Friday, October 16, 2015

Hello Kitty Go Around Singapore Faces The Ire of Fans

*Angry MEORRwWsssWSs*

Hello Kitty may not have a mouth, but her fans sure do!

What was marketed as a fun and exclusives-filled event called Hello Kitty Goes Round Singapore, drew the ire of fans just within hours of its opening at The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore earlier today.

According to the announcement given to the media, several exclusives, games and special Kitty events were to take place during the show.

As the Red Dot Islanders know too well.... DO NOT Mess, Ever, with the Hello Kitty Fans! Never, Ever. They are Fierce. *shudder*

Red Dot Diva heard that early bird attendees (who mainly were also going for the SG50 pack) got enraged when they found out that entry tickets were being sold at a much lower price on site. To add to that was the devastating realization that the super-exclusive paper figurines which were to be part of the SG50 package were not produced "due to unforeseen production issues". The hardcore Kitty fans have also noticed other items like artbooks missing from their goodie bags.

Fans are still crying foul over the event's Facebook page as the organizer Mighty Eight refused to deal with or answer queries or clarify concerns regarding the many problems that have surfaced regarding the show, including game prizes running out within the first couple of hours of the event, and the lack of air-conditioning in the outdoor show tent. Definitely not a great idea to get people hot under the collar in the sweltering humidity here! There are now one or two people saying that they will be seeking for legal recourse.

(View the entire Kitty-raged Facebook thread right here.)

The entire thing seems like a huge claw-scratchy kitty litter kind of mess, but don't take Red Dot Diva's word for it.

Here's a Hello Kitty fan, Lady Raine, giving an honest (but still sympathetic) account about the grand opening day.


Hello Kitty and friends greet you with suitably neutral expressions of... joy?

Hello Kitty Go Around Singapore promised to be a month-long kitty cuddling extravaganza, but ran into trouble barely three hours after its grand opening. With an entrance fee of S$45, Hello Kitty fans expected to get their money's worth of gorgeous selfie backdrops and themed games. However, by 12.45pm, prizes had gone out of stock at Papa's Reading Room, and out of the three lanes, only one was left open in what seems to be a last ditch attempt by organisers to minimize unhappiness.

The entrance to the Fashion Catcher, and one enthusiastic fan! His friend is wilting nearby -that's what you get for wearing long sleeves to an outdoor event in Singapore.

Super cute themed beanbags for Mama's Kitchen game. Pity you can't get these too.

Visitors also found themselves with 10 seconds less to save Hello Kitty and her friends from Ogawasameo's hungry jaws - it was insinuated that the prizes were disappearing too quickly at this booth. If you were lucky enough to be at the event in the first few hours, good for you!

By far the worst disappointment of the day was the withdrawal of the SG50 Exclusive High Quality Handmade Paper Figurine (set of Colour and Monotone Glittering Version). Apparently, the organiser did not even inform customers that they would not be receiving their souvenirs, which led to some very upset customers demanding refunds when they checked their goodie bags and found the much desired item missing! While Mighty Eight has offered a S$20 refund to customers and repriced the SG50 Exclusive Pack at S$55 (from S$75), many have voiced their deep disappointment, especially when they bought multiple tickets in an attempt to score a full set of exclusive Hello Kitty products from the event. It remains to be seen, how many of the 8,000 packs will be sold now that the highlight souvenir has been withdrawn.

Hard at work in their little space, just a little hint as to the unfinished organizational aspects

Die-hard fans can still take advantage of the many themed decorations, although a little birdie has whispered that some of the props have been damaged, perhaps by the mad rush of visitors trying to make it out of the park within 45mins to score a flocked Hello Kitty collectible figurine. Honestly, it's not so big an exhibition, but between the crowds and queues in the open-air space, chances are high that you'll be soaking your flocked figurine in sweat-drenched hands if you get it.

For everyone who hasn't yet been scared off, it's still possible to have your photos taken by official photographers in Hello Kitty Party Hall, a carousel-themed backdrop. If you prefer to take your own selfies, the rest of the exhibition is your oyster. Sit in a roller coaster with Keroppi and Hello Kitty on the Sanrio Friends Express, measure your height in apples just like Hello Kitty, or wander around Hello Kitty's Memory Garden where you can soak up the memories of Hello Kitty merchandise in the years gone by. Photo opportunities aren’t just in obvious locations, you can just pop inside one of the Fashion Catchers and become a prize claw-catch too!

Hello Kitty herself, slightly horrified at the unfolding fiasco ahead of her 41st birthday

Alternatively, if you figure that the organisers haven't gotten enough money out of your wallets yet, it is possible to drop S$20 on a blank tote bag which you can personalise with rubber stamps of Hello Kitty faces and also an SG50 logo. Anyone who's just out to score merchandise from the store can go directly to the sales booths, situated outside the carnival area on Level One (near Candylicious). There is supposedly a priority queue for admission ticket holders, but with so many days left on the exhibition and no sign of a limitation on the number of products sold each day, it's best to ignore the carnival, dash right over and spend your money quickly on the collectibles in the store.

Psst! A final tip for all those who are still intending to go down and join in the Hello Kitty craze - tickets are cheaper at the door, because SISTIC charges GST and a booking fee on top of the base price.

Michelle Chong comforting Hello Kitty. At least there are still lots of people spending her birthday with her, right? Right?


Now, if one still wants to brave the event (perhaps, with much prayer and sacrifices around a Kitty altar, all gets rectified soon?), or is morbidly curious to see if it is really a trainwreck, Hello Kitty Go Around Singapore is currently held  until 10th November 2015.


17 Oct: Mighty Eight has posted on Facebook that there are 3 options for fans who have purchased the Exclusive SG50 pack. Read the options here. They have assured attendees that they "have sufficient game prizes for the whole duration of the event".

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