For Singapore's 50th birthday, our' favourite kitty - sorry, girl - will be celebrating right along with us.
Thanks to SingPost, Hello Kitty has received a local makeover, with five different outfits up for grabs. These outfits comprise a traditional Chinese cheongsam, a Malay Baju Kurung, an Indian saree, a khaki-coloured colonial postman uniform, and - perhaps in a nod to Singaporeans' penchant for casual dressing - an 'I love SG' tee-shirt. The set of five is priced at S$88.
Besides these, more cuteness will soon be launched in the form of the SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp Folder and Lanyard Set. This set, priced at S$21.80, features the character in an 'I love SG' outfit and adorned with a Vanda Miss Joaquim ribbon, against the backdrop of familiar landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade. That's not all: the folder will also contains a limited edition Hello Kitty MyStamp souvenir sheet with seven stamps.
Singaporeans haven't exactly had a history of good behaviour when it comes to our love for the adorable feline. Infamously long overnight queues aside, it seems that Hello Kitty is one of the few things able to whip Singaporeans into a collective frenzy. In 2000, McDonald's launch of Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel in wedding garb sparked traffic jams, fist fights, mass hoarding, and thousands-strong lines. The response to the Hello Kitty Fairy Tales promotion in 2013 was similarly enthusiastic: hundreds of customers left angry and disappointed, when stocks ran out at some outlets on the very first day of the promotion.
So does this mean you'll need to get out your boxing gloves, or round up your friends and family for a military-style queuing strategy come February 23? Apparently not. If what happened for the launch of the Hello Kitty Bubbly World 40th anniversary collection in 2014 is any indication, there'll be no queues to be seen this time round.
Instead, the competition will be largely online. Sales of Hello Kitty plush toys went digital last year, so despite the notable lack of crowds in-store, McDonald's had to stop taking orders just 80 minutes after the promotion opened, with some customers complaining that their page had crashed from the sheer amount of traffic on its website.
So don't be fooled by the (lack of) physical turnout last year; we expect that the fight to secure the coveted plush toy will be just as fierce as before. Here's our advice: boot up your computers early, and keep an eye on the clock.
Happy Hello Kitty hunting… and may the odds be ever in your favour.
Pre-orders for SG50 Hello Kitty plush collectibles will begin online at 10am on Monday (Feb 23), via www.sg50hellokitty.com. They will also be available from April 9 at 10 post offices: Ang Mo Kio, Jurong Point, Killiney Road, Newton, Orchard, Robinson Road, Singapore Post Centre, Suntec, Toa Payoh Central and Woodlands Central.
The SG50 Hello Kitty MyStamp Folder and Lanyard Set will be available from Feb 17 (tomorrow!) at River Hongbao and via www.sg50hellokitty.com. They will also retail at all post offices from Mar 4.