4-day queue to cash in on comics fair

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 July, 2008, 12:00am

Dennis Chan, 15, is undaunted by sitting in a queue outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for four days because he believes he will make some money at the end of it.

The Form Three student was among five secondary school students who arrived first outside the centre, where the annual Ani-Com Fair will open tomorrow, but not because of their enthusiasm for animation, games or comics.

They started queuing at 5pm on Tuesday with their sights set on limited-edition figures that will go on sale on the first day, and which they hope to sell for up to 10 times the purchase price of up to HK$800.

Only a handful of figures from a popular online game called Little Fighter Online - three transparent and 250 coloured figures - will be sold during the fair, and by yesterday there were 40 people in the queue.

'I'm not interested in comics and online games at all. I come here to make money only,' Dennis said.

He expected he and his friends would each earn as much as HK$6,000 if they managed to get the limited edition figures.

He said that last year a similar figure was sold for HK$500, but the price went up by a factor of 13 after the fair.

Some outside the convention centre, however, complained about poor and confusing management of the queue. They said organisers had not set up a waiting area for them to queue and many did not know their order in the queue.

The fair's chief executive, Leung Chung-poon, said in previous years fans had not begun queuing as early as this year, and at the moment the queue arrangements were assisted by security guards at the convention centre.

'I don't know if anyone has jumped the queue because I haven't been to the site yet. But last year people didn't come so early,' Mr Leung said.

Fair organisers plan to issue 'early bird cards' to identify the first 300 in the queue two hours before the fair opens to give them priority to buy the limited-edition figures.

But with people arriving exceptionally early this year, Mr Leung said that he did not know whether the stickers would be given out earlier.

Apart from the sales of limited-edition figures, the fair will also feature female idols such as popular Taiwanese group Hey Girl and Japanese television star and bikini model Yuka Kyomoto, who will be performing on Sunday wearing bikinis.

The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority said a meeting with the exhibitors was held to explain the regulations of the classification of publications.

The authority will also have staff patrolling the fair.