TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A giant-sized subway smartcard with a heartwarming backstory about something good coming from adversity has sold out in Taiwan.
The“Classic Logo Style EasyCard - Giant Edition" has been so popular a second wave of pre-ordered cards was made available from Friday (Nov. 24). The giant card has the same design as the classic EasyCard – but is four times bigger than the credit card-sized original.
The EasyCard is used for payments on the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system as well as for buses, parking lots, convenience stores, and other places. It is known locally as a “Yoyo ka” (悠遊卡) and is used all across Taiwan.
The supersized card came about after the EasyCard Corporation heard of the plight of a bus driver in Taichung, according to a NOWnews story. He had crafted his own giant EasyCard and would proudly display it on his bus, but unfortunately had it stolen in August.
After the story went viral, the company decided to release a Giant Edition card and present it to the driver as a photo opportunity. The effective public relations and an outpouring of public sympathy led to significant demand for Giant Edition cards to go on general sale.
EasyCard Corp. stepped up and the rest is history. Its first edition Giant Edition sold out in a few days after being released Nov. 16, costing NT$350. The company has released a significant amount of merchandise and smartcard collectibles, many of which have proven popular, including cartoon characters and even, shockingly, perhaps, cards featuring a Japanese adult video star.
Preorders are available at 7-Eleven ibon kiosks.
Large EasyCard designed for a bus driver. (Facebook, EasyCard Corporation photo)