"For the first time in modern history, young adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to live with a parent than with a romantic partner…"
Tamar Lewin, ""Millennials’ Roommates Now More Likely to Be Parents Than Partners," New York Times
I can still remember my parents moving me into my dorm my freshman year of college. As the family car pulled away, I threw my hand up in the air, smiled, waved and walked to my new home in Jeter Hall. I was done with living at home and knew that I would never live there again. Not because they were bad parents (although they were stifling to a teenager). It was just because it was time for me to be independent…to be free…to make my own bad choices (which I did).
That was then and this is now. Young adults today seemingly like living at home, enjoy being with their parents. In fact they enjoy it so much that they don't want to leave.
When you don't leave home you don't start a family and you don't have children. When you don't have a family you provide the toy industry with fewer child consumers. On the other hands, not having to pay rent or pay for food means you have money to buy your own toys.
The problem with that is that the toy industry, unlike the gaming industry, has never really embraced the adult play consumer. In fact, those who provide research to the toy industry (think NPD and Euromonitor) don't even count adult users. Everything seems to stop at about 12.
The entire industry needs a major mental adjustment to the reality of a world in which child consumers are being replaced by adults. There is a big downside and an equally big upside for those who expand their vision of who wants to and has the money to play. It would be helpful if the industry's institutions began recognizing the adult player as a desired consumer who is worth counting.