Toy Companies Shift Focus to Older Adults


Toy companies are introducing new products and revamping classic games to cater to adults over 65, aiming to provide mental stimulation and combat loneliness, but experts have raised doubts about the efficacy of these products.

Changing Audience: Targeting Older Adults

Toy companies are diversifying their target audience by catering to older adults, especially those over 65 years old, by introducing new versions of classic games and developing new toys specifically designed to provide mental stimulation and combat loneliness.

Revamped Classic Games and New Offerings

Toymaker Hasbro has partnered with Ageless Innovation to release new versions of Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and Life, marketed as ‘Generations,’ featuring larger fonts and game pieces. These games have also expanded their content to appeal to both younger and older players, reflecting changing demographics and interests.

Shifting Marketing Trends

Educational Insights has noticed increased resonance of brain twister toys like Kanoodle and BrainBolt with older customers and is incorporating images of older people in its marketing. WowWee’s app-connected robotic dog, originally targeted at kids and families, is gaining popularity among the over 65-crowd, prompting the development of new features tailored to older users.

Pandemic’s Influence on Toy Industry

The pandemic has reshaped toy buying habits, with adults turning to toys for comfort and companionship. Market research indicates a significant increase in toy sales to adult buyers, particularly those aged 35 and over. Moreover, older adults, identified as grandparents purchasing toys for their grandchildren, contribute substantially to total toy sales with significant spending power.

Experts’ Perspective

While toymakers are actively targeting older consumers, some experts express skepticism regarding the efficacy of these products. Research suggests that brain games may not necessarily translate to improved cognitive skills for everyday living activities, and there is limited evidence that playing games can significantly reduce loneliness.