The return of Hello Kitty toys to McDonald's Singapore on Monday morning had many clenching their teeth. Would the launch day for the new collectibles be as chaotic as the fast-food chain's Hello Kitty promotion back in 2000 which saw hours-long lines, fist fights and injuries as patrons jockeyed for a chance to get their hands on the toys? As the clock struck 11:00 a.m. Monday, signaling the opening of the sale, a few short lines formed. No, this would not be another 2000 debacle.
Hello Kitty back in singapore (again) pic.twitter.com/ekP1qUva7y
— O'o Murbiyanto (@o2zone) April 28, 2014
In honor of the toy's 40th anniversary, McDonald's Singapore launched the Japanese toy's new Bubbly World Collectors' Set. The new collection is priced at $4.95 per toy, in addition to the cost of an extra value meal, and features the plush kitty dressed up as six other famous Sanrio characters. Each Monday for the next six weeks, one of the six new designs will be rolled out, McDonald's Singapore says.
Just last year, during McDonald's release of the Hello Kitty Fairy Tales series, crowds had to be calmed by police as fights broke out in line, CNBC reports. But this year, nothing.
The media were expecting the worst:
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 28, 2014
But instead, this is what the release really looked like:
— Yahoo Singapore (@YahooSG) April 28, 2014
Yep, pretty boring:
— Alan Soh (@humourboi) April 28, 2014
One reason for the quieter lines and muted reaction could be the opening of an online sales platform days before the in-store launch.
According to Singapore news outlet Today, online pre-order sales were so overwhelming that McDonald's Singapore had to shut down online sales for about two hours.
“Response to the online sale has been very good and to-date, close to 30 per cent of the total number of Hello Kitty plush toys available have already been snapped up via our online platform,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told the news outlet.