40 Years of Hello Kitty: 4 Signs She’s Not Just for Kids Anymore
By Kelsey Leuzinger
On December 13, 2014
Hello Kitty is one of the most internationally well-known names in modern history. From her humble beginnings on a coin purse in 1974, this 7 billion dollar per year industry has skyrocketed in popularity over the years. Now, in 2014, Hello Kitty is celebrating 40 years of adorable success.
Started as a Sanrio franchise, Hello Kitty was designed to delight young girls who couldn’t get enough of the little cat’s cuteness. Today, however, she isn’t only found on young girl’s clothing and accessories, but seen on a variety of items from furniture to food products. She has evolved into a franchise displayed on anything imaginable, and caters to adults as well as children.
Some of Hello Kitty’s products have been adorable and even useful for adults who love the typical pink and white decorations. So after such a long history of labeling items with this cute kitty, the company started creating innovative ways to display her. Here are 4 of the most unusual Hello Products from the past 40 years, for children and adults alike.
Toilet paperPhoto by David Offf
This is one that you may see all over Japan, especially in the toiletries section of the supermarket. While it may be strange for her face to be used in the toilet, Hello Kitty will stop at nothing to be displayed on every item you could possibly use. And this one surely gets a lot of use.
Some perfect examples of Hello Kitty’s transition to adult products are items such as beer and tobacco products. She may still look cute and cuddly, but this drink will have a bit of a kick that isn’t for kids.
Hello Kitty has been seen on numerous weapons over the year, with one of the most interesting being the taser. Is it used by girls for self-defense? Is it used in the prison system? Either way, she really branched out with this one.
Hello Kitty JetPhoto by Luke Lai
One of the biggest advancements in Hello Kitty products is the Hello Kitty Jet. Operated by Eva Air, 6 different jets fly daily, complete with a unique kitty theme for each one. Taking a ride on these jets doesn’t only include a kitty-inspired boarding pass and painted plane, but is Hello Kitty themed from beginning to end. Some of the amenities offered onboard include tissues, pillows, cutlery, shopping bags, card decks, and postcards, all which present the cute kitty’s face in unique ways.
When you get your food tray on one of these jets, the cuteness doesn’t end there. Kitty’s face is imprinted in some way yet again. All these details are enjoyed in kitty-patterned seats with personal touch screens.
It’s hard to believe the extreme lengths Sanrio has gone to promote Hello Kitty, yet all seem to be warmly welcomed by the huge fan base. In honor of her 40th celebration, Hello Kitty Con in LA was designed as a convention for all fans, alongside a Hello Kitty Museum Exhibition showcasing her history. Her legacy seems to be only in its prime, as fans wait and watch for the next 40 years of Hello Kitty.