She’s such a cut-up

What more need I say?

Hello Kitty chainsaw

(Filched from Must Have Cute; spotted first at Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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You will not see this on a Dodge Viper

P. J. O’Rourke drives a Fiat 500 for Car and Driver (April), shows it to the journalism class he teaches at Hillsdale College, and he has some good news — or is it bad news?

[What] I think is the 500’s best marketing point [is] its appearance. This came from my star pupil, Ms. B. On one hand, she was referencing an international design icon that drives sales in more than 4000 retail outlets in the U.S. alone and generates half a billion dollars in annual revenue. On the other hand…

When Ms. B saw the Fiat 500, the first words out of her mouth were “Hello Kitty.”

Not just hers, either, I suspect:

Fiat 500 Hello Kitty

Compare to, for instance, this Kitty-oriented smart fortwo.

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It had to happen

Sanrio and Sephora have collaborated, kinda sorta, on a new cosmetic line, which presumably may help you look like this:

Model for Hello Kitty by Sephora

Yes, it’s the ubiquitous Hello Kitty, with the standard Signature Fragrance (1.7 ounces, $55, which sounds pricey but which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the stuff I wear), various goodies for your face, and typical accessories.

Although I question the legitimacy of a Hello Kitty lip gloss. I mean, Hello Kitty doesn’t even have lips.

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Humid Kitty

Old pal (and occasional commenter) Mel sends along this not-exactly-towering presence:

Hello Kitty humidifier sells this humidifier on its Web site, but it’s apparently not available at Target stores. You’re looking at $39.99, maybe $5 of which, I’d guess, went to Kittyfication.

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Kitty going mobile

“Eve never pleases me,” sang the Brothers Gibb, “and Kitty can.”

In fact, Kitty will even let you drive:

smart fortwo with Hello Kitty package

In an effort to boost sales, the importers of the smart car have introduced various “Expressions” packages, including custom paint and vehicle wraps. Among the latter are Hello Kitty designs licensed by Sanrio and reproduced on 3M vinyl. Pricing starts at $1,700.

I suppose an Eve package would have completely unadorned body panels.

(Via Jezebel.)

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Roll model

Maggie found this in Japan last fall:

Hello Kitty toilet paper

“It has a slight chestnut scent,” she says. If that seems odd, well, it could have been a whole lot worse.

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Another Question of the Ages answered

It appears that yes, Hello Kitty can has cheezburger:

Hello Kitty bags a snack

(Raked up from the fires of Hello Kitty Hell.)

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Thinking inside the box

Hello SchroddyWhen I go into those occasional “sucks to be me” moods, I have to look for positive aspects to my existence as a countermeasure. (If one of them also works as blogfodder, so much the better.) One such positive aspect is the fact that I know several women who will not only get the joke, but might actually consider getting the shirt:

This might not be Hello Kitty. It might be Goodbye Kitty. We cannot possibly know without observing, and then we change the outcome.

Heisenberg may or may not have been available for comment.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Hello Hayden

There pretty much has to be Hello Kitty swimwear, right?

I suspect not all of it is quite this abbreviated, though:

Hayden Panettiere in a Hello Kitty bikini

Our model here is actress Hayden Panettiere, who is almost (seven weeks to go) twenty-one, and we won’t discuss those faint traces of orange peel. This is her second appearance here, though the first time we were just showing you her shoes.

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Is your engine purring?

Hello Kitty motor oil

“Agip” is a real Italian oil company. And yes, that’s a six-legged dog on the logo.

(From — where else? — Hello Kitty Hell, via Boinky.)

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Goodbye Kitty?

In a world where you can actually have a Web site called Cute Overload, there may no longer be a place for a single mass-produced exemplar of cuteness. Which, if you’re Sanrio, is a major problem:

At age 36, Hello Kitty may be running out of product lives.

That is the fear of executives at the Sanrio Corporation, the Japanese company that created the cute, cartoonish white cat in 1974, and groomed her into a global marketing phenomenon worth $5 billion a year.

The numbers don’t look good:

In a closely watched ranking of Japan’s most popular characters, compiled each year using sales data by the Tokyo-based research firm Character Databank, Hello Kitty lost her long-held spot as Japan’s top-grossing character in 2002 and has never recovered.

In the latest survey, released this month, Kitty ranked a distant third, behind the leader, Anpanman, a character that is based on a Japanese jam-filled pastry and is produced by Nippon Television. The second spot is still held by the venerable game and animation brand Pokémon, owned by Nintendo.

Incidentally, we should not mock the Japanese for Anpanman, unless we’re willing to take the responsibility for the Hamburglar.

