Adult Play-Doh, stores that ship

By JOSEPH PISANI and ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, The Associated Press

NEW YORK — The pandemic is turning this into a holiday shopping season like no other.

Toy companies are targeting stuck-at-home grown-ups with latte-smelling Play-Doh and Legos that turn into Warhols. Those who added a puppy to their family during the pandemic will see tons of gift options for their new furry friend. And with more people shopping online, stores are doing double duty as shipping centers to try to get gifts to doorsteps as fast as possible.

Here’s what to expect:

Toys for adults

Kids aren’t the only ones who need some fun. Toy companies are targeting bored adults stuck at home during the pandemic. Need something to fidget during your next Zoom meeting? Hasbro has new moldable Play-Doh varieties that smell like stuff grown-ups would recognize: lattes, fresh cut grass and smoked meats.

Lego, meanwhile, wants adults to put on their headphones and “forget about the rest of the world” while turning the plastic pieces in their new kits into hangable art, like Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe portraits.

Marissa DiBartolo, editor in chief of toy review site The Toy Insider, says she’s seen more coloring books and challenging puzzles being designed with adults in mind.

From YouTube to the toy store

The canines on “Paw Patrol” better watch their tails. YouTube stars with millions of viewers are heading to the toy aisle, a place where TV cartoon characters used to rule.

It’s all because kids are spending so much time watching YouTube instead of cable TV, says DiBartolo. That’s made stars of the video-streaming site just as recognizable as those on Nickelodeon.