Can a cat change the world? Hello Kitty certainly has enough influence to try! Soft power Sanrio-style if you will! Since her Japanese debut in 1974, Kitty has become a worldwide phenomena. Originally aimed specifically at children, she now attracts fans of all ages! I can remember getting a Hello Kitty stamp set when I turned five and finding her face on all sorts of other surprises throughout my childhood. Hello Kitty merchandising is in a class matched only by Disney for me! I wonder what her net worth is…***
I have to admit that I lost touch with Kitty over time (my college decor was not exactly “kawaii” more Klimt meets Trainspotting meets Star Trek but I digress). She’s back in my life again thanks to Laura and the Japanese Post office! A stamp brought Hello Kitty back into my life. Laura noticed it and started smiling saying “kitty.” Since then, we have acquired postcards, books, shirts, and now an apron all with the famous feline’s face! Laura is currently helping me find all of my Hello Kitty stamps so that I can collage them online here.
If I manage to get to Japan within the next few years with the girls, a trip to Sanrio Puroland (Tama New Town, Tokyo) seems like a given to me. A Japanese theme park experience full of Japanese characters–that’s something I can’t get here in France!
***For anyone in need of some fun reading, I suggest the Forbes Fictional 15. As the Forbes list sets out to define the 15 richest fictional characters by looking at “characters….known for being rich in their narrative worlds,” Kitty is not concerned. That said it does make for some great reading. The article computing Smaug’s wealth alone is worth the time to read just to discover the thought process that went into quantifying his personal fortune!