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First Hello Kitty ‘pop-up’ cafe opens in Irvine

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OC Register (by Nancy Luna):
Sanrio will open the first Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container in the U.S. at the Irvine Spectrum Center on Friday. Housed within a metal shipping container, the pop-up cafe sells an assortment of baked goods, pastries, cookies and espresso drinks featuring Portola Coffee Lab coffee.NANCY LUNA, STAFF
About the cafe:

The Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up is having its grand opening this weekend at the Irvine Spectrum, in the Giant Wheel Court.

Its hours are:

Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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The temporary cafe, initially expected to debut over the holidays, opened at 11 a.m. today. It was so popular, drawing a line of about 200 people, the store temporarily shuttered. It was expected to reopen later in the day, according to a representative at Spectrum Center.

The cafe is housed in a bedazzled steel shipping container — refurbished with pink and white Hello Kitty hues. The menu features a limited assortment of cookies, pastries and pint-sized cakes, as well as hot and cold beverages.

Signature drinks include strawberry mint lemonade, peach iced tea and passion fruit tea. Espresso drinks feature coffee sourced from award-winning local roaster Portola Coffee Lab. Menu prices range from $4 to $11.50 for desserts, and $3 to $5.50 for beverages. (Note: Coffee comes only in a 16 oz. size. Sorry skim fans, but only whole milk is served here.)

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Every item on the menu pays homage to the pop icon, first introduced to the world 42 years ago. Pastries are topped with Hello Kitty-shaped shortbread cookies, or bows. Plastic water bottles ($3) are bow-shaped. Hello Kitty’s face is stenciled with cocoa powder on the milk foam of latte drinks.

Allan Tea, managing partner of the cafe, said the container will stay at the Irvine mall for a year before moving on to its next location. Tea and Sanrio marketing representative David Marchi said Sanrio and the Irvine Co. are in negotiations to bring the first U.S.-based brick and mortar Hello Kitty Cafe to Irvine.

Sanrio has other themed cafes in other countries. But there’s no brick and mortar cafe dedicated exclusively to Hello Kitty in the United States, Marchi said. “This (pop-up) is the first of its kind,” he said.

Over the last 12 months, the Hello Kitty food truck has parked at the center twice, triggering throngs of shoppers. The turnout prompted Sanrio to choose the Spectrum as home base for its first Hello Kitty pop-up cafe.

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We know we have a huge fan base here,” Marchi said.

The cafe does not sell savory dishes — only desserts. Some merchandise such as ceramic mugs and T-shirts also will be sold at the cafe, located at the Giant Wheel Court at the mall.

The first 50 customers each day through Sunday will get a limited edition key chain.

Neko motorcycle helmets featuring cute cat designs are purr-fect for cosplay and for the road

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

Cats are continuing on their quest to rule the world, and this time they aim to stop traffic with their cuteness.

This stunning collection of headgear, called Neko Helmets, or “Cat Helmets”, comes in 12 different designs, all featuring an adorable set of cat ears and a variety of color combinations.

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The helmets have been created by a Russian company called Nitrinos motostudio, who first unleashed their feline designs at a festival of Japanese culture in 2011. Since then, they’ve developed four custom-made styles which range from basic colour types through to more bold, printed varieties.

▼ Single-colour helmets, featuring either a gloss or matte finish, retail for US$495

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▼ Dual colour styles add a second colour and lines on the helmet according to individual specifications for $550.

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The tri-colour model ($590) incorporates any three colours of your choosing, which makes it a perfect way to match your helmet with your outfit.

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While the designs look amazing, they also have comfort in mind by providing double ventilation and a removable 100% polyester lining. In case of an accident, the fibreglass ears detach without any structural damage to the body of the helmet, and the shape won’t generate any additional resistance at speeds of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour.

▼ Each helmet weighs 1.78 kilograms (3.9 pounds).

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For the full traffic-stopping effect, the company offers a special “aerography” design, which creates complex patterns on the body of the helmet and the visor if requested.

