Monday, March 22, 2021

Sanrio Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

It's a sentimental yearning to go back to a time where everything seemed easier and much more brighter than you imagined. It was a childhood where you didn't have any of the adult problems that go hand-in-hand with growing up. 

It's the comforting sense of familiarity of what we know. And, what I knew was my attachments to all the little pieces of items that I collected from shopping at the Sanrio stores.

Just remembering the strong, yet unique Sanrio smell of products that would hit me once I stepped into one of their many store locations. The store bell would ding to announce my presence as I wandered in like a lost kitten finding it's way home.

Fun and memorable moments that just doesn't have the same feeling now when I enter Sanrio here in the States. Maybe I miss the strong fragrance smell of new Sanrio?

The only way to re-capture the smell is to stick my nose close to a new product and inhale it in. Yes, it's the only way and you may encounter some weird looks from the staff. 

Before the internet, we only had to rely on ourselves for entertainment. If you had money, you would go buy games or shop at a local Sanrio store. In my case, I would go to a Sanrio store on special occasions like birthdays and holidays to get my daily fix.

These were the important moments in my life that I lived for when I was a kid. I didn't know of anyone else who shared my love for all Sanrio things because I didn't have many Asian friends to share experiences. 

It was simple back then and I will never forget it nor experience it again in this digital age.
Fast forward, the internet was introduced and everything we knew about the world changed forever.

It changed for the better, but a few others would disagree.

As a teen, I was thrust into the world where I learned how to use computers.

Then the internet changed everything...
Who remembers religiously using Sanrio Town? As the years went by, I wanted to keep using my Sanrio e-mail account, but it has become outdated and no longer useful. The site had a dedication to the online Hello Kitty game, which I never played. Also, there was a small online community where each user had access to create their own Sanrio fan page.

Then came the McDonald's happy meals with the Hello Sanrio figures....
Here was the time where Sanrio introduced their characters to America. Fast forward to 2018 and now there are more Americans familiar with characters other than just Hello Kitty.

While Sanrio's popularity has been down in recent years, they are using nostalgia to grab your attention. One example would be Mattel's new toy release with Hello Kitty and friends. 


What pulls most people to Sanrio? It's the memories of playing with Sanrio toys when they were children. Is it manipulation and a cash grab when nostalgia is deliberately brought up again? Nostalgia wants to make you live in the past again, instead of wanting to enjoy the present.

Lesson to be learned here is that we never grow out of things that we loved in the past. Important reminder to enjoy things and not have any regrets for not appreciating what you had in the past. Back then, we had plastic cheap toys. The past will always be unforgettable. The future are more about mature and quality merchandise as well as fashion for adults. It's something to look forward to, isn't it?

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