Made to look like the iconic wolf character in the 1697 fairy tale The Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault, at first glance, Lufsig looks innocent enough. But what has made it the talk of the town is not because of how cute or cuddly it is. The reason behind its popularity is linked to this city’s politics, and the people’s discontent with the government.
Following Saturday’s forum, during which Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah was hit by an egg thrown from the audience, another protestor came up with a more “peaceful” way to express his opinion during Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s forum on Sunday. The protestor began tossing the Lufsig doll up and down in the air, an action that combined with the translation of the product’s name by mainland China’s IKEA implies a phrase in Cantonese that is very rude and vulgar. Interestingly, Hong Kong IKEA doesn’t have a Chinese translation for “Lufsig”.
An image of the protestor throwing Lufsig into the air spread rapidly online, with Netizens saying the motion and the translation of the wolf’s name is a way to insult the Chief Executive, who has been nicknamed ‘wolf’, without breaking any laws.
Some say they noticed Lufsig marked as ‘out of stock and will not be refilled’ on Hong Kong IKEA’s website on Sunday night, and suspected the company has political concerns and is choosing not to be associated with the anti-government sentiments.
Photos shared on Facebook showed people queued up for the doll, priced at HK$99.9, and while the online stock figures on IKEA’s website suggest the three stores in Kowloon Bay, Sha Tin and Causeway Bay have a total of 671 dolls available for sale, many say that is not enough to accommodate the skyrocketing demand.
Young Post contacted IKEA today, who was unavailable to comment on the surge in sales of the Lufsig doll at time of publication.