Hello Kitty invades Stomp
THE past week saw Singapore in the throes of Hello Kitty madness.
Last Tuesday, the limited and final edition of the McDonald's Hello Kitty Fairy Tales collection sparked a rampage of Hello Kitty fans islandwide.
Some 38 citizen-journalist reports made their way to Stomp, depicting massive queues, fights that warranted police intervention, as well as scalpers looking to make a quick buck.
Who knew the cute "Singing Bone" Kitty, dressed in a black skeleton-like costume, could incur the wrath and greed of so many in Singapore?
Muhammad Syafiq, 17, told Stomp he was working at Sun Plaza's 24-hour McDonald's outlet the night before when he saw people streaming in from 8pm.
Soon, there was a queue for the collectible's release at the stroke of midnight.
However, not everyone who queued managed to get their hands on the coveted plush toy.
Stomper Aaron, who queued at the Teck Whye McDonald's outlet at the Chua Chu Kang Community Club, said coupons were given out to those in the queue from 11.30pm.
These ran out quickly despite the limit of four Kitties per customer and many were left empty-handed even though they had queued for hours.
Naturally, things took an ugly turn. Disputes broke out at Bukit Batok Central and Pasir Ris Sports Complex at night, and at the Singapore Post building in the morning.
The first two incidents involved unhappiness over queue-jumpers, while the third incident started when those in line were told they could get a maximum of only two plush toys instead of four.
Irate customers could be heard challenging a McDonald's employee to call in policemen to queue with them.
Strangely enough, all those filmed throwing hissy fits and making a scene at the fast-food outlets were men.
One Stomper, who walked away empty-handed after queuing for nearly four hours, observed: "Many groups walked away with (a large number of) plush toys."
Those people could very well have been scalpers, who sought to buy large quantities of the limited-edition collectible to re-sell at a higher price.
Sure enough, Stomp was soon sent news of an auction for the Kitty on eBay by alert citizen journalists.
By the end of the day, the plush toy had racked up a monster bid of $126,000, which led to many doubting its authenticity.
Others were selling the limited-edition toy online between $50 and $200.
Based on the snaking queues on June 19 for the Ugly Duckling Hello Kitty, it seemed that even the hazardous Pollutant Standards Index reading of 321 that day couldn't stop die-hard fans.
In fact, Singaporeans who have got wind of Hong Kong McDonald's Circus Of Life Hello Kitty collection are now asking their friends there for favours before it hits our shores next year.
If that is anything to go by, the forecast for next year's Hello Kitty madness is more craziness.
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