Move over, Beanie Babies and fidget spinners.
The hottest collectible this winter is not a toy, but a seemingly ordinary object: The limited edition Starbucks x Stanley tumbler.
Once the go-to container for campfire cocoa and roadside iced tea, these durable mugs have become objects of obsession, driving shoppers to brave frigid mornings and hours of waiting.
The 40-ounce water bottle, which comes in red and hot pink, was released on January 10 in selected Starbucks and Target stores across the U.S.
People lined up in the wee hours of the morning just to be sure that they could purchase the viral Stanley tumbler before they were sold out.
The Pull of Limited Edition Items
Bella Boye, an 18-year-old influencer, waited in line for over three hours just to add the latest Starbucks x Stanley tumbler to her collection.
"It's kind of a FOMO thing where people are like oh, everyone else has one, so I have to get one,” Boye told USA Today.
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FOMO, which means "fear of missing out," is a relatively new term coined by millennials. According to OnePoll, the phenomenon of FOMO has affected 60% of Americans, with social media being a big influence.
Using FOMO as a marketing strategy taps into a deep-seated human desire to collect and to belong.
Labeling an item as a limited edition gives it exclusivity and scarcity, which then increases people’s desire to acquire it, interchanging the meaning of something rare with something that has a high value.
The latest Stanley craze is a potent partnership of scarcity and brand savviness, pointing to a collaboration between two household names Starbucks and Stanley.
Couple this with the social media hype surrounding the limited edition tumblers, and we have a winner.
Instagram and TikTok are awash with displays of Stanley collections, unboxing videos showcasing the latest limited-edition finds, and stories of lucky shoppers who snagged the coveted prize.
Owning a limited-edition Starbucks x Stanley tumbler has now become a badge of honor, a trophy for navigating the online drop or braving the pre-dawn queue.