China’s market regulator on Tuesday published draft rules to govern the sales and marketing of “mystery boxes”, where consumers do not know which toy figurine they will get until they open the box.
The regulator aims to bring order to a market which has become a big trend in recent years and seen buying frenzies.
The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said in a statement that sellers of mystery boxes should not excessively price their wares, and to set up mechanisms that would encourage buyers to “rationally” purchase such boxes.
Companies will not be allowed to sell these boxes to customers under 8 years old, SAMR said, and must obtain their guardian’s permission to sell them to minors above 8 years old.
Companies such as Chinese toy seller Pop Mart International Group have built their businesses on the mystery box trend.
The SAMR said the draft rules were open to public comment until Aug 30.