Little fluffy Japanese cats in cute outfits, tasty treats called ‘McDonalds Happy Meals’ created solely for children: who would have thought the marriage of the two would cause such an unholy social media storm?
Yet the Singapore HQ of the world’s most successful fast food outlet is being charged with a heinous crime: not being able to supply Singaporeans with enough limited edition Hello Kitty plush toys.
On the McDonalds Facebook page,
Faustina Chay weighed in: “It is extremely disappointing that there are no Hello Kitty toys available! And it’s ridiculous that McDonald’s is not accepting upfront payment for something that I am entitled to having bought two meals.”
And that was one of the milder comments. Despite Singapore’s long-standing love affair with the Japanese character, McDonalds seemed unprepared for the near-melees that were to take place both online and in some of the restaurants, resulting from the (very) limited stocks. It should be noted that McDonalds did increase supplies by 40% on previous promotions, but this proved inadequate in quenching Singapore’s thirst for Hello Kitty merchandise.
Usual Singapore politeness was found lacking in restaurants across the island, as queues were jumped and squabbles broke out over how many plush toys each customer was entitled to. One of the most popular plush toys, the ‘Singing Bone’ character, ended up on eBay in scores, with some concern from McDonalds that their own staff had put a number up for sale on the auction site:
“We take the conduct of our staff very seriously and if any of them are found to have misappropriated the Kitties for personal gain, we will not hesitate to take appropriate action,” warned McDonalds.
Such black-market Hello Kitty skull-duggery has never been seen before; although tensions were raised pretty high back in 2000, when McDonalds launched Hello Kitty plush toys for the first time, resulting in fist-fights in some stores. Not enough Kittys then, not enough Kittys now.
The top brass at McDonalds’ Singapore HQ may be very glad the Hello Kitty promotion has drawn to a close. But wait – what about these new, far more sinister-sounding toys: Despicable Me Minions? If a genial Kitty from that bastion of politeness, Japan, can cause this many problems, what trouble are a load of minions going to cause from rabble-rousing America?
(Just kidding, US readers, you’re lovely!)
Who among us will be the ‘cat who got the cream’ this time? Who will miss out on a minion by a cat’s whisker? How many of McDonalds’ nine lives are left after all these merchandise meltdowns?
Let’s hope they have plenty of these Despicable Me Minion critters in stock, so that the McDonalds Happy Meal can finally live up to its name.
We watch the McDonalds Facebook page with interest!
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