Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It'll be their year too! ;)

Mcmug remote control holder and associated themed MTR tickets

Mcmug storage box and McDull themed MTR tickets

Mcdull Octopus Card holder and associated themed MTR tickets

For three consecutive weeks last year, Hong Kong's fabulous Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation offered up a limited series of "Mcmug Introducing Local Snacks" MTR Souvenir Ticket Family Packs; each pack of which contained -- as pictured and detailed above -- two souvenir MTR tickets and one "plush premium" consisting of one item from a selection made up of an Octopus Card holder, storage box and remote control holder.

The popularity of these collectible items which were priced at HK$98 per pack can be seen in notice needing to be given that "Each person is limited to two sets per purchase". At the same time, however, the MTR didn't seem to think to make available a similar set of McDull themed collectibles (be these ticket sets, plushes or both) to usher in the upcoming Chinese New Year of the Pig. (Go here to see what they're offering up as festive collectibles instead.)

Still, this is not to say that there are no Mcdull and/or Mcmug themed items for sale by the MTR Corporation in 2007. Rather, this year, the Mcdull and Mcmug-themed MTR Corporation items of choice appear to be none other than Mcdull and Mcmug-themed Octopus Cards (which, for those who are interested, are priced at HK$138 each!)! Or, more precisely, Mcmug and Mcdull premium Octopus Card sets which come with "a special character adult Octopus Card" but also "an Octopus cardholder, a pouch strap and an ornament"!! :b

By now, those of this blog's readers who are largely in the dark as to who or what are Mcmug and Mcdull should, at the very least, have gathered that they're quite popular among Hong Kongers. Indeed, I might go so far as to suggest that Mcdull and Mcmug are to Hong Kong what Hello Kitty and Totoro are to Japan...

Still, I think it'd be best for me to back up a bit and briefly introduce these porcine characters to those who still have to be acquainted with them. So, in a sentence (or two!): Mcmug is a cartoon pig creation of Hong Konger Alice Mak (who's responsible for the graphics) and her husband, Brian Tse (who comes up with the stories), that made his first appearance in a Mingpao (a Hong Kong based, Chinese language weekly magazine) comic strip back in 1998.

As for Mcmug's dull distant cousin, Mcdull: Although he initially appeared as a supporting character in the Mcmug comic strip, Mcdull has gone on to become a star in his own right -- and even has, thus far, starred in three critically acclaimed plus commercially successful feature films. And for the record, the titles of this trio of choice cinematic offerings are: My Life as Mcdull (2001); Mcdull, Prince de la Bun (2004); and Mcdull: The Alumni (2006).

Now, if truth be told, since a lot of what I know about Hong Kong comes from the movies, I personally am far more familiar with Mcdull than Mcmug. From doing such as perusing Irenegarden's interesting flickr site, however, it's quite clear than Mcmug gets around and seems to have the kind of heritage proclivity that made him want to go and say goodbye to the old Star Ferry building in Central prior to its demolition. (E.g., see here and here.)

On a cheerier note, Mcmug and co. really do seem to have gotten themselves into a celebratory Chinese New Year spirit already. And should you need visual proof of this beyond the MTR collectibles, do go here and here -- thanks for the heads up re these and the Irenegarden images, sbk! :b -- for kawaii photos by carriechow showing Mcmug, Mcdull and their friends, Fai (the tortoise) and Goosie (who, despite its name, actually is a duck rather than a goose!), clad in traditional-looking plus red and gold-colored festive finery! :)


irenegarden said...

Surprise to find my name and link to my flickr site from a foreign friend. Just wanna say hello and wish you a good day. :)

YTSL said...

Hi Irenegarden --

Not so foreign now, actually, as I've moved to Hong Kong since I wrote that blog entry! :)