Wed, Dec 11, 2013 - Page 6 News List

IKEA stuffed animal becomes a symbol of protest in HK

AFP, HONG KONG

A stuffed toy wolf has sold out at Hong Kong’s IKEA stores, the Swedish furniture giant said yesterday, after it became an unlikely symbol of opposition to the territory’s unpopular government.

Hundreds of the stuffed toys, called Lufsig, flew off the shelves within hours on Monday and again yesterday, days after an anti-government protester threw one at Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英) during a weekend public meeting.

“Lufsig has been sold out at all IKEA stores this morning,” a spokeswoman said, adding that there were lines before the store opened.

The toy depicts the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, and can be seen holding a stuffed toy resembling the grandmother.

IKEA’s Web site said owners can use the toy — which has a Chinese name similar to a profanity in Cantonese — to recreate the fairy tale by rescuing the grandmother from the wolf’s belly.

“The Wolf” is also Leung’s nickname, in a reference to what critics see as his untrustworthiness and cunning.

IKEA did not comment on the toy’s popularity.

“The toy was politically utilized by protesters targeting the chief executive, so it has become a political symbol of opposition to the government,” Sonny Lo (盧兆興), head of the Department of Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, told reporters.

A Hong Kong Facebook page dedicated to the toy wearing a red checked shirt with jeans has gained more than 35,000 likes since it was created on Saturday.

Leung has a support rating of 42 percent, according to a poll this month by Hong Kong University.

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