Unboxing the Chinese Blind Boxes among China’s grown-up missing children: Probabilistic and elastic prosumption through mediated collection, exchange and resale of figurines
This paper situates the ‘Blind Box’ consumption, collection and prosumption practices in China within globalisation and the ‘media-mix’ fandom, which is to consume and resell media merchandise in opaque packages as probability goods. We re-centre the focus of fandom studies on the then much neglected ‘missing child’ and now the ‘emerging adult’ in a globalising world. We argue the Chinese emerging adult consumes, collects and resells Blind Boxes as a generative and agentic collection and fandom practice, defined as ‘probabilistic and elastic prosumption’ in a quasi-social and quasi-individual manner. We then critically examine and unpack the cultural production and meaning making process undertook by collectors who also accumulate sociality and form identity through affective and economic investments, mediated collection and exchange of figurines in a post-socialist and consumerist society.
Global Media and China
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Whyke, Thomas William; Chen, Zhen Troy; Lopez-Mugica, Joaquin; and Wang, Aiqing, "Unboxing the Chinese Blind Boxes among China’s grown-up missing children: Probabilistic and elastic prosumption through mediated collection, exchange and resale of figurines" (2023). Kean Publications. 225.