Meet NILA's new family
Now this was a different kind of soft launch.
NILA, the official mascot for the 28th South-east Asian (SEA) Games, has just welcomed little brothers and sisters to his family - all 4,739 of them.
The custom-made NILA plush toys secured the SEA Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) a place in the Singapore Book of Records (SBOR) for The Largest Display of Handmade Plush Toys at a certificate presentation ceremony on Thursday (May 7).
As part of the Make-a-NILA campaign launched last November, members of the community got creative and designed NILA plush toys that will be presented to the winners of this year's Games.
Feeling the need to show the athletes his support, 17-year-old Siglap Secondary School student Abdul Matin Mustafa decided to participate in the campaign.
He was one of the NILA makers who witnessed the plush toys enter the record books.
Abdul Matin was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to walk without a walking aid but he did not let his condition get in the way of his passion for swimming.
He had a fear of the sport at first, but eventually overcame it with help from his coach.
"Maybe it will not be as normal as (how) normal people swim, but according to my condition it's already good enough," Matin said about his swimming.
His biggest idol? Singapore national swimmer Joseph Schooling.
"Sometimes you listen to the crowd and people are saying: 'Joseph Schooling is first... it's the last lap'. You feel so excited, so inspired," he said enthusiastically.
Abdul Matin hopes that his NILA will spur athletes on during the SEA Games and it would be a dream come true if he could present the plush toy he made to Schooling.
Also present at the event was the one who started it all - NILA's designer Beatrice Cho (below).
Cho emerged the winner of 2012's Singapore National Games mascot design competition and her design went on to become the official mascot of the Singapore National Games.
"It was pretty refreshing to see that because I'm the designer of NILA so it was without any clothes on. So for me to witness that was kind of refreshing because he or she gets to try on different costumes and different gadgets,' said the 21-year-old La Salle College of The Arts student.
"NILA has different personas so it was interesting to see that."