Toy wolf with a rude name becomes a must-have for Hong Kong protesters

Ikea toy that was hurled at C.Y. Leung flies off the shelves after becoming a must-have item

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 5:16am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 4:29pm

He's the small, cuddly toy who is flying off the shelves at local Ikea stores. But Lufsig isn't the latest must-have Christmas gift.

The grinning wolf, based on the antagonist in the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, has become the latest symbol of protest against the government of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who has long been characterised as a "wolf" for his perceived cunning and lack of integrity.

The wolf comparison isn't the only reason Lufsig has become a favourite with protesters: the translation of the toy's name used in mainland stores is close to an obscene three-word phrase in Cantonese associated with the female genitalia. Hong Kong's Ikea stores have not translated the name of the wolf, which the store's website says is "fond of play and mischief".

The toy, which depicts the wolf seemingly about to devour an elderly woman, caught the imagination of internet users after two protesters from the League of Social Democrats flung one at Leung during a public forum on Saturday.

An Ikea spokesman refused to comment on the political implications last night, but confirmed that Lufsig had sold out at its stores in Causeway Bay, Sha Tin and Kowloon Bay. A few of the toys that remain in stock will go on the shelves today.

"All Lufsig toys were sold out," she said. "The next set of supplies will arrive in Hong Kong in early January."

One beneficiary of the craze will be the United Nations' children's organisation Unicef, which will receive a HK$10 donation for each HK$99 toy sold.

And speculators are also cashing in. On Yahoo's online auction platform, a Lufsig toy was listed for sale at HK$150 yesterday.