Mystery Boxes: The Latest Culture Trend in China





As Pop Mart, one of the leading Mystery Boxes in China, was officially listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange last month, Mystery Boxes have once again become a hot property in the Chinese market. In recent years, Mystery Boxes have been gaining significant popularity especially among younger generations. According to a recent industry report, female white-collar employees and Z-generation college students in first-ties cities, like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, are the main consumers of Mystery Boxes. “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. 

泡泡玛特可谓是中国盲盒市场领先的生产商之一,而随着去年12月泡泡玛特在港交所上市,“盲盒”一词再次成为人们热议的话题。 近年来,盲盒在中国市场越来越受欢迎,尤其是在年轻一代群体之间。根据近期的一份行业报告显示,一线城市(如上海、北京、广州等)的女白领和Z世代的大学生是盲盒消费市场的主力军。天猫平台的一份报告指出,中国千禧一代在盲盒上的花费高于名牌鞋和电竞运动。


What is the Mystery Boxes?


Mystery Boxes

屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.12.38.png
屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.12.11.png

Mystery Boxes refer to packaged boxes containing a toy, which remains a mystery to the consumer until they open the box, some people also refer to it as a “blind box”. 


From a marketing perspective, it’s essentially a quirky gambling gimmick, you have the chance to either receive your favorite toy or a valuable collectable.


Each toy costs RMB 59 (US$8.5), and each series includes 12 toys (amounting to over RMB 700 in total.) 



Why have Mystery Boxes become so popular recently?


屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.16.53.png

Mystery Boxes

屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.06.40.png
屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.06.50.png


In recent years, it seems that dolls and toys are no longer deemed exclusive to the enjoyment of children, as many young adults have joined in on the craze of collecting these special toys. 


In fact, it’s clear to see the emergence of this trend from the many automatic toy vending machines set up in shopping malls around the country, especially those belonging to the brand Pop Mart. Part of the success of Pop Mart comes from its cooperation with renowned designers or brands to create pop culture dolls based on some classic/popular characters, such as the Molly Series and the Dimoo Series. 


Moreover, they also work with popular IP, such as Harry Potter, Disney (Disney Princesses and Mickey Mouse). 


The following are two potential reasons explaining why so many young people have become more attracted towards the Mystery Box trend.


Strong Curiosity

Mystery Boxes’ packaging doesn’t allow people to see what is inside at first sight, thus conveying a sense of curiosity and excitement for consumers. The most attractive prospect for Mystery Boxes lies in receiving a mysterious toy which is a rare commodity in the market. Many buyers spend a lot of time and money on these mysterious models if they are lucky enough to get one, then they may share and show it off on social media, or even exchange it for a better price on the market. 



Collectable Culture & the Alleviation of Stress

For some enthusiasts the gifts in the Mystery boxes represent more than just simple toys, they may also be used for decorative or collectible purposes. Mystery Boxes are also seen as a way to deal with their every-day-life stress.




What is the Mystery Boxes market value in the future


屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.10.06.png

Mystery Boxes

屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.12.24.png
屏幕快照 2021-01-19 下午4.13.04.png

On the one hand, there is still a large potential space for the Mystery Box market in the future as its marketing mode has gradually diversified and broken into the mainstream in several other markets last year, such as cosmetics, books, and other trending categories. 


On the other hand, the Mystery Boxes market is fiercely competitive, even for the famous toy maker Pop Mart, which is holding onto only 8.5% of the market share. However, the potential for growth is significant for all market players, as shown by the data from MobRearch ( data intelligence technology platform) which estimates that The Mystery Boxes industry scale is expected to double, reaching 30 billion yuan in the year 2024. 


For more information on China’s marketing trends, don’t hesitate to contact us at

想要了解更多中国市场营销趋势,欢迎通过 联系我们。