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Friday, 25 April 2014

Hello Kitty mayhem returns to Singapore

SINGAPORE: Singaporean fans of Hello Kitty raged on the web after their frantic attempts to buy limited-edition toys from the McDonald’s website failed when overwhelmed servers crashed, in the latest frenzy over the Japanese cat to hit the city state.

The US fast food giant was forced to suspend online sales of the plush toys just 80 minutes after their launch on Wednesday, resuming only hours later to the chagrin of die-hard collectors.

The Hello Kitty Bubbly World Collector’s Set – comprising six versions of the mouthless kitten dressed as different animals – are making their global debut in Singapore and have been released to mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic character.

A dedicated McDonald’s website for sales of the dolls was functioning normally yesterday after the servers were fixed, but many still vented frustrations over problems with completing payment.

“Are you selling Sanrio plush toys or disappointment?” asked Jasmine See on the McDonald’s Singapore Facebook page, referring to the Tokyo-based company behind the Hello Kitty industry.

“If your servers cannot support such heavy Internet traffic, why start such a marketing strategy?” asked Desmond Chua.

The online mayhem comes less than a year after a sale of the kittens in skeleton outfits sparked chaos in McDonald’s outlets across Singapore, with police called to at least one branch amid rampant queue jumping.

A complete set of the new Bubbly World dolls costs S$80 (RM207) and comes with meal vouchers as well as a special commemorative certificate.

The toys will be sold at McDonald’s restaurants across Singapore from Monday.

Bids for a set of the toys were as high as S$180 (RM468) on eBay Singapore yesterday. — AFP

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