BEIJING, China — Bing Dwen Dwen, the stuffed version of the astronaut panda mascot of the 2022 Olympics, is an item on demand that's seemingly impossible to find.
The word "Bing" is commonly a reference to ice, and "Dwen Dwen" often refers to lively children. The giant panda is China's official animal.
Medalists get just one plush doll on the podium. The image of the panda is all over Olympic park, which is decorated with stickers, pins and statuettes. Some athletes have even been spotted wearing panda nail art.
The plush animals have a cult following, with Olympic fans across the world reeling over the adorable stuffed mascot.
Dolls of the mascot sold out in China after buyers waited in line overnight in freezing weather. People showed up with stools outside the Gongmei Emporium on the Wangfujing pedestrian mall in central Beijing. A sign in Gongmei’s window said it had 300 Bing Dwen Dwen figures and buyers were allowed one each.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Olympics organizers have asked factories to make more.
The Olympics souvenir website doesn't even have an option for people to purchase one online. There are some on Ebay selling for up to nearly $118. But, of course, there's a risk of sacrificing authenticity when purchasing items on secondhand sites.
As difficult as it is to get your hands on Bing Dwen Dwen, it's not stopping viewers near and far from the Olympics from falling in love with the plush panda.