Hello Kitty Hits The Road

Love it or hate it, over the last 30 years Sanrio's "Hello Kitty" has become an icon in Japan and is recognized around the world. Last weekend, one lucky customer at Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo, won the opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind Mitsubishi i "Princess Kitty" car.

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At JPY2.1 million (about US$18,300), the car is priced 600,000 yen higher than usual. The promotion celebrates Mitsubishi's advertising relationship with Sanrio and also raises money for Japan's UNICEF, which will get 200,000 yen of the proceeds.

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The detailed customization includes special paint, decals, and even Hello Kitty shaped headrests. (Somebody just shoot me.)

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Powered by a 3 cylinder 660cc engine, the Princess Kitty (a Mitsubishi "i") uses just 5.3 liters of gas per 100 km (that's 43.3 mpg US) and emissions are 50% lower than the Japanese 2005 Low-Emission Vehicle requirements. (I can't resist pointing out that my bicycle cost less than 1% of the price of this car, uses no fossil fuel, requires no insurance premiums or license taxes, and doesn't pollute at all).

Between you and me, just seeing this overly cutesy pink blob in my driveway would make my stomach feel quesy. But for you Hello Kitty fans, here's a link to more pictures.

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Just click Hello Kitty.

Personally, I'll wait for the black and white "Pandabonium" special edition Mitsubishi Colt EV (an electric car announced for 2010), which will have bamboo patterned seat covers and of course a slide trombone horn.

PS - If you collect guitars, like Moody Minstrel does, Mitsukoshi is offering a one-off Hello Kitty electric guitar made by Fender in the USA for "only" JPY 2.5 million. That's right. It costs more than the car!

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FH2O said...

What will they come up with next? Hello Kitty sea kayaks? *shudders*!!

Pandabonium said...

FH2O - don't give them any ideas. I'd get seasick just looking at such a thing on dry land.

nzm said...


What gets me is all the grown young women walking around Tokyo with all the Hello Kitty clothing - just makes me shake my head!

PinkPanther said...

OH!OH!! Thanks PandaB, you posted my facy doll ^_^.
You know, all of my bed clothes are printed with Hello Kitty.
I still can't find a Hello Kitty keyboard in here yet. :-(

Pandabonium said...

PP- Wouldn't you rather have a "Pink Panther" car?

PinkPanther said...

NOPE, I am waiting for the black and white "Pandabonium" special edition in 2010.*^@^*

chosha said...

nzm...what about the wannabe yakuza boys with the hotted up cars and a Hello Kitty number plate? Scary.

The funniest HK product I've ever heard of is the Hello Kitty douche bag. One of my friends immediately quipped in the style of a TV advertisement voiceover, "for even your most personal moments, Kittychan is there for you." ^_^

tony said...

My older daughter just turned 4, and she got a whole new Hello Kitty bedroom set: sheets, pillow case, comforter, and throw rug, as well as a Hello Kitty backpack and portable art studio.

Yes, Hello Kitty is world renowned.

By the way, you have been tagged.

Robin said...

hehe, this is another Japanese icon for kids who never grow up.

The other is Doraemon, which is my fav.


Pandabonium said...

PP - I'm surprised.

Chosa, Japan does have some weird stuff for sale. Your suggestion for fixing the meatrix post worked. I couldn't get the text below the pics, but never mind. I'm satsified with how it looks now. Thanks!

Tony - so that explains the rise in Sanrio stock. Tagged? Thanks a lot. OK.

Robin - That was the first post of yours that I read. Still would like to ride that train myself.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I wouldn't mind winning a guitar like that in a prize drawing (since I could close my eyes while I was playing it), but buying one? (shakes head violently)

Hmm...I wonder how that guitar plays.

Pandabonium said...

Metal strings, but they sound like kitty gut. "Meow meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow."

Happysurfer said...

Reminds me the time McDonald was promoting these dolls a few years back. Adults, moms mostly, took leave of their household duties to queue up at McD's to buy these dolls for their children, daughters mostly. It was a riot. Jeez.......

Pandabonium said...

Happy - Those big corporations spend millions of dollars learning what "buttons" to push to get people to buy. They are amazingly good at it.

Happysurfer said...

Pandabonium, you are so right regarding those buttons and the money they put in.

Btw, I think you may want to scale down yr Hello Kitty guitar as it's pushing down yr sidebar contents, I think.

Pandabonium said...

"Scale down" the guitar? Like from the key of A to F?

Just kidding. Thanks. I'll do that.