Hello, why is Kitty so costly?
THE Hello Kitty craze has hit a new high - or, rather, low, with soaring prices online and even cat fights between customers.
With the last plushie from McDonald's Hello Kitty Fairy Tales toy promotion having gone on sale yesterday - the limited-edition Singing Bone Kitty - enterprising owners have been auctioning the cat toys online.
McDonald's Singapore said on Facebook at 10.11am yesterday that the Singing Bone Kitty had sold out after it hit outlets at 12am.
On eBay.com.sg, starting bids for the Singing Bone Kitty from a seller here could hit $1,000. A toy sells for $4.60 with a McDonald's Extra Value Meal, or $10 without a meal.
A bid for one Kitty even reached $126,000, although it is uncertain if the bid was genuine.
The seller, who started the auction below $10, said on the toy's auction page that bidders should contact him on his mobile phone as there were fake eBay accounts set up to "outbid sincere buyers", noting that such incidents had occurred before.
My Paper's calls to him went unanswered and the auction has been removed.
Some sellers were auctioning a complete set of six Fairy Tale Kitties for hundreds of dollars.
An eBay spokesman said the firm has measures in place to prevent fake bids from going through.
"With regard to the Hello Kitty case, we are striking out fake bids and suspending the (bidders') accounts," he added.
McDonald's said on Facebook that it doesn't "support people buying the Kitties for resale", and regularly removes posts offering such services from its Facebook page.
The fast-food chain added it "will not hesitate to take appropriate action" against its staff if "any of them are found to have misappropriated the Kitties for personal gain".
The queues at some outlets were said to have been so long that McDonald's staff had to curb the lines due to a limited plushie supply. Only patrons in the queue were issued coupons to buy the toys.
A McDonald's spokesman said the coupons served as queue tickets "so that customers do not have to queue when there are no more Kitties left".
There were reports and online videos of people arguing over queue jumping and police officers being called in.
One such incident occurred at a McDonald's outlet in Bukit Batok Central. A police spokesman confirmed the dispute. He added that the police "advised the parties accordingly and no further assistance was required".
Undergraduate Shaune Lim, 22, said queueing for the last Kitty was worth it. "I was one of the first to get it," he said.