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The Kansas City Chief figures are the latest comedies from toy makers

Since the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl 57, have fans of the team been inundated with offers for all kinds of commemorative championship apparel, including T-shirts, jerseys, hoodies, hats, coffee mugs, and toys?

Yes, Fisher-Price’s Little People Collector Line has a Super Bowl LVII Champions Set ($30), featuring four miniature figurines representing Super Bowl and regular season MVP Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, l ‘defensive forward Chris Jones and a super fan of the Chiefs.

The set is available to order through February 21; go to the Mattel Creations website (orders should ship by August 31st).

Fisher-Price isn’t the only toymaker immortalizing Mahomes & Co. At NFLShop.com, Funko has a limited-edition set of 12-inch-tall figures of Mahomes, Kelce, Jones, and center Creed Humphrey ($199.99 , only 2,023 sets made). He also has a Mahomes Pop! A Trading Card Figure ($25) and a Funko Gold Mahomes 5-inch Premium Vinyl Figure ($12).

Sports merchandise leader Foco has a lineup of 3-foot-tall Chiefs bobbleheads, with those of Mahomes, Kelce and mascot KC Wolf, priced at $1,600, are already sold out. The smallest bobbleheads start at $55.

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Are the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs toys for kids or adults?

Probably teenagers and older children (adults). According to research firm The NPD Group, a growing “kidult” market that includes collectibles, action figures, LEGO building sets, plush toys and sports cards has grown to account for about 27% of the toy market by 29 billion dollars.

Toys aimed at adults are not new, as “there has always been a robust business for adult collectors of dolls, action figures, soft toys and die-cast vehicles,” James Zahn, editor-in-chief of toy industry news site The Toy Book, he told USA TODAY.

In the mid-1990s, Hasbro’s relaunch of its Kenner Star Wars Power of the Force action figure line “really sparked the match for what became the first great generation of kidults,” Zahn said. “It has opened the door for many companies to start catering to adult collectors, while still keeping a focus on their core business: children’s toys.”

As interest and sales continue to grow, sports licensing for limited-edition toys tied to specific events like the Super Bowl “could prove to be an intriguing new revenue stream for the toy industry if the deals catch on,” he writes. Zahn on The Toy Book Site.

Mattel began taking pre-orders Jan. 31 for the Super Bowl champion set, allowing fans of the Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles to get their rights to the toys. Those who ordered an Eagles set were given a refund.

So can we expect more toys aimed at adults?

Interest is likely to have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. “People who were never at home with children saw the value and benefits of play,” said Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of The Toy Association.

With board games, building sets and puzzles, “they could teach their kids what escapism was like. It was something that helped with mental health and stress,” she said.

That timing follows Mattel’s build from its popular Little People toy line. In 2019 he released his first Little People Collector figurines of pop culture and sports icons including The Beatles, Kiss and WWE.

The product line “was born out of the idea that the toys we loved as children, when combined with the things we grew to love as adults, can make any adult smile and bring a little joy,” Chuck Scothon, senior vice president of Mattel told USA TODAY.

Since then, there have been Fisher-Price Little People Collector sets starring the cast of TV series ‘Seinfeld’, ‘The Golden Girls’, ‘The Office’ and ‘Ted Lasso’, as well as icons like The Rolling Stones , Run DMC , Elvis and RuPaul.

This year, Mattel plans to release more than 50 new products. “The world of Little People Collector spans TV, film, music and sports and is growing faster than ever since its launch four years ago,” said Scothon.

Also dedicated to the kidults: the premium Funko Gold collectible line, launched in 2021, with figurines of musicians such as Elvis Presley (sold out) and HER, as well as athletes LeBron James and Walter Payton. And it’s New Pop! figures include Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic; Coming Soon: Two Different Pop! figures of Dolly Parton and a five-piece set of rock band The Cure.

“When it comes to adult collecting, most of the time it’s not about the real stuff, it’s about the thrill of the chase. It’s the same feeling you had as a kid, when you heard the ice cream truck come off the road. It’s like the prize in the cereal box,” Funko founder Mike Becker told USA TODAY.

“So when I created Funko, my goal was to capture that ‘feel’ and I knew that if I did that, everything else would take care of itself,” Becker said. “Twenty-five years later, Funko is bigger than ever and our growth can be attributed to our community and fans, most of whom are adult collectors.”

But toys like figurines don’t actually move or do anything.

They don’t have to, Appell said. He ordered the Chiefs Little People set for his son. “He won’t play with them, but I think they’re adorable.”

Imagine people populating their shelves and desks with Little People figures from ‘The Office’ and ‘Ted Lasso’.

“It’s decorating your home office,” Appell said. “It’s a form of collecting but it’s also a form of playfulness because and you look at them and it makes you smile.”

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.

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