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These designs take a little longer to perfect, but with this service they’re able to create your own personal design from any picture or photograph you provide. Which means you’ll be able to protect your head while looking like your own cat or even an anime character like Hello Kitty!

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All helmets are made to order within three weeks, with worldwide delivery provided via EMS delivery service.

To check out their full range, visit their website here for more details.

Hello Kitty skull ring and skull necklace

 

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RocketNews 24 (byPreston Phro):

You think you’re metal? Well, we bet you’re not half as metal as these silver Hello Kitty skull accessories!

Of course, you don’t have to be a metalhead, goth, or punk to enjoy a Hello Kitty skull ring or necklace, but we bet it helps! Regardless of what your preferred music is, these accessories help you bring the perfect blend of cute and badass wherever you go.

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Produced by JAM HOME MADE, the rings cost 31,320 yen (about US$264) and come in five different sizes. With a rhodium-plated surface, the skull are equipped with Kitty-chan’s distinguishing features — namely a red ribbon and a cute yellow nose. They also have dark black eye holes, perfect for staring into when someone else is hogging the abyss.

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If the ring is a bit too pricey for you, you can always opt for a necklace instead, which costs 17,280 yen (about $145). Though the pendant is smaller than the ring, it still offers the same ribbon and nose and comes with a 45-centimeter (17.7-inch) chain.

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Prices listed above include tax and shipping is free — if you live in Japan. For those of you outside Japan, you’ll have to use a reshipping service, since Jam Home Made doesn’t accept international orders. If you’d prefer to make your purchase in person, you could try going to one of Jam Home Made’s locations in Osaka or Tokyo when the accessories officially go on sale January 30.

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Hello Kitty x Mazinger Z die-cast crossover toys unveiled with anime short

Rocketnews 24/Anime News Network:

Bandai posted an English-subtitled anime short to promote its Mazinger Z and Hello Kitty crossover project on Wednesday.

The video also teases a possible collaboration between Getter Robo and My Melody at the 1:45 mark.

The Mazinger Z and Hello Kitty collaboration will include two revamped toys in Bandai’s Chogokin line. The Hello Kitty toy now comes in the colors and likeness of Mazinger Z, which includes a pop-open cockpit featuring a Hello Kitty mini-figure in Koji Kabuto’s uniform.

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The Mazinger Z toy uses the Super Robot Chogokin Mazinger Z as a base, and is painted in Hello Kitty colors. It includes a special belt for its Jet Scrander pack that features a Hello Kitty symbol.

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Both toys have replaceable parts that allow them to depict the handshake shown in the short anime.

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The crossover Chogokin Hello Kitty is slated for release in May, while the revamped Mazinger Z is slated for June.

Bandai will also release the Chogokin toy of Sanrio character My Melody on January 18. The release celebrates the character’s 40th anniversary.

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InStyle: Hello Kitty is getting her wwn museum exhibit in Seattle this fall

Hello Kitty Is Getting Her Own Museum Exhibit in Seattle This Fall

InStyle (by Tess Kornfeld):

Hello Kitty just turned 40, and she’s celebrating the big milestone by hitting up the West Coast. But she’s not leaving Japan for the sunny beaches of California as you might expect. Instead, our favorite cartoon cat is getting her very own exhibit at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA.

Starting on November 14, the Hello! Exploring the Supercute World Of Hello Kitty retrospective will be on display, honoring the 40th anniversary of Sanrio‘s bow-wearing and pink-loving pop culture phenomenon—even though we don’t think she looks like she’s aged a day.

The exhibition, which comes straight from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, will look back at Hello Kitty’s evolution over time. And get ready for some major flashback moments. Among the artwork and pieces featured will be over 600 Hello Kitty products that have been released since the character was just a wee little kitten. Some of the vintage treasures like stationery and the first telephone to feature Hello Kitty go back as far as the 1970s. But the exhibit also features more modern pieces, such as the iconic plush toy-covered Hello Kitty dress worn by Lady Gaga in 2009 (shown above) and a couture bustier that Katy Perry wore to the Brit Awards that same year.

