Tuesday, July 8, 2014

There Are Days I Hate Hello Kitty

I think I have a love and hate relationship with Hello Kitty. Even though she's my favorite Sanrio character, I have days where I can't stand the sight of her.

I'm betting that I'm not alone in this feeling.

Hello Kitty can be extremely cute, cool, pretty, and iconic-- all things that I love about the character. Then, there's the ugly side of her that I can't ignore.  No matter where I look, I can't escape the ugliness of Hello Kitty. You know what I am talking about. I don't have to spell it out for you.

Sometimes, I wonder what makes me love this cute white cat and in the next instant, feel such a strong dislike towards the character. I guess the phrase: "on the flip side of love is hate" is true.

Recently, I read an online article stating that Hello Kitty was not on top #1 spot on the Sanrio Character Ranking Contest and my gut reaction? Good.

Yeah, I know, I should be rooting for my favorite character, but let's face it-- the character ranking list is most likely rigged by Sanrio to promote their new characters. Like longtime fans are going to forget those beloved classic characters that have been pushed aside to make room for their "food" characters just so Sanrio can compete with San-X for the #1 title of Best Character Branding company.

Maybe part of my dislike for Hello Kitty has to do with how Sanrio treats their many classic characters for newer characters and how they favor their money maker in America. Yeah, I understand from a business point of view that Hello Kitty is their cash cow, but to lose sight of what makes their company so special seems very unfair. 

Hello Kitty is great-- we all know this. Pochacco can be just as great. Keroppi can be just as special as Hello Kitty with the right amount of attention and promotional activities. Same can be said for Spottie Dottie, Pippo, Tuxedo Sam, Chococat, etc. 

Do you think Sanrio listens to the fans? What do they do? In recent years if you had walked into a Sanrio boutique store, you find the store nearly filled with everything Hello Kitty and not one big section of different characters. In the 90's, I remember going into a Sanrio store and being extremely giddy at seeing the different sections (S-E-C-T-I-O-N-S not tiny ones) of My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Pochacco, Keroppi, Tuxedo Sam, and Spottie Dottie. Going into a store like that was like stepping into a different world. A fantasy world of cuteness.

Now, they sell mainly Hello Kitty and items that are non-Sanrio, instead of bringing back the classic beloved characters. Great marketing job, Sanrio. Well done. And, another home runner-- they take away the many Sanrio boutique stores in favor of putting their character merchandise in chain stores like Target and Wal-Mart. Yeah, way to be classy and unique. 

I have a feeling that I'll be entering Disney stores more often to get back the feeling of being in a dream world full of imagination and love.

At the end of everything, I think the main factor in my hating Hello Kitty has to do with the fact that she's too overexposed. She's too kitsch. It's why I can relate to those who are not fans of kawaii -- hello, world!
But hey, it's just me. Loving or hating Hello Kitty, I'm still here blogging about my favorite hobby.

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