Chinese ‘mystery’ toy maker revenue skyrockets
Nearly a hundred small figurines sit proudly stacked from floor to wall shelves of 28-year-old lawyer Wu Ge’s bedroom. Some look like cherubs, others are Pokemon characters. Wu estimates that she’s spent close to $800 in the past three years buying these collectibles from the Chinese toy company, Pop Mart. “When working overtime at night sometimes, I feel a bit better or when I look at them, it relieves the pressure. This is the meaning for me personally.” Pop Mart is a Beijing-based company that has been around for 10 years, but just last year, its revenues tripled, according to its prospectus. The most popular item? A $9 ‘mystery’ toy box that holds a single figurine, it’s identity unknown until the great reveal, when a customer opens it in-store or delivered. It’s boxes have been a big hit with China’s millennials. According to a report from online retailer and Alibaba-backed Tmall, Chinese consumers born after 1995 spend more on mystery toys than any other hobby, including esports. Liu Zhen is a business consultant: “The nature of blind boxes is that they have a lot of excitement, luck, and an element of gambling as well for young people.” Pop Mart is due to list in Hong Kong on Friday, valued at as much as $7 billion after raising close to $700 million in an initial public offering.