know.