Saturday, January 25, 2014

Say Hello to Average "Joe"

I can't resist from saying so, but are you still living in your own safe bubble world?

Hello Kitty fans-- meet the rest of the world (outside of Asia)! Say hello.

Before reading the article below, please do keep in mind that this author is not a hater or a "detractor" of Hello Kitty. Just a normal average reaction of someone who sees Hello Kitty for little girls. Stereotypical since there are adult fans of Hello Kitty, but what can you really do? That's life. Roll with it or get left behind for throwing a tantrum because the world doesn't revolve around you and your interests.

Aside from that...
Below is a very cool looking Camaro car, all decked out in Hello Kitty. For some people, it may be ugly to them, but to us, fanatics, we love it! And, especially, for someone like me, who is very picky. I'm thinking the reason I like the whole overall appearance is because the car has a simple design with Hello Kitty attached to it. It's not too much Hello Kitty, where some owners just plaster Hello Kitty art all over the car. The design below didn't go overboard. It's pleasing to the eye. 

You can find this car on the streets of Dubai (think Saudi Arabia)

Look at the Interior customization inside-- that door! I want mine with HK pattern prints.

Read the two articles at Auto Evolution or continue below. The second article is a follow up.

This Hello Kitty Camaro Will Ruin Your Day

By Ciprian Florea

While a Hello Kitty theme might be appropriate for a Mitsubishi Mirage, we can't really understand why some people would use the Japanese character to pink up a musclecar.

Don't get us wrong, we ain't got nothing against Moulin Rouge or Panther Pink Mopars, but Hello Kitty Camaros are just plain wrong. Yes, we said Camaros, which means there's another one besides the eye-stabbing ReStyleIt version we saw last year.

We don't know the story behind this one, but the plate suggests it's from Dubai. Which is a bit surprising to be honest, as we'd rather expect to see some gold-plated Camaros over there. Anyway, this black GM-built musclecar got a pair of pink stripes across its hood and top, Hello Kitty writing on the side mirrors and huge Hello Kitty-themed decals on its doors.

To complete the car's feminine looks, the owner also opted for a pink bowtie badge on the front grille and a couple of pink eyelashes above the headlamps. Yuck!  


Meet the Owner of the Hello Kitty Camaro ZL1

By Mihnea Radu

A few days ago, just before the Detroit Auto Show was about to start, we received a photo via twitter of a black Camaro ZL1 with pink Hello Kitty accents. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to say it's a bit of a misfit, an oddity that should never exist.

But the owner of the car reached out to us a few days later, saying "Don't let it ruin your day, my day begins when I start my awesome ZL1 HELLO KITTY CAMARO, All you will see is the dust I leave behind. Get a life, I have one and it's great."

Our curiosity was instantly sparked by this and we reached out to the owner to find out more. After all, even if some people might not like it, the ZL1 is bringing its owner joy and that's what matters.

Yolanda is originally from South Africa but moved to Dubai. She says people there are much more civilized and kind. She even goes as far as to say that it's a privilege for her six kids to live the UAE.

So what about the car? Yolanda's photos show it was wrapped at a company called foila and even has four Hello Kitty exhaust tips. Yes, they do make those in Japan. Behind the custom scissor doors, there's pink seat covers and Hello Kitty pillows. Even the steering wheel, shifter and door cards have been customized.

This really is a Camaro like no other and Yolanda says not a day goes by without people taking photos or asking her about it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Melody vs. Hello Kitty

~~ * --Let the Fan War Party Begin-- * ~~

Next battle round is the feud between two of Sanrio's most famous characters: My Melody and Hello Kitty.

At last, we get to nitty-gritty of things. We finally made it to two big champs to see an awesome fight on our hands. Yes siree, folks, two frenemies going head-to-head to see who comes out alive and kicking... 

*halts in mid-sentence*  No good? What-- that's not enough to spark your fighting spirit?

Sheesh. Tough crowd to please here. Ok, okay, I hear you...

