Taking to quirky stuff is now an in thing

LIKE voodoo dolls, quirky items are equally a rage among the youngsters. 

Stefan Chow sells items like Emily The Strange and The Nightmare Before Christmas from a kiosk in 1Utama shopping complex’ new wing.  

“I started bringing in to Malaysia the merchandises early last year,’’ said Chow. “The products, like the voodoo dolls, are made at a factory in Thailand.’’  

Emily The Strange, said Chow, was created as a pop culture icon about 10 to 11 years ago in the United States. “Emily is a strange and mysterious girl with a character of her own.’’ 

Carrying images of characters like Emily The Strange gives the owners a cool image.

The Nightmare Before Christmas products have been created based on an adaptation of the 1993 movie of the same name by director Tim Burton. The movie has a quality of animation never seen by many and it had a huge following when it was first released in the United States.  

“The Thai factory has partial licensing from the United States to manufacture the goods for the Asian market,’’ said Chow. “But, there are a number of imitation stuff sold at sidewalks of streets, too.’’  

Wallets, bags, pouches, and other accessories that carry Emily character, with her famous pale complexion, black silky hair and black dress, are sold from Chow’s kiosk.  

Chow said the 200-odd items at his booth were made mainly of PVC and leather.  

“The products at my kiosk are perhaps three to four times cheaper than those sold overseas,’’ he said. “A bag costs RM40, but the same item in the United States may fetch US$40 (about RM150).’’  

Teenagers and the youth make up most of Chow’s customers. 

“I think a reason why they collect such stuff is because they want to be different,’’ he said. “The two characters are not your common, regular items that one sees everywhere. 

“They develop a feel for the character eventually,’’ added Chow. “There is a promising market for the items in Malaysia. With time the number of collectors will grow.’’  


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