SINGAPORE - If there's one thing Singaporeans love to do, it's to join a queue.
And the craziest queue of them all involves grown women and men, shoving and pushing for a soft toy at a fast-food restaurant.
The Hello Kitty craze is back today at McDonald's, but the jostle for the plush toys will be done online this time.
Want proof that people here are the nuttiest when it comes to collecting the furry feline?
The global launch of the Bubbly World series will take place right here.
The fast-food chain has put the Collectors' Set of the Bubbly World series, which marks Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary, online for booking from 11am today.
It will feature Hello Kitty dressed up as Sanrio characters like My Melody and Kerokerokeroppi. The toys will also be sold at McDonald's outlets from April 28.
McDonald's did not specify the number of sets available, but indicated that they were limited.
Each set, which comes with six toys, $30 worth of food vouchers and a Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary certificate, goes for $80.
On its Facebook page, McDonald's Singapore has already scored more than 1,500 likes on a post about the Bubbly World toys. Other posts register about 300 likes.
When McDonald's first sold Hello Kitty plushies in 2000, there were massive queues, traffic jams and crowd control problems, with the police even called in as those in the queue got rowdy.
When the restaurant sold Hello Kitty toys again in 2012 and 2013, stocks ran out fast, leaving many customers frustrated.
Hello Kitty fans, as expected, are excited about the new series.
Miss Nicole Tan, 18, is hoping to get hold of a set of these toys.
The polytechnic student, who has toys from two previous series, said: "I've been a fan since young and I like to collect for my own personal satisfaction."
She said she will queue only if she has the time but won't skip classes to get the toy.
"I once went to various McDonald's outlets past midnight just to find the Singing Bone Hello Kitty."
Miss Sherraine Law, who has the complete sets from the three previous series, said she will definitely be at her computer to punch in her order today.
When asked what she thought of the balloon-shaped design from the new series, the 22-year-old singer-actress whose room is "filled with Hello Kitty things", said: "I prefer the original shape, but it's fine as long as it's Hello Kitty.
"I just like the thrill of collecting something. I think I'll have to start placing some in the living room soon.
"I once queued from midnight till 9am just to get the Singing Bone Hello Kitty. I would pay up to $100 for a toy, especially if it is the missing piece in my collection."
This article was published on April 23 in The New Paper.
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