How Much Do You Love Hello Kitty?
Meow! I grew up with Hello Kitty, the cute little cartoon spokescat for the Japanese company Sanrio whose face has spawned a thousand pencil cases. Back in the day, I had my Hello Kitty coin purse, erasers, and gum, and I thought I was a major collector. Then I got distracted for a couple of decades, and came back to find that the little white feline with the big red hair bow has been busy building a global empire! The list of licensed Hello Kitty products have grown to include almost anything you can think of under the sun. In fact, Asako Kanda of Japan has been featured in the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records for having assembled 4,519 different Hello Kitty items.
That’s a whole lot of Kitteh Love, and it inspired me to put together a quiz for anyone who feels an unexplained yearning when they pass a Sanrio store. As you go through the day, where does your Kitty Love shine through? Just how much do you love the cat?
Brrrring! The alarm goes off on another morning, and you slip out from between your Hello Kitty bedsheets. One point.
But if, when you sit up, you are greeted by the sight of your Hello Kitty lamp that’s pretty serious décor. Two points.
Your morning toast looks up at you with innocent cat eyes, thanks to your Hello Kitty toaster, 1 point.
If you’re willing to declare your Kitty allegiance in public (in the form of lunch, no less) with a Hello Kitty sandwich maker, 2 point.
In the Office
You drink your morning cuppa joe from an unbreakable Hello Kitty tumbler: 1 point.
Under your desk there’s a Hello Kitty handbag: 2 points, for investing in a major accessory that pairs with everything.
When the scrapbooking spirit comes over you, you reach for your Hello Kitty all-in-one scrapbook set: 1 point.
Did you break out the Hello Kitty Monopoly the last time you had people over? Two points for spreading the Kitty joy.
1 to 3 points: Kitty-phile. No doubt about it, you have a few choice things, and you deserve some Kitty Props. You probably even know her real name is actually Kitty White. But now it’s time to take your Kitty Love a step further.
4 to 8 points: The Cat’s With Me. You and Hello Kitty go way back. You might even be the one she calls when she needs a ride to the airport. The good news is, with 22,000 officially licensed products, there are still many levels to explore in your relationship.
8 points and up: Code Red. If you’ve had time to acquire this much Kitty gear, you’re probably old enough to level up. I’m not talking about the Hello Kitty Stratocaster guitar, either (though there is one). Did you know you can have a Hello Kitty wedding in Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland, honeymoon in the Hello Kitty Room at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel Jeju, and then welcome the inevitable consequences at the Hello Kitty Maternity Hospital in Taiwan? If you can afford it, recover in Dubai at the world’s first Hello Kitty Beauty Spa.
Lavonne Leong writes about arts, science, family, and shopping from her little yellow house in Honolulu, where she lives with her husband and daughters, neither of whom inherited her Hello Kitty gene.