SINGAPORE: Black market offers for the Hello Kitty Bubbly World Collector's set have popped up online, days before they officially go on sale.
McDonald's Singapore is taking pre-orders on Wednesday from 11am for the world debut of the round Hello Kitty plushies.
The collection sees the feline dressed as six of its other famous Sanrio friends, such as Kerokerokeroppi and My Melody.
It is a special release to mark the 40th birthday of Hello Kitty.
A check on eBay showed a set of kitties already up for sale for as much as S$199.90.
This is more than double the price of a pre-ordered set of kitties, which go for S$80.
The pre-order deal is inclusive of S$30 worth of Extra Value Meal vouchers, a Hello Kitty 40th anniversary certificate, and Speedpost courier service.
Starting bids on Chinese auction site Taobao are comparatively lower, ranging from just S$20 to around S$90.
The toys will also be sold in store, from 11am on 28 April.
Each kitty is priced at S$4.95 with the purchase of an Extra Value Meal.
Previous releases of Hello Kitty toys have attracted long lines of Kitty fans and customers, eager to make a quick buck from reselling them.
Last June, pictures of people braving thick haze to queue overnight for the Hello Kitty Fairy Tales collectibles went viral online.
In some cases, the claws came out.
A member of the public sent Channel NewsAsia a video of some men arguing with a McDonald's outlet manager at Singapore Post Centre, over the number of toys they were allowed to buy.
It appears this latest move by McDonald's to allow pre-orders of the plushies is to avoid similar cat-astrophy, or cat fights. - CNA/xq
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