Disney's top-grossing animated film Frozen has spawned a red-hot best-seller: The sparkly blue-and- white gown worn by Queen Elsa in the movie is the latest must-have outfit among girls in kindergartens and primary schools.
Bloomberg reported last week that stores across the United States have sold out the dress, which comes with a cape and is adorned with snowflake motifs. Originals, priced from US$50 (S$62) to US$150 at Disney stores and parks, are being hawked for up to US$1,600 on auction site eBay, and desperate parents are sewing their own or forking out up to US$225 for replicas on craft sites such as Etsy.
It is the same story here. A quick check with nine stores here, including OG and Takashimaya Department Store, found that they either did not carry the Disney original dress or it was sold out.
To cope with demand, some websites and costume shops are sewing and selling replicas.
Freelance writer Daphne Tan, 37, is one lucky parent who managed to buy the dress at US$69.95 before the frenzy. She bought it for her six-year-old daughter Meredith last December while the family were holidaying at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando in the US.
"I wanted to give Meredith the Disney experience of walking around the theme parks dressed as a princess. She likes the Elsa character, who is beautiful and strong, as well as her powers to create ice and snow," says Mrs Tan.
Meredith has not worn the dress since the trip, but Mrs Tan lent it to a neighbour's daughter recently as it was the girl's birthday and she was having a Frozen-themed party.
"My neighbour's daughter was delighted because she also likes Frozen and the dress was out of stock in the shops."
Some parents have gone online in a quest for the dress.
Housewife Ainsley Yip, 30 paid US$80 to buy a Disney original dress on eBay last month for her four-year-old daughter Rianne Chew.
"My daughter watched the movie and fell in love with the characters. I couldn't find the dress in any shop here, so I went online," says Ms Yip.
"I was prepared to pay US$150 for it. I just want my daughter to be happy and she was when the gown finally arrived in the mail. Wearing the dress, she feels like she is a princess with the power to manipulate snow and ice."
Some parents have chosen to rent the dress instead. For example, My Mini-Me, an online costume rental shop, rents out the Elsa dress for $15 a day.
Over at The Tiara Society, a princess-themed clubhouse set up last year in UE Square, dress-up parties for kids can be arranged for a fee.
It has four Elsa dresses which children can wear during Frozen-themed parties held at the clubhouse.
The Tiara Society's founder, Ms Pare Swartsenburg, 39, says more than 20 Frozen-themed events - mostly birthday parties - have been held at the clubhouse since the movie's release last November.
Says Ms Swartsenburg, a Singaporean: "The girls here get to dress up and, naturally, the birthday girl wants to be Elsa. The dress is so popular I had to buy three more - online and through suppliers - to accommodate a wider age range."
One mother, Mrs Lisa Ling, 38, spent $1,400 on a private party at The Tiara Society to celebrate the birthdays of her two daughters, aged five and three, in February.
The party gave her older girl, Rachel Ling, the chance to wear the Elsa dress, while her sister, Emma, dressed up as Anna, Elsa's younger sister in the movie.
Says Mrs Ling, a psychologist: "The dress sealed the deal for me. I didn't know how Rachel could wear the dress at her party any other way. She liked the movie so much and I didn't want her to be disappointed."
Some parents have chosen to make their own Elsa dress instead.
Ms Summer Goh, 31, who writes the parenting blog A Happy Mum, made an Elsa-inspired dress for her four-year-old daughter, Angel Low, two weeks ago.
She used an existing blue dress and created a cape from a piece of translucent, glittery cloth. She then fashioned a crown from a sheet of foam and a royal orb and sceptre using a plastic ball and a nightlight respectively.
"It's not as pretty as the original dress, but it suffices to make my child happy," says Ms Goh.
"It is quite extravagant to spend $200 on a dress and I'm glad we didn't have to spend a single cent to make our girl feel like a queen."