A Starbucks' cat paw cup filling with milk (Screenshot photo)
Starbucks's cute, cat-paw-shaped new coffee mugs are causing some ugly behaviors in a number of its stores in China.
A series of viral videos shot by customers waiting in line show people actually getting into fisticuffs as they try to scoop up all of the new mugs in the store.
Starbucks' designer cups have become collectors' items that are sold online for many times their original value.
Some customers queued hours before Starbucks stores opened on Tuesday when the spring collection of the mugs went on sale. At least one person spent the night in a tent waiting for the coffee shop to open.
The videos show customers wrestling, pushing and kicking each other. A surveillance camera video shows two people bursting through the door as the store opens, colliding with a box on a table and sending the mugs crashing to the floor.
Several videos show fights starting in the lineup. A man roughly wrestles with a woman who fights back as another man tries to separate them. In another video, a tall man trying to make a purchase holds a mug high while a shorter man jumps like child trying to grab it out of his hand. The worst fight scene is seen in a video purported to have been taken outside a Starbucks. It shows a woman brutally kicking a man in the back of the legs as he is being held by several people.
The main object of their aggressive behavior appears to be a mug that reveals a cat's paw when a liquid is poured into it.
While Starbucks sells its designer mugs for a hefty 199 yuan ($30), online after-sales show prices ranging from 400 yuan to 1,800 yuan, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
"Smaller Starbucks had four or five cat claw mugs for sale, while the bigger shops offered six to eight cups on Tuesday. Our online store will release almost 1,500 mugs, but the date has not been set," an employee at a Beijing-based Starbucks told the Global Times on Wednesday.