Onwards to more of my troublemaking ways:

FACE-OFF:   My Melody vs. Hello Kitty


My Melody

Hello Kitty
1. How old are you? 39 years old 40 years old
2. Do you have a sidekick? Yes, my lambie-pie-- Piano ♪ Bear or Tiny Chum
3. Do you have any famous relatives? Kuromi, my devil cousin Twin sister, Mimmy!
She wears her bow on the right side
4. What is your image like? Kawaii brand image Child brand image
5. Who does Sanrio favor more? I'm head in line to take HK's crown, so the answer is obvious *shakes head* I disagree. I'm still a hot commodity to Sanrio
6. How about the public? *bragging* everyone loves me
*shows off the many love letters*
*Whimpers* I receive a bit of both 
*revealing hate & love letters*
7. What kind of reactions do you get on the streets? Who are you?
Celebrity Status
8. Which fruit comes to mind? Strawberries Apples
9. Do you have an iconic accessory? I wear a hood over my ears My bow on my left ear
10. Favorite Fashion color? For this era-- Pink.
You'd think I only have one outfit in my closet *sarcasm*
I am in between colors at the moment
*pulls out a pink bow & a red bow*
11. How are you feeling right now? I'm very cheerful and talkative
*Smiles brightly*
*Does not speak: being moody*
12. Who's your BFF in Sanrio? Kiki & Lala. We're very popular and we make a sweet combination when we're together. Fans scream for us. Keroppi is my best choice. Number 1: he's not a dog; 2: I only hang out with the most popular, hence Keroppi is more popular than Pochacco
13. What's the word on your success? I'm moving up the ranks: animes, comics, games... I'm everywhere.
I'm pushing for a movie deal to Sanrio
14. Who is the breadwinner? *haughty* I'm on the brink to global fame The theme parks and cafes speak for themselves
15. Where do you see yourselves in 10 yrs. from now? Didn't you hear? Hello Kitty was supposed to retire & I was supposed to be Queen of Sanrio *resentful* *rolling her eyes at the dramatics* You wish (@ My Melody). Getting married and still be the hottest cat around!
*winking to the camera*
16. Anything you want to say to the fans? Sending my love to everyone. Please vote for me as your Favorite
*bows respectfully*
Goodbye, Cheerio, Sayōnara, Adieu, Ciao, Adios, Annyeong...


That's a wrap-up, people!
Where has the time gone? Not only were we in the presence of two of the kawaii-iest creatures on earth, but we got to hear from them personally! Did they make your day brighter or what? *beaming with so much energy*

*Smile dies*
You can stop shielding your eyes now. I've stopped doing the bunny hop of excitement.

If you enjoyed that battle round, please take it to the comments section below.
*Whispering* We all know Hello Kitty is the winner of this round.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quality Over Cheap Labor

Didn't I read somewhere that Sanrio was looking for a cheaper manufacturer like in China? My first initial reaction was my concern for the products that I would buy from Sanrio. To me, products from China tend to be cheaply made and not worth much your value of a dollar. Even if I hear that things are improving in China, my main concern are the quality of the design and material coming from Sanrio. There are times I have visited Sanrio boutique stores and thought to myself that some of their products look cheaply made.

In recent years, more and more of the plushes look to have the appearance of a cheap product. They look like they have been sewn up by an amateur. It didn't help that the plushes appeared to be made with cheap material. But not all plushes that were manufactured in China looked cheaply made and usually, I would assume these plushes were made in Japan. 

Last year in February, I bought a huge Hello Kitty die cut face pillow, but with closer inspection, I found that if I was not careful that I could end up tearing the material of the pillow. I was dismayed over this fact over the next couple days because I assumed that I was getting the value of what I paid for this expensive Sanrio product. 

Maybe before I buy another plush or pillow from Sanrio, I should inspect the manufacturer tag. "Should I risk it?" would be my first thought when handling a Sanrio item. The more I think about it-- this shouldn't be my deciding factor in whether or not to buy the product from Sanrio. Shouldn't Sanrio care about their reputation to be selling quality stuff rather than mass produced cheap products? They should if they want to gain millions of new fans around the world. Nothing comes out of it doing things half-way. You have to take the long road to success without taking any short cuts. Isn't their goal to be known worldwide?

You can read the entire article here or continue reading below.