Besides, Japanese characters can be derived from just about anything. I spent part of last night reading up on a series called Durarara!!, among whose characters is a transplanted Dullahan, the Irish equivalent of the Headless Horseman. Except that it’s a she — and she rides a motorcycle. (Yes, she wears a helmet. No, I don’t know how it stays on.) I don’t think Celty Sturluson, or even Pokémon, can possibly replace Hello Kitty on eleventy-six bazillion different consumer products, but the recession notwithstanding, buying inexplicable stuff is an irreducible part of the human experience for any level above bare subsistence.

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Sometimes you just don’t want to know

Is this one of those times?

Goodbye Kitty

(Seen at Picture Is Unrelated.)

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Talk about chilling

It’s the Hello Kitty ice pack:

Hello Kitty ice pack

Also noteworthy as a rare shoeless appearance by the Shoe Girl.

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Abort, Retry, “Awwww…”

MiNEW A10 Netbook

Übergizmo calls this song just what it is:

While we aren’t exactly fond of Hello Kitty and the plethora of products bearing her face available, the MiNEW A10 Hello Kitty does look uber cute no matter which angle you approach it from. Underneath the hood you can expect something equally petite — to the tune of a netbook with an Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM, Intel GMA950 chipset and a 160GB SATA hard drive among others.

Other variations on the A10 theme exist, if you like this style but abhor the very thought of Hello Kitty.

(Found here. Actually, it was tweeted to me prior to that, but I figure you’d rather read an actual post than an isolated tweet.)

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The worst of both worlds

Yes, it’s Hello Kitty Crocs.

Hello Kitty Crocs

(Previously denounced by the Shoe Girl.)

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Don’t Tase me, Kitty

Taser C2 with Hello Kitty logo

So far as I can tell, this is not an official product of TASER International. Yet.

(Spotted by Boinky.)

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The first face you see

Taiwan boasts, if that’s the word, the first Hello Kitty-themed maternity hospital:

The 30-bed Hau Sheng Hospital in Yuanlin in central Taiwan is reportedly the world’s first Hello Kitty themed medical establishment.

From blankets and birth certificates to cots and uniforms worn by staff, every aspect of the Hello Kitty hospital is emblazoned with the feline motif. Patients are welcomed by a statue of Hello Kitty dressed in a doctor’s uniform, before travelling in a Hello Kitty elevator to a pink examination room with Hello Kitty posters on the wall.

Hospital director Tsai Tsung-chi:

“I wish that everyone who comes here, mothers who suffer while giving birth and children who suffer from an illness, can get medical care while seeing these kitties and bring a smile to their faces, helping forget about discomfort and recover faster.”

I hope the newborns aren’t scarred for life.

(Via Fark.)

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The future of marketing

A future of marketing, anyway:

We are a group of first year full time MBA students in UC Irvine doing a big marketing project on Hello Kitty and we really need a big favor from you — if possible, to complete this 5 min survey and also to post this survey on your blog or ask your friends to help out as well. We need data that can exclude demographic limitations so we need people from all over the world to do this and we are looking for more than 2000 participants. Please use your charm and also your passion for kitty to help us on this survey!

I am way short on charm, but I pay attention to Hello Kitty, so I did the survey. It’s fairly quick. The guy from whom I got the link, on the other hand, would probably have preferred that I hadn’t:

Something tells me these students have already lined up plum job positions at the corporate headquarters of the evil feline or are trying to weasel their way in by kissing some you know what. Seriously, if you were a student and could pick any marketing theme project to conduct, why on earth would you pick Hello Kitty?

Because Hello Kitty is a legitimate phenomenon, the first true Officially Licensed Blank Slate, receptor for all of our fantasies (well, not all of our fantasies, I suppose) in a single expressionless face: she makes Barack Obama look like David farging Mamet. This is no small accomplishment, even allowing for the fact that there are some people who will buy anything; it takes an evil genius to pull it off.

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Personally, I blame Reed Richards

Did you ever wish that the entire Hello Kitty phenomenon would just vanish from the face of the earth?

Well, this is not what you had in mind.

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Next: the Nursing Motherboard

Kitty MouseThere’s something fundamentally wrong with a mouse shaped like a cat, especially this cat. Quite apart from the species mismatch, the ergonomics of this thing don’t make sense: the scroll wheel and the buttons are located in the bow, which means that there’s a good chance your hand is hanging off the edge. Still, you and I both know people who will rush right out and buy this thing for $7.98, and at no point in the proceedings will they evaluate its capabilities as a pointing device.

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