You’re an adult. I make that bold assumption based on the fact that kids don’t wander over here. At least not on purpose. Which, given the numerous references to boobs and penises that festoon this site, I find kind of perplexing. I guess they’re getting their boob and penis needs fulfilled at some younger, more hip, site. Besides, the one time a teenager did send an email to me it was to complain that I used too many words. In other words, this is probably all for the best. Nevertheless, as I noted before, you’re an adult. You do adult things. You have adult needs. If you want a bourbon fro breakfast then, BY GOD, you’re putting away the pop tarts and having at it. Lord knows you deserve it. In fact, go ahead and pour another, I’ll wait. Because when you read today’s blog you may need it and more.
For those who have missed the last 20 or so years, allow me to fill you in. In Asia there is a phenomena called Hello Kitty. It is a mouth-less toy that has no special skills whatsoever. The creators license the cute image to anyone with money, so you can buy a Hello Kitty 9mm Revolver, a Hello Kitty Vibrator, a Hello Kitty Wedding Dress, in case the vibrator isn’t satisfying enough, and, of course, a Hello Kitty Vajazzle Kit. Before you click that last link, note that the word Vajazzle is a blend of Bedazzled and Vagina.
Think Amanda Palmer without the sense of humor.
But, for whatever the reasons, the damn thing is wildly popular over there.
Another thing that is popular over there is McDonald’s.
So, naturally, these two evils needed to be marketed together. And the result was predictable.
Riots and violence.
Eveline Danubrata reports from Singapore.
Singapore residents braved hazardous air, bid hundreds of dollars and queued for hours to lay their hands on a special Hello Kitty stuffed toy, swept up in a craze for the mouthless Japanese cat that peaked this week in the city-state.
The frenzy began at the end of May, when U.S. fast food giant McDonald’s began selling the toys in outfits inspired by fairy tales, such as “The Ugly Duckling”. The six toys were released in phases, at S$4.60 ($3.63) each with a meal, or S$10 on their own.
But it was the final offering, the “Singing Bone” toy – a black Hello Kitty with a white skeleton and pink bow, based on a German tale – that set the hearts of Kitty lovers pounding.
Hundreds lined up to get first crack at the midnight launch of the toy on Thursday, with police called in to control shouting and queue-jumping, but stocks ran out in a day.
“I am speechless,” said university student Quek Hui Ying, 22. “In some cases it turned quite ugly and people argued with each other.”
On McDonald’s Facebook page a customer lamented his failure to get one of the toys for his 3-1/2-year-old grand-daughter.
“I am one unhappy grandfather! I had deliberately taken public transport in the haze to buy the ‘Ugly Duckling’,” he wrote, referring to hazardous levels of smog from Indonesian forest fires that recently wreathed Singapore before scattering.
“I tried 3 outlets without success.”
With all versions now sold out, a market in the toys has flourished on the Internet, with some sellers demanding hundreds of dollars on auction sites. One fetched S$126,000 on eBay, but it is not clear if the bid was genuine.
In a statement, McDonald’s said the demand had exceeded its expectations and it would take steps to improve its services.
Singapore’s previous mania for Hello Kitty, put out by Japanese toy firm Sanrio, was in 2000, when McDonald’s sold the toy in wedding dresses.
Really? A hundred grand for a freaking doll? If you’ve got that kind of money and you spend it on a doll you should be neutered immediately.
Never mind. That almost seems redundant.
And, McDonald’s has to be kidding. Having a business in Singapore and claiming not to know Hello Kitty is popular is beyond dense.
And I’m sure they were upset by all the free publicity this little stunt generated.
Not that I’m cynical when it comes to the motives of multi-national corporations.
But, before we condemn their faddish devotion to a soulless toy, keep in mind we have Honey Boo Boo.