MTR eyes $8m from Pokemons

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 June, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 June, 2000, 12:00am

Pokemon dolls look set to make close to $8 million for the Mass Transit Railway in a promotional campaign which draws to a close this week. Long queues are expected at MTR stations today and tomorrow as the bright yellow character called Pikachu, the most famous of the Pokemon menagerie, goes on sale.

It marks the climax of a six-week campaign which has seen five other Pokemon characters sold out since it was launched at the start of May. The MTR has ordered 120,000 Pikachu dolls - an extra 40,000 - to cater for the anticipated rush, compared with 80,000 for each of the five previous 'pocket monsters'.

'We have been overwhelmed by the success of this campaign so far,' spokeswoman Miranda Leung Chan Chi-ming said. 'As the most well-known and well-loved Pokemon, we hope Pikachu will be able to bring even more fun and excitement to our passengers.' Extra staff will be deployed in ticketing halls.

The five characters from the popular Japanese cartoon were all snapped up in two to five days. Last week's character, Togepi, was sold out in 2.5 days. Passengers need to ride the MTR five times within one week using Octopus cards and pay $15 for a Pokemon doll.

The Pokemon craze has spread among school children across Hong Kong and the world. Some SAR primary schools have banned Pokemon trading cards.