Hello kitty guy fans sign up for 5km run

Hello kitty guy fans sign up for 5km run
Finance manager Bobby Tan, 55, a married father of three, has collected more than 50 Hello Kitty soft toys.

About 3,000 of the 15,000 slots for the upcoming Hello Kitty Run on Nov 1 were taken up by men at pre-registration.

Although most are accompanying their wives and girlfriends, some are ardent supporters of the cat - or should we say girl.

Take Mr Bobby Tan, 55, who is married with three children - two sons aged aged 21 and 19 and an 18-year-old daughter.

The finance manager was among the first to sign up for the 5km run after seeing a Facebook post last month. He says unabashedly: "I simply must have the limited-edition plushie that will be given out during the race for my collection."

He has been collecting Hello Kitty soft toys since 2000 when the craze hit Singapore.

He has more than 50 of these toys in his five-room flat in Yew Tee that are stacked on shelves in his daughter's room. "I tell everyone the plushies are for my daughter," he says. "I love Hello Kitty. She's adorable in every costume she wears."

But he is quick to add that he is just a regular guy. "I take part in at least 13 runs a year. I can run a 42km marathon in 5 hours and 10 minutes. Hello Kitty is just something that I like."

The rest of his family are not fans. Neither will they be running. Says his daughter Si Tong, a polytechnic student: "Visitors assume I love Hello Kitty but I tell them that it's my dad's collection."

"I don't ask him about the toys because it's his personal interest. But I think it's funny because not many guys like Hello Kitty, let alone at his age."

Her mother, Mrs Tan Hui Kuan, 48, an accounts assistant, adds: "Our family is very open-minded. What's wrong with men liking Hello Kitty? It's just a hobby."

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