You can catch the fabulous feline’s exhibit in Seattle through May 2016. And the Sanrio star’s East Coast fans may get to join in on the fun soon, too. The brand is hoping to bring the exhibit to additional museums throughout the country, although specific plans have yet to be announced. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.

Hello Kitty Doc Martens Boot

“The Gaze of Kitty” by Kazuki Takamatsu

“Kittypatra” by Simone Legno for Tokidoki

Things you won’t believe Chinese tourists are buying in Japan: drugstore edition

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RocketNews 24:

Often when you visit another country, one thing on everyone’s to-do list is a little shopping. It’s always interesting to see what products a foreign country offers that you can’t find back home. It’s also weird and fun to see the products you are familiar with presented in a different way.

One of the main reasons Chinese tourists visit Japan is to shop. It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese visitor enter a store and drop the equivalent of hundreds of U.S. dollars – usually in cash – on seemingly everyday products like clothes or electronics, but in some cases store shelves are picked completely clean.

But what’s on these tourists’ shopping lists? Here are 11 “godly” pharmacy products that Chinese visitors simply have to buy when they visit Japan.

When thinking about your next vacation, you normally wouldn’t consider over the counter medicinal goods to be the purpose of your trip. That’s exactly the reason for many Chinese tourists, though, who come to Japan and line up in front of drugstores before they even open. These shoppers will buy a bunch of items in bulk and leave having spent on average 20-30,000 yen (US$160-240), with some big-time shoppers spending close to 50,000 yen at one drug store.

Can’t think of $200 worth of things to buy at a drugstore? Well, maybe you will after reading this list.

1. Eye drops

2. Anti-inflammatory medicine

3. Liquid bandages

4. Cooling patches

5. Headache medicine

6. Keratin softener

7. Cysteine medicine

8. Constipation medicine

9. Canker sore medicine

10. Feminine hygiene products

11. Throat lozenges/cough drops

It may seem strange for eye drops to be at the top of the list, but it’s not uncommon for Chinese people to carry them in their purse, back pocket or pencil case. When Chinese shoppers are asked why they buy these in Japan, they reportedly answer, “Chinese products don’t work at all, whereas Japanese items, especially painkillers, are really effective.”

We suppose it makes sense to stock up after all!

Another popular commodity is adhesive bandages/plasters, especially amongst women. They claim that Japanese plasters don’t come off when you are cooking or getting your hands wet, making them much more convenient. Adhesive bandages are also cheap and light, so they make for a good souvenir and can be bought in bulk.

▼ Or they want these super cute Band-Aids!

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Chinese shoppers’ comments that Japanese medicine is more effective might seem odd to expatriates living in Japan, since dosages for painkillers and other medicine are usually quite a bit lower than versions you can find in western countries. However, since China is much closer to Japan than the U.S., Chinese travelers looking to buy some non-prescription drugs will continue to flock to Japan, and around 10 million Chinese tourists are expected to visit Japan this year alone.

If you happen to be suffering from dry eyes while in Japan and pop into a store to find them all sold out of eye drops, now you know why. You may find yourself lining up before the stores open just to get some!

Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse arrested in Times Square brawl

Costumed characters Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty got into a brawl over tips in Times Square on Thursday.
NY Daily News (Jake Rullman)

The claws came out when Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty got into a fight in Times Square Thursday, police said. The costumed characters came to blows over tips in the middle of the Crossroads of the World around 3:30 p.m., police said.

Sandra Mocha, 34, of Queens, and Giovanna Melendez, 40, of New Jersey, were cuffed at the scene and charged with assault, cops said.

This is another reason why we need regulations to address the growing problems in Times Square,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said about the brawl.

 

Sandra Mocha, 34, of Queens, and Giovanna Melendez, 40, of New Jersey, were cuffed at the scene.
The pair were charged with assault, cops said.

The pair were charged with assault, cops said.