It used to be a matter of fact when Peter Pan – a character from James Matthew Barrie’s 1911 book – said: “All children, except one, grow up.”在詹姆斯·马修·巴里1911年所创作的《彼得·潘》一书中,主人公彼得·潘曾说道:“所有的孩子都要长大的,只有一个例外”。这曾是个事实。
But this “fact” doesn’t seem to apply to today’s world anymore.但这一“事实”似乎不再适用于今天的世界。
According to the NPD Group, a US market research company, sales of toys to adults in the UK increased by more than 20 percent in 2016, three times the pace of the children’s toy market itself. These toys ranged from puzzles and Lego building sets to vehicle models and action figures. And more than half of the sales came from millennials – people born between the 1980s and 2000s.美国市场调研公司NPD集团表示,在英国,卖给成年人的玩具要比2016年多出超过20%。这一增长速度是儿童玩具市场的三倍。这些玩具包括了拼图、乐高积木、汽车模型、玩偶等。超过一半的销量都来自于千禧一代 —— 出生于上世纪80年代到2000年代之间的人。
“Adults of the 21st century are channeling their inner child, one toy at a time,” commented website Koreaboo. This is also why these adults are sometimes referred to as “kidults”.“21世纪的成年人一次玩一个玩具,来疏导自己内心的孩子气,”Koreaboo网站评论道。这也是为何这些大人有时被称为“童心未泯的成人”的原因。
According to Frederique Tutt, an analyst at NPD, the motivation of these grown-ups is to escape the stress of today’s fast-paced world. They are driven toward the more immediate pleasures brought by toys than those brought by, say, getting a promotion, which is far less easy to achieve.NPD分析师弗雷德里克·塔特认为,这些成年人(做出如此举动)的原因,是为了逃避如今这个快节奏的世界所带来的压力。他们倾向于玩具所带来的更即时的快乐,而非获得晋升等更难达成的事情所带来的快乐。
“It reminds me of the playful side of life,” Rob Willner, a 25-year-old PhD student in the UK, told The Telegraph when talking about his love for Lego, which he said brings him both comfort and entertainment.“这令我想起了生活中好玩的一面,” 25岁的英国博士生罗伯·威尔纳在接受《电讯报》采访时,谈及了他对乐高的喜爱。他表示,乐高给他带来了慰藉和欢乐。
Despite this, some social scientists see the trend as disturbing. To Frank Furendi, a professor at the University of Kent in the UK, the fact that so many adults are pursuing “the thrills of youth” is the evidence that “adulthood has got nothing attractive about it anymore”, he told The New York Times. “That’s actually quite sad.”尽管如此,一些社会学家认为这一趋势令人不安。在英国肯特大学教授Frank Furendi 看来,如此多的成年人追逐“青春的刺激”这一事实,证明了“成年已完全不再具有吸引力,”他在接受《纽约时报》采访时表示。“这其实相当悲哀。”
But scientists are probably just worrying too much. According to Canadian comic book artist Todd McFarlane, collecting toys could simply be a way for people to express their individuality.但或许只是科学家们多虑了。加拿大漫画家托德·麦克法兰表示,收集玩具仅仅是人们表达个性的一个方式。
“It’s just pop culture stuff. It’s stuff that says, ‘I like a little of this and I like a little of that’,” he told ABC News. “[It’s] no big deal.”“这只是一种流行文化,表达着‘我有点儿喜欢这个,也有点儿喜欢那个’的意思,”他在接受美国广播公司新闻频道采访时表示。“(这)没什么大不了的。”
So now that over 100 years have passed since Peter Pan, perhaps it’s time to introduce a new “fact”, as stated in the tagline of the UK fashion brand KIDULT: “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.”自彼得·潘问世以来,已经过去了一百多年,或许是时候引入一个新的“事实”了。正如英国时尚品牌KIDULT在宣传语中所说的那样:“衰老无法抗拒,但成长可以选择。”