Chrissie Chau too big a star for comics show

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 July, 2010, 12:00am

Pseudo-model Chrissie Chau Sau-na and other 'famous celebrities' have been banned from appearing at stalls of this year's comics fair to avoid chaos.

That's according to the organiser of Ani-com, the annual animation, comics and games event. Big names will be allowed to appear only on a main stage for organised activities.

Chau (pictured) is the hardest hit under the organiser's edict - she was supposed to attend a game demonstration for the Xbox 360 and promote an online game, but the two exhibitors involved were told on Monday night that Chau would not be able to participate.

The organiser stressed that the ban was not because Chau is a pseudo-model, or lang mo in Cantonese. Rather, her celebrity status was behind the decision, as the organiser tries to keep order among the thousands of fans who will attend - a practice it says has been in place for years.

Exhibitors said it was the first time they had been banned from using big names. The organiser said pseudo-models were welcome at the event - its Ani-com 'goddesses' include the pseudo-model 'Donut Girls'.

Chau said she was grateful to be seen as a star instead of a pseudo-model. 'During the book fair, I was called a 'young pseudo-model' at the age of 25. In just a few days, Ani-com has made me a celebrity,' she said.

Both Chau and Jessica C. have been banned from attending a demonstration session for Kinect - the Xbox 360's controller-free, motion-sensing game interface - which will go on sale in September and make its Asian debut at the event.

The ban has created a headache for Microsoft's director of entertainment and devices, Chester Wong Kui-tim. 'Ani-com is of a different nature to the Book Fair and the models would not have had their pictures taken with fans ... they were supposed to just play games on the stage - and they wouldn't be dressed sexily,' Wong said.

The event - which begins on Friday and will run until August 3 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre - will be the biggest ever, with 150 exhibitors and 506 stalls. The ticket price will also go up from last year's HK$25 to HK$28.

More than 50 people are already queuing in a bid to secure the limited edition figures on sale at the event. At least 10 of the early birds are seeking Little Fighter Online figures, which will be given to the first three shoppers at U1 Digital Entertainment Group's stall, its president, Oscar Chu Chung-ho, said. He put the figures' market value at up to HK$3,000.

There are plenty more reasons for young gamers to queue. The first three gamers to arrive at the Microsoft stall will be given a token that guarantees their purchase of the Kinect when it goes on sale.

The first 20 to show up at Gamania Digital Entertainment's stall will gain entry to a 'hugging event', giving them the chance to hug Da Yuan, a Taiwanese host. 'She's a favourite among Taiwanese otaku,' Gameone general manager, Sze Ling-ling, said.

Capsule toys will also be a focus - 30 types will be priced at HK$1, Bandai distributor Daniel & Co said.