Chinese toy company Pop Mart is known for its cute, collectible and covetable figurines. It has recently opened a store in Richmond, B.C., its first retail location in Canada, and stocked it full of limited-edition designer toys that are also available through the brand’s website.
Part of the appeal is that these toys aren’t just for kids. They offer artfulness and storytelling that’s outside the toy box. “Designer toys are created by artists who want to express their personal views, stories, etc. through toys,” Shirley Villegas, Pop Mart’s overseas digital marketing manager, says. Pop Mart has more than 80 intellectual property rights on exclusive characters, including Molly, Pucky and Dimoo, as well as non-exclusive rights on household names including Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty. For the most part, its toys are sold in blind boxes, where the exact figurine is revealed after purchase. “The customer has no way of knowing which toy they will receive from each series. Opening the box and seeing the surprise makes for a fun shopping experience every time,” Ms. Villegas says. They also have limited-edition figures and accessories, such as the Pucky Beaver Baby Canada Edition.
Ms. Villegas says that part of Pop Mart’s mandate is to spread joy and bring smiles to its customers, something she says can be even more impactful for those experiencing stress brought on by the pandemic. “It is natural for people to look for ways to relieve those negative feelings through positive outlets like art,” she says. “Through Pop Mart, our community can collect pieces that mean something special to them for artistic value, personal memories or other reasons. At the same time, they can find new friends with the same values and hobbies through social media.”
Pop Mart, 1026-8300 Capstan Way, Richmond, B.C., 604-370-9208, popmart.com.
Pucky Sweet Baby, $14.
Bunny Winter, $14.
Momiji Explore, $14.
Sign up for The Globe’s arts and lifestyle newsletters for more news, columns and advice in your inbox.