Sanrio up a tree after Hello Kitty items found to be made in China

By TOSHIHIRO OKUYAMA/ Senior Staff Writer

Sanrio Co. has been clawed by some of its Hello Kitty items on sale at the company's flagship store in Tokyo that were prominently displayed as being domestically manufactured, but were made in China.
Sanrio, the official home of the beloved cartoon cat, is checking the products at its outlets in Japan to ensure that their country of manufacture is being properly designated.
The company was forced to take the action after a Chinese student and her classmates in a master's program in journalism at Waseda University and an Asahi Shimbun reporter pointed out the discrepancies to shop managers earlier this month.
The shop, Sanrio World Ginza, debuted in the capital’s Ginza district in 2009 as the company’s largest flagship shop in the world. It sells about 10,000 items varying from accessories to clothes to stationary.
The students visited the shop between November and this month as part of their investigative reporting classes.
They noticed signs that were put up at several shelves with an illustration of Hello Kitty atop Mount Fuji, which said in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese that the products under this sign were made in Japan.
But the students discovered that despite the sign, some products had an attached tag that said in English that they were “Made in China,” including tote bags and folding umbrellas featuring Hello Kitty. Some products had a price seal that was attached in a manner that gave the impression that shop officials wanted to hide the made-in-China tag.
The law against unjustifiable premiums and misleading representations prohibits displaying products in a way that could mislead shoppers about the country of origin.
An official with the Consumer Affairs Agency said in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun that the discrepancy between the sign and the products’ tags is problematic.
“Some people may buy items after seeing the sign at the shelves without checking the tags,” the official said. “Whether the act constitutes a violation of the law depends on the individual case.”
Last August, Sanrio delivered its outlets signs and points of purchase advertising that said that the items are Japanese made to coincide with the launch of its “Made in Japan series.”
Products made in Japan are particularly popular with foreign tourists, who visit the Ginza shop in high numbers. Chinese tourists tend to shun items made in their home country and opt for those made in Japan.
Manager of the shop said the mistake was not intentional, and that it was the result of a misunderstanding by a sales clerk handling the display. Company officials say that the Chinese products were inadvertently mixed with the Japanese ones on shelves with the sign at the Ginza outlet.
An official with Sanrio’s publicity section said the company ordered immediate corrective action.
“We reviewed the display that may cause a misunderstanding,” the official said. “We also gave instructions about the display at other outlets.”
The company, based in Tokyo, is investigating its 220 shops in Japan for possible errant and misleading displays.

San-X vs. Sanrio

Today's topic is the war between Japan's Merchandise Character brands: San-X and Sanrio.

You have two big name Japanese brands competing for your attention. Aww... aren't you flattered like I am? Just which two of the brands have the kawaii character that makes you see hearts and magic? Let the battle begin to win America's sweethearts!

Let's continue on my troublemaking ways of starting a fan war:

FACE-OFF:   San-X vs. Sanrio



1. How long has your company been around? We were founded in 1932. 80 years since then We've been around for 52 years
2. Does your name have any special meaning? Our logo, four-leaf clover represents with our Symbol color, blue, which correlates with putting their hearts and soul for wishing "Good Luck." *looking it up from a smartphone* From the spanish words, "holy" and "river".
3. Any mottos or specific slogans? "You're so cute, I could eat you up" "A small gift can bring a big smile"
4. Whose your current most popular character? Rilakkuma Hello Kitty
5. Is there anything we can differentiate between the two of you? Most of our characters are based on food Our characters focus on cutesy animals like kitties and bunnies
6. You've both earned some bragging rights. Care to share? *with a solemn innocent look* New York Times has stated we have bypassed *cough* Sanrio *cough* in the popularity ranks *Beaming like a proud parent* Our Puroland & Harmonyland are a shrine to our achievements
7. Anything you want to say about each other? *bites back* I "love" what Lady Gaga was wearing... *irked by last comment* A favorite character is their Kogepan.
8.  Any hidden weapons to your successes? Sentimental Circus My Melody
9. Which out of the two of you is more famous? Ask that in 10 yrs or so. We're working on that... Well, I don't mean to brag here...
10. Does your fans consist of both genders? *grinning* Why, yes, of course. Our Tarepanda is a big hit with the male office workers in Japan. No comment
11. Where do you see yourselves in a decade from now? .......... *with no hesitation* Global Domination
12. Anything you want to say to the fans? Please look forward to seeing us more in the future. [Mentions official FB page address] *hinting for fans to petition for a San-X franchise in the U.S. We thank you for your unconditional love and support
*secretly pointing & hinting to a big Hello Kitty sofa nearby


Round 2 went off with a great big bang! How can the kawaii world decide between the two cutest character brands?

Tap, tap...
tapping on the shoulder...
"Psst, you forgot Mickey and Minnie! The powerhouse cutest couple in the world!"

*Giggles* Now, why on earth would I forget a thing like that? Stay tuned, folks, for another battle round in the works. Comment below to tell me who you think is the winner.

Originally Published at Sanrio Luver Lane

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Say What? A Sales Gimmick?

The article below doesn't paint American pop stars in a pretty picture -- mayhap, it's trying to portray a more realistic light to why so many celebrities are now embracing Japan's lovable white cat. Or maybe the author is a bit too cynical about this subject.

