17). Now you can buy almost anything stamped with the Hello Kitty brand, including towels, pencils, clothing, stationery and mobile phone covers, selling in more than 60 countries. Hello Kitty’s popularity with adults is reflected in the changing products available: you can buy Hello Kitty-branded laptops and adult-sized underwear – you can buy more merchandise and charge it to your Hello Kitty credit card, cannily supplied by the Bank of America; really dedicated fans can register for their own email address at the website, Sanriotown.
Hello Kitty is technically just one character who inhabits an entire, fictional world dreamt up by Sanrio. She lives in cyberspace on the fondant-coloured Sanriotown website. Hello Kitty has her own birthday, 1 November, (which makes her a Scorpio) and, as her English heritage befits, she lives in London with her parents and twin sister, Mimmy. Her many hobbies include travelling, music, reading and «eating yummy cookies her sister Mimmy bakes».
Other characters who share Hello Kitty’s world include Dear Daniel (Hello Kitty’son-off boyfriend), Kathy, Tippy and Thomas. Conveniently located to the right of Hello Kitty’s biography on the Sanriotown website is a link to the online shop, where you can buy a silver and pearl Hello Kitty necklace for ?60, a steering-wheel cover for ?14 or a Hello Kitty digital camera for ?80.
She first appeared on the American-animated Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theatre, which was shown on US television throughout 1987
Sanrio’s theme park, Puroland, opened in 1990; it features Sanrio’s most popular characters, with Hello Kitty as its star draw, and with yearly figures of 1.5 million visitors, from around the world, it is one of Japan’s most popular visitor attractions.
Hello Kitty even became an animated character. Another series ran in 1991. This year, Hello Kitty was seen for the first time in 3D in an animation made https://hookupdate.net/escort-index/detroit by Sanrio Digital, called The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends. The Hello Kitty craze reached fever pitch in the early to mid-1990s, when celebrity endorsement from fellow megastars such as Mariah Carey, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were photographed wearing assorted pieces of Hello Kitty branding. The American singer Lisa Loeb is a particular fan, dedicated an entire album to Hello Kitty, entitled Hello Lisa.
When Hello Kitty was first marketed to the US, the cultural differences meant that changes to the Japanese version had to be made. Sanrio’s erican consumers responded best to pink and purple kitties and worst to anything blue, yellow or red. The American audience also took against one of Hello Kitty’s friends, a little snail, which had to be eliminated from the merchandise.
But Sanrio got it right in the end and now there are no differences in the American and Japanese lines of merchandise. Indeed, when Sanrio tried to customise Hello Kitty for itsTaiwanese and Hong Kong markets, putting her in local dress and in local surroundings, the products did not sell. Her mixed English-Japanese heritage was part of her charm.
Cultural commentators often see the invention of Hello Kitty as part of a wider cultural wave of kawaii (translatable as «cuteness») in Japan. Other popular characters in Japan, such as Pokemon, which adorns the side of Japan Airlines aircraft, are as cosily (or sinisterly, depending on how you see it) cute. The popularity of kawaii can be seen as either an example of Japan’s harmonious and peace-loving culture or an example of Japan’s culture of non-assertion.