SINGAPORE – Tempers flared and police had to be called in as anxious Singaporeans rushed to McDonald’s outlets to buy plush Hello Kitty toys being sold in a promotion by the fast food chain Thursday.
Hundreds had begun waiting in line from Wednesday night in the hope of getting their hands on the famed kitten dressed in a skeleton outfit, depicting a character from the German fairy tale “The Singing Bone.”
The toy was the last in a series of six limited-edition Hello Kitty characters dressed in different outfits from popular fairy tales to go on sale at McDonald’s branches this month.
In some outlets, chaos broke out amid rampant queue-jumping as supplies of the toys ran out soon after the stores opened Thursday.
One video uploaded on YouTube showed police officers mediating between two customers in front of a McDonald’s counter.
Another showed an irate man asking an agitated crowd: “Is he Singaporean? Is he educated?” apparently in reference to someone who had gotten a queue ticket ahead of others.
Some customers took to Facebook to register their anger after they went home empty-handed, while others immediately put the toys — sold for 4.60 Singapore dollars ($3.62) with set meals — up for sale online at far higher prices.
Some Singaporeans are obsessed with completing the entire collection.
“This is absolutely ruining the Singapore reputation. Poor management and irresponsible,” wrote Catherine Ong on McDonald’s Singapore’s Facebook page.
Singapore last went into a Hello Kitty frenzy in 2000, when McDonald’s sold a series of the toys in wedding wear to usher in the new millennium.