Latest Auction for Collectible Toys Proves Popularity of ‘Kidult’ Items in Korea | Be Korea-savvy

Latest Auction for Collectible Toys Proves Popularity of ‘Kidult’ Items in Korea


The collectible with the highest winning bid was a ‘Bearbrick Star Wars C-3PO 400%’, which was ultimately sold for 1.55 million won ($1,352), while the most competitive was ‘Marilyn Monroe (1/4)’, which started at 300,000 won, saw 24 different bids, and eventually sold for 1.25 million won ($1,090). (image: Flickr/ Carrie Kellenberger)

The collectible with the highest winning bid was a ‘Bearbrick Star Wars C-3PO 400%’, which was ultimately sold for 1.55 million won ($1,352), while the most competitive was ‘Marilyn Monroe (1/4)’, which started at 300,000 won, saw 24 different bids, and eventually sold for 1.25 million won ($1,090). (image: Flickr/ Carrie Kellenberger)

SEOUL, July 1 (Korea Bizwire) – ‘Kidult’ is a newly-coined term that combines ‘kid’ and ‘adult’, used to refer to adults that pursue memories of their childhood, and the kidult market has established itself as a niche culture in Korea in recent years. 

A recent auction event for collectible toys organized by Seoul Auction was proof of the trend. A total of 16 toy figures were submitted for auction, all of which found new owners. 

The collectible with the highest winning bid was a ‘Bearbrick Star Wars C-3PO 400%’, which was ultimately sold for 1.55 million won ($1,352), while the most competitive was ‘Marilyn Monroe (1/4)’, which started at 300,000 won, saw 24 different bids, and eventually sold for 1.25 million won ($1,090). 

A 30-year-anniversary limited edition toy for the film ‘Back to the Future’ and a set of Batman-modelled figures were sold for 1.1 million and 1 million, respectively. 

The kidult market in Korea is rapidly expanding. It’s currently valued at 700 billion won ($610 million) annually, with expected annual growth of 20 percent for the foreseeable future. (image: Lotte Mart)

The kidult market in Korea is rapidly expanding. It’s currently valued at 700 billion won ($610 million) annually, with expected annual growth of 20 percent for the foreseeable future. (image: Lotte Mart)

“The majority of the auction participants were males in their 30s and 40s,” said an official from Seoul Auction. “We discovered that there is a high level of interest (in collectible toys) from domestic (kidult) toy fans.” 

The kidult market in Korea is rapidly expanding. It’s currently valued at 700 billion won ($610 million) annually, with expected annual growth of 20 percent for the foreseeable future. 

“There used to be a time when people would consider such hobbies to be immature,” he added. “But now, these items come in very high quality, and they’re seen more as collectible artworks than children’s toys.”

By Lina Jang (linajang@koreabizwire.com)

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