Happy Birthday, Hello Kitty!
Let me just say that this blog is prompted by the posts I read on one of the anime/japanese interest websites I am in. Kudos to Cat-chan and Lara-chan for churning up old memories and my interest on Hello Kitty.
Like most young girls, I grew up knowing and longing for Hello Kitty items. I remember that they were the hype during my childhood days, where every little girl wants a Hello Kitty item. I guess that love for that cute little kitty had not totally gone away after all. It still feels like white and pink are Hello Kitty exclusive colors! hahaha!
As every little girl knows, Hello Kitty is atrademark produced and distributed by Sanri, first designed by Yuko Shimizu. The line was first introduced in Japan in 1975 and later to the US and the rest of the world starting in 1976. The trademark was initially targeted at pre-teen girls but these days the Hello Kitty icon can be found in almost every item imaginable from stationeries and stickers to oven toasters, telephones, televisions and even computer peripherals. The original Hello Kitty design had no mouth and according to one Sanrio official the reason behind this is because “without the mouth, it is easier for the person looking at Hello Kitty to project their feelings onto the character” and that “the person can be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty.” It had also been suggested that the Hello Kitty design was a take off from the Maneki Neko, which is an Asia goodluck charm of the “beckoning cat” – believed to be very good for business. And if the Hello Kitty line was any indication – well, it sure is beckoning a lot of goodluck!
Hello Kitty has an almost cult-like following especially in Asia where that kawaii cat can be found anywhere from cars to school supplies, clothes, jewelries, beauty products, kitchen utensils and home appliances. It seems that the little girls who got hooked with Hello Kitty when they were little had grown up and had taken the love for the icon with them. Today, especially in Asia, many young women even in their 20s and 30s are still sporting Hello Kitty items.
Official character profile
- Name: Kitty White
- Birthday:November 1, 1974
- Blood type: A
- Place of birth: Suburban London
- Height: That of five apples
- Weight: That of three apples
- Good at: Baking cookies
- Favourite food: Apple pie made by Mama (mum)
- Favourite word: “Friendship”
- Collects: Small cute things like sweets, stars, goldfish etc.
- Best school subjects: English, music and visual arts
- Description: A bright and kind-hearted girl, good at baking cookies and loves Mama’s apple pie. Very close to her twin sister Mimmy.
Products and Achievements:
– two officially licensed Hello Kitty theme parks, Harmonyland and the indoor Sanrio Purolan.
– a Hello Kitty anime.
(information from Wikepedia)
As of 2010, Bank of America began offering Hello Kitty-themed checking accounts, where the account holder can get cheques and a Visa debit card with Kitty’s face on it. MasterCard debit cards have featured Hello Kitty as a design since 2004.
High end products
Sanrio and Fender released a series of Hello Kitty guitars (the Hello Kitty Stratocaster), and even a jet airplane (the Hello Kitty Jet).
2009 marked the collaboration between apparel and accessory brand Stussy and Hello Kitty. Stussy worked with Hello Kitty on collection focusing on the Hello Kitty character with Stussy signature graphics. This collection included T-shirts, keychains, and hoodies.
In 2010, Hello Kitty entered the wine market with collection made up of four wines available for purchase online, continuing an expansion of products targeted at older audiences
Hello Kitty has her own branded album, Hello World, featuring Hello Kitty-inspired songs performed by a collection of artists, including Keke Palmer and Cori Yarckin.
Hello Kitty was also chosen by AH-Software to become a Vocaloid. The choice was owed to the fact it was their 50th year anniversary.
Numerous Hello Kitty games have been produced since the release of the first title for NES in 1992; however, the majority of these games were never released outside of Japan. Hello Kitty also has made cameo appearances in games featuring other Sanrio characters, such as the Keroppi game, Kero Kero Keroppi no Bōken Nikki: Nemureru Mori no Keroleen. Special edition consoles such as the Hello Kitty Dreamcast, Hello Kitty Game Boy Pocket, and Hello Kitty Crystal Edition Xbox have also been released exclusively in Japan.
OMG! This cat does get around! hahaha!