Mystery toys are popular in China

China’s millennials spend more on mystery toys than any other hobby, including designer shoes and e-sports, according to a report from e-commerce platform Tmall, which is owned by Alibaba.

Beijing-based Pop Mart, the market leader worth an estimated seven billion dollars, saw its revenues triple last year to 257 million dollars, according to its prospectus. It has licensing deals with Walt Disney and Universal Studios and also sells products from third-party suppliers.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan says sales of pop toys, a mix of pop culture and trendy content, amounted to 3.2 billion dollars in China last year.

Shaun Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group, said, “Young Chinese like cute items to decorate their desks and homes. The surprising nature of what one gets also excites consumers.”

Mystery toy boxes trace their origins back to Japan’s vending machine capsule models from the 1960s, known as Gashapon.

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