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Store Aimed At Adult Babies, Tykables, Opens In Mount Prospect

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 9, 2016 7:42PM

Photo via Facebook

Some adults have to wear diapers. Hence, Depends. But other adults wear diapers, not out of practical necessity, but because they like to role-play as babies. A new store has opened in Mount Prospect to cater to the AB/DL (Adult Baby/Diaper Lover) community, as it's termed online: Tykables, located at 512 W. Northwest Highway.

The store opened in early April, and owner John-Michael Williams, 30—who lives in Mount Prospect and identifies as part of the adult baby community—told Chicagoist that the store is first and foremost an office for Tykables' online business. Tykables has existed as a web store, primarily for adult-sized baby diapers, since 2014. Their signature diapers, titled "Overnights," are "thick adult diaper[s]" that are "functional enough to wear throughout the day while still being absorbent enough for overnight use," according to the Tykables site. (Price: $25 for 10 diapers, though prices are lower for bulk purchases.)

On their own, these diapers were groundbreaking. Williams said Tykables was the first adult-baby gear company to adorn its diapers with designs inked with "fade when wet" ink, a common feature of baby pullups. Now, Tykables is even more groundbreaking: to Williams' knowledge, it's the first physical facility for adult-baby gear anywhere.

It's not a traditional store, exactly. It's an office and a pick-up center, where locals can pick up gear they've ordered online or over the phone. It's also a warehouse for some pretty eye-catching pieces: an adult-sized crib, high chair and rocking horse. These are "pieces that we bring with us to trade shows," Williams explained, "that we use in product photos and things like that."

Guests can only visit by appointment, and must be 18 years old or older to go inside. Williams said he stressed to the Village of Mount Prospect, before opening the store, that "there are a large portion of our customers who use our products for a sexual need or a sexual fetish." Though there's no legal reason minors couldn't enter the store, Williams has chosen to adopt the same age cutoff that applies to sex toy sales at stores like Early to Bed.

"We are treating it as if it were something of a sexual nature," Williams said. (Though not everyone in the AB/DL community sees role-playing as a baby as a sexual act, many do.)

At Tykables, they don't allow people to stay and play on the props, either, though customers picking up items are welcome to take photos of (or selfies with) the gear. "You can't come in and stay all day and play," Williams said. He also noted that, as in all other stores, "customers are required to keep their clothes on."

Though WGN spoke to one neighbor who called the store "weird," Williams told Chicagoist that he hasn't gotten any negative feedback. '[Our neighbors] haven't approached us saying 'Welcome to the neighborhood,' but they haven't been negative either," he said. "I don't think they really care that much."

Mount Prospect, Williams noted, isn't a particular hub for adult babies. He just opened the Tykables store in Mount Propsect because he lives there. However, he said the Chicagoland area—like most big cities—has a substantial adult baby community. And internationally, Tykables has been a hit. WIlliams says their web store has attracted customers from Japan, the Netherlands, and beyond. "We are still a small to midsize business," he said, "but we have been very successful."

The next step for Tykables? A clothing line, coming soon. Williams said it will feature baby-like clothing in adult sizes, including adult onesies, underwear and jeans.