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.

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

Hello Kitty-themed restaurant in Beijing is now serving up dim sum

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Audrey Magazine:

In the last few years, we’ve been seeing Hello Kitty cafes and food trucks popping up to bring adorable desserts with Hello Kitty’s face or her signature red bow peeking up. With conventions and exhibits dedicated to our favorite Sanrio character, it’s obvious we just can’t get enough. Thankfully, it seems we keep getting more and more Hello Kitty everyday. In fact, now you can find Hello Kitty dim sum!

Before you get too excited, there’s one thing that may stand in your way. You’ll have to get a plane ticket to Hong Kong if you want to have dim sum in this Hello Kitty-themed restaurant. Although the very pink Hello Kitty Dreams Restaurant in Beijing was the first to bring savory foods inspired by the iconic character, this new dim sum restaurant is the first of its kind. Opening this month, it will also be serving noodle dishes, rice dishes and pretty much anything else you would typically find at a dim sum restaurant. Just much, much cuter to look at. We’ll just have to wait and see if they taste just as yummy as they look.

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Hopefully there will be a Hello Kitty dim sum restaurant popping up in the U.S. But in the meantime, let’s take a short preview tour of the restaurant below:

A Yohji Yamamoto/Hello Kitty line is in the works

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Hello Kitty and Yohji Yamamoto

NYMag (by Véronique Hyland):

The demographic that was thrilled over the Frozen/Comme des Garçons collab this winter has something new to look forward to. WWD reports that Sanrio, which famously owns the Hello Kitty empire, is teaming up with none other than Yohji Yamamoto for a new line, to be called Kitty’s. (Presumably, the spelling is a takeoff on the designer’s Y’s collection.)

The collection will include apparel and accessories sporting Hello Kitty and My Melody characters. The new brand will open two stores this spring, both in Japan, with prices ranging from about $72 to $330. Since it’s Yohji, we can only hope that plenty of deconstruction and monochrome black will offset the whimsy.

Everything you ever needed to know about Hello Kitty… and some things you didn’t

youre so PRETTY PRETTY

RocketNews 24:

The world’s most favorite mouthless cat recently turned 40 last year, but despite being around for four decades and having her likeness reproduced on nearly every item of clothing, stationary, and household good imaginable, there is a lot more to know about Hello Kitty than you probably realized, like her real name, her family members, and the fact that… she’s not exactly a cat after all?

Known to the English-speaking world as Hello Kitty, and referred to in her country of origin (which is Japan, of course) as Kitty-chan, according to her profile, her full name is Kitty White.

Her birthday is November 1, 1974, and while she was created by Japanese company Sanrio, her back story states she was born in the outskirts of London. Her height is “five apples”, her weight is “three apples”, and her favorite food? We’ll give you a hint: it includes apples again… Give up? The answer is: her mother’s apple pie.

▼Who wouldn’t love a slice of some freshly baked apple pie?

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Did you know Hello Kitty’s blood type is A? While blood type might not mean much to you unless you’ve had a blood transfusion (I personally didn’t even know my blood type for almost two decades of my life), the Japanese believe that your blood type has ties to your personality traits. So, for example, a person with type-A blood would be earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, and responsible. A fitting blood type for our sweet little Kitty!

Hello Kitty also has a twin sister named Mimmy, who tends to be shy and reserved, and enjoys doing handicrafts like patchwork and embroidery. To tell the two apart, Mimmy wears her bow on her right ear, and Kitty wears hers on her left.

In addition to her sister, Hello Kitty also has grandparents: grandmother Margaret and grandfather Anthony, and her mother and father Mary and George. Her mother is a housewife (formerly a pianist!) who enjoys making pastries, which would explain why Hello Kitty’s favorite food is apple pie!

But you may wonder, how does she eat that pie without a mouth? Truth is, it’s not that she doesn’t have a mouth, just that it’s not drawn. This is to allow the viewer to project their own feeling onto the character, allowing them to be happy or sad with her.

▼That is, until you watch the cartoon… Then you have NO CHOICE!

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Some of you Kitty-philes may have already caught the shocking news – and simultaneously had your world turned upside-down – that Hello Kitty isn’t a cat. The earth shattering revelation came about when a Sanrio representative was reported to have said, “She’s a cartoon character. She’s a little girl. She’s a friend. But she’s not a cat. She doesn’t walk on all fours- she has two legs, walks around, sits. She even has a pet.”

Perhaps saying shes not a cat is a bit much, but by definition she is a “gijinka”, or personification of a cat. Much in the same way that, while no one would call Mickey Mouse a human, he’s not exactly all mouse either.

Most surprising information of all, however, is the speculation that Hello Kitty was originally intended to be a boy. This comes from a mini-book that one used to be able to get along with the purchase of Sanrio goods, in which Kitty’s sister Mimmy calls her “onii-chan”, the Japanese word for older brother.

Floating Hello Kitty installation by Naoya Iwama