Often called as the "Peter Pan Syndrome", it literally refers to an adult that remains emotionally at the level of a kid. In the Korean part of the world, the term "Kidult" refers to those with a keen interest in cute characters, stuffed animals and toys that many regard as stuff suitable for children. Many kidult use their savings to buy and display toys and figurines that used to be their childhood fascination.
The culture seems to be gaining prominence with many finding a sense of joy and comfort in toys that transport them back to their childhood. The interests of kidult are diverse from watching cartoons, collecting comics, dolls and figurines to buying race cars and drones.
Based on the growing trend of kidult, many merchandizes have cropped up catering to their specific needs. The focus of such products lies more on sophisticated quality products and limited edition collectables. Such items are priced higher for their aesthetics. High tech gadgets in the likes of weapons, drones, RC cars and Lego models are incredibly popular choices for kidult.
Korea has a unique growing kidult market. The driving force behind this cult is nostalgia and lost childhood. Kidult look at their hobbies as a form of stress buster and an entryway to their lost fantasy land. The stifling lifestyle and peer pressure have drawn more kidult trend in the recent past.
Seoul and other big Korean cities hold annual fairs and special events for kidult in an hope to make the cult mainstream. Character brands are rapidly collaborating with lifestyle products like rilakuma, Pixar and kakoa make up for the cute packaging to appeal to kidult. Special character figurines can be found in the form of key chains, mobile cases or even as badges among the kidult in Korea. Kidult cafes and joints are becoming a trend where they can spend stress-free time surrounded by adorable characters, toys and figurines.
The downside of this trend is much more deep-rooted than what meets the eye. While children ultimately get bored with the toys and moves on quickly to the next trend, a kidult is stuck in his fantasy world treasuring their souvenirs and stay faithful to their brands for years together. There is no harm in cashing in on the kidult cult to cater to our inner child; however, it will be wise to keep a tab on the hobby from transforming into an obsession.