KYOTO (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) -A male customer was able to purchase the entire supply of 100 specially designed dolls on sale at a Takashimaya department store in Kyoto, despite an announced condition limiting purchases to just two dolls per customer.
The purchase on Saturday (March 31) provoked a series of critical comments on Twitter and other social media, including speculation that the customer must have intended to buy up the dolls for resale purposes.
Takashimaya plans to hand over all the dolls to the customer at the end of May as scheduled, considering it difficult to judge whether he actually intends to resell them.
The dolls are part of the "Super Dollfie" series developed by a Kyoto-based toy maker, based on artwork by renowned illustrator Junichi Nakahara (1913-1983), who gained popularity for depicting cute girls with big eyes.
They are each about 65cm tall, wears a red skirt and a white blouse, and priced at 124,200 yen (S$1,531) including tax.
According to the Takashimaya store in Kyoto's Shimogyo Ward, about 200 people queued up before the 10am opening time on Saturday, and the store distributed numbered tickets to only the first 50 people in the queue.
These 50 people then carried out the process of purchasing the dolls at each of the booths in the store - but it was actually the same male customer who paid for them all, at a total cost believed to be more than 12 million yen.
The dolls will continue to be produced.
On Saturday night, The Yomiuri Shimbun confirmed the existence of a Chinese online shopping site offering a pre-order sale of dolls that are apparently of the same type as the ones sold out at the Takashimaya store.
Calling them "Kyoto Takashimaya limited edition", the dolls on the website were each selling at 9,680 yuan (S$2,016) - about a 32 per cent hike from the original sale price at Takashimaya in Kyoto.