Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ikea Wolf Sells Like Hot Cakes


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Ikea Hong Kong on Tuesday announced that a plush toy wolf – based on the Red Riding Hood fairytale – that is called Lufsig in Hong Kong as it is elsewhere in the world and stocked by the Swedish furniture giant has sold out in Hong Kong, after it became an unlikely symbol of protest. Its spokesperson told the BBC that customers arrived at Ikea stores on Monday to queue for the toy at 07:00 local time and that by 11:10 the wolf had sold out.

An anti-government protester is said to have thrown the toy at Hong Kong's unloved chief executive CY Leung over the weekend. [The latter was appointed in July 2012 and has suffered from extremely poor popularity ratings]. 

Critics have long nicknamed Leung "the wolf" because his name resembles the Chinese word for wolf as they accuse him of being cunning and untrustworthy. It is equally interesting to note that the Ikea website for mainland China features the same toy but with a Chinese name that sounds similar to a profanity in the Cantonese dialect. 

Lufsig even has its own Facebook page featuring spoof pictures of the wolf in different locations, including one with an image of the chief executive's face superimposed on top! It collected more than 35,000 likes since it was created on Saturday. 

Of course, Ikea did not comment on any political message being read into the small stuffed animal, but it did say that none of its products in Hong Kong, including its soft toy range, had Chinese names. 

Meanwhile Ikea says that new stock of Lufsig is expected in early January 2014. While the delay in restocking shelves for the next few weeks may not come as bad news for Leung, an education fund for Unicef and Save the Children receives $10HKD for every soft toy sold in Ikea. 

Does Ikea Malaysia have plans to sell a plush cow or a submarine toy? I am sure these too will sell like hot cakes! 

On Tuesday, I dropped in at Chiyoda Malaysia, an affiliated company of Chiyoda Corporation, Japan and one of the leading global engineering companies in the LNG, petroleum and petrochemical industries located in Menara Maxisegar, Jalan Pandan Indah 4/2, Pandan Indah, KL. 

It wasn’t a casual visit but it was the Chiyoda Toastmasters meeting that brought me there. In fact, there were six project speakers in total that day and they were evaluated by a distinguished team of external Toastmasters. When you have Toastmasters Lenny Pang (Satu Hati), Chris Chen (MAS Cempaka), Benny Chia (ITC Bintang), Andrew Tan, Geoff Andrew and Moses Wong (all three are members of Premier Advanced) assembled in one location, you know the meeting is going to be top-notch! What more with Victor Ong as the General Evaluator. 

It was a good meeting – there’s no doubt about it – and so my score is a 7 over 10.

1 comment:

aamirjavid said...

It was great to listen to your humrous and instresting evaluations and comments. Thanks for being the GE, hope to see you more often