Either way, both authors may have touched upon something that could be true for some celebrities in America. While for others, it may be a genuine interest for Sanrio's characters or anything related to Japan. Who could really say "no" to a designer Hello Kitty handbag by Loungefly? I, sure wouldn't, but then again, I'm not your average American consumer. I'm a Sanrio fanatic. *wink*

In this age of social media, what Hello Kitty promotes is a recommendation from a longtime friend, which is a very powerful sell
Also, I know my mind very well and Hello Kitty does not 100% influence what I like or dislike. I can separate my obsession with reality. If I was the kind of fan who's easily influenced, then wouldn't I have already jumped on the bandwagon for Lavigne's Hello Kitty song without question (or personal taste for that matter)?

You can continue reading below or click here for the original article.

Hello Kitty Embraced by Western Pop Stars Seeking Japan Sales

In late November, Lady Gaga showed up at the Tokyo TV studio of the Music Station program in a tricked out, cutie-pie outfit featuring a big cartoonish wig, pink bow, and anime-inspired eyes painted on her eyelids. As part of a marketing blitz for her new album Artpop, the star also did a photo shoot to promote a Lady Gaga-inspired Hello Kitty doll with long blond hair and a seashell bra.
Mother Monster meets Hello Kitty? In Japan, cuteness (kawaii) sells. Recording acts as diverse as Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Lisa Loeb are unified in their belief that a little kitty glitter can go a long way in Japan’s $4.3 billion music market. Over the years, they’ve all professed their love for the moon-faced feline character in interviews, photo events, and, in Lavigne’s case, lyrics. The Canadian singer-songwriter’s self-titled CD released in early November has a techno pop track titled Hello Kitty.
For Kitty-chan’s corporate parent Sanrio (8136:JP), a character goods and licensing company, having global celebrities—none of whom are paid endorsers—bow before your core franchise is a godsend. Robust Hello Kitty sales and double-digit operating profit growth have helped Sanrio’s stock advance 70 percent this year and have made founder Shintaro Tsuji one of Japan’s richest executives, with a personal fortune of about $1 billion, according to wealth data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s been very organic,” says Janet Hsu, president and chief operating officer of the company’s North American operations. The pop music world’s adoration “drives the relevancy value of Hello Kitty; she’s always in the moment.” A Sanrio character called DJ Hello Kitty—a performer wearing a black costume with sequins—does promotions at night clubs around the world and recently co-starred in a music video with Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki.

For foreign female recording artists, showing reverence toward the red-bow-tied feline is a shrewd business move. Although Japan has a population equal to only 40 percent of the U.S.’s, it’s the world’s No. 2 music market behind the States. Music lovers in Japan typically pay $30 for a newly released CD, compared with about $18 in the U.S., and illegal download sites such as Napster and Bit Torrent never gained traction in Japan because of its stringent antipiracy laws.
In Japan, where cartoon characters pitch all manner of products and services, from air flights to medical equipment, there’s nothing strange about Kitty tie-ups with musical talent. Created in 1974, the mouthless one is an enduring pop character that appeals to multiple generations. “In this age of social media, what Hello Kitty promotes is a recommendation from a longtime friend, which is a very powerful sell,” says Alan Swarts, co-founder and chief executive officer of Breaker, a mobile entertainment company, and a former VJ and 17-year veteran of MTV Networks
 In a turn from how they felt as recently as the early 1990s, Western singer-songwriters have grown comfortable commingling their artistic identities with commercial brands, says Loeb, whose 2002 album Hello Lisa featured the Sanrio character on the cover. “Being an artist today, whether you are a commercial artist or indie artist, there is less fear and taboo with associating with brands that you like,” she says. “Nowadays, it shows that you are an entrepreneur with likes and dislikes.”

It’s hard to quantify how much of an audience enhancer Hello Kitty has been for foreign talent. Loeb, who has done promotional events with Sanrio and once attended the MTV Japan music awards with Hello Kitty, believes the character “reinforced a lot of the audience I already had.” Perry, Lady Gaga, and Lavigne have gained popularity in Japan and done well on the charts this year, says Billboard Japan spokesman Hiroshi Yamaguchi, in part by channeling kawaii fashion when they visit. “Being pro-Japanese culture also helps,” he says.
Aside from the money to be made, the quirkiness of Japanese pop culture is a pull with Western singers, says Yusuke Nakagawa, president of Asobisystem, a Tokyo talent agency. His agency represents the recording artist, model, and reigning Japanese princess of all things precious, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. She favors a look best described as a mix of gothic and fairy tale, ultra-innocent and Lolita fetching. “Kyary isn’t produced by any famous U.S. music studio,” says Nakagawa. The kawaii look “is getting more attention because it’s purely made in Japan.”