Each week, a plushie doll comes out on sale that may be purchased together with a McDonald’s Value Meal. Each doll costs S$4.60 on top of the cost of a Value Meal, or simply S$10 if only the doll is to be bought.
The Hello Kitties featured 6 characters from 6 fairy tales, namely: The Lion from the Wizard of Oz on sale between May 30 to June 5; The Little Red Riding Hood on sale between June 6-12; The Frog Prince on sale between June 13-19; The Ugly Duckling on sale between June 20-26; The Singing Bone on sale between June 27 to July 3; and the Hello Kitty McDelivery Witch which is on sale through out the period but available only through delivery.
All dolls were only available until stocks are available and their stocks sell fast and faster as each week passed. On the week of the Wizard of Oz Kitty, their stores are able to sell the dolls for about the whole stretch of its week. The week after for the Little Red Riding Hood, their stocks got sold out after like 3 days. The McDelivery Witch got sold out after a week in sale.
By this time, collectors are starting to complain about the lack of stocks and for other people reselling the Little Red Riding Hood plushie online from $20 to $200 a doll.
Then for the Frog Prince plushie, stores went sold out after 2 days only. This made more collectors strive to get the remaining dolls that by the week the Ugly Duckling doll was sold, long queues start forming very early in stores opening for breakfast. Stocks of some stores went sold out after 2 hours. And during this week, Singapore was experiencing the worst haze conditions it had for decades but still patrons queued outside stores in hazy condition. I was one of them ehehehe…
And so on the last week when the last doll, the Singing Bone, is to be sold, people queued very early in stores hours before they start selling. Since 24 hour stores start selling the dolls at the strike of midnight, people rushed to their nearby 24 hour stores only to see very long queues. Me and my wife went to our nearby 24hour branch around 10:30pm and we were already, my guess, at least 250th on the queue.
Well, if the stocks of the 5 other plushies were only limited, McDonald’s only sold the Singing Bone on a more limited stock only. They have announced that customers can only buy a maximum of four dolls per person per transaction.
And so queues were forced to be cut to only serve a few customers. McDonald’s staff gave out stubs for people on queue to determine only how many will be given the dolls. This may be a logical way to control the crowd but this has also caused quarrels on queues due to people not being notified that queues were already cut, plus in some stores some people cut in queues to join their friends in front of the line. The police were called in different McDonald’s 24 hour branches because of these cases.
With a sad feeling that we will be unable to complete the Hello Kitty set, on our way back home, we tried to check out another McDonald’s branch near us that opens in the morning for breakfast. We were surprised to see people already camping in front of the stores. Apparently many of the customers that did not make it in the queue in the 24 hour stores moved to the branches that will open in the morning. And so, I decided to camp for the night outside the store like the rest of the people there. Just about 1 AM, they already stopped the queue after maxing out the stubs that they can give. While on queue, the store manager chops a stamp or signs the stubs given every hour overnight. Luckily the haze was already gone.
And again, some of the people who were able to get the Singing Bone went to eBay to auction their dolls. Some were auctioned upto S$120K!
It was a crazy dash to get that last doll but at least we were able to get a complete set. Hmmm, should I sell my whole set… hmmm… Nah! I’ll just keep it for my two daughters. 🙂