The Strangest Hello Kitty-Branded Garbage You Can Buy Right Now
Hello Kitty’s first-ever museum retrospective opens tomorrow in Los Angeles. The Japanese American National Museum is bracing for an extraordinary influx of pilgrims coming to pay tribute to the exhibition, which includes everything from the original Hello Kitty coin purse to Lady Gaga’s Hello Kitty gown.
The 40-year-old feline (or at least feline-ish) icon is the crown jewel of Japanese licensing magnate Sanrio, which has shrewdly authorized branding deals with the likes of Stratocaster, the L.A. Dodgers and the band KISS. And also, apparently, everyone else who asks. The absurd heights of devotion the character inspires in children and adults alike earns the company more than $7 billion a year—and there’s no accounting for the unimaginable number of knockoff products that borrow her likeness without permission.
From vibrators—uh, “shoulder massagers“—to Bibles, here are some of the many unexpected forms in which you can buy Hello Kitty. (Full disclosure: The author of this story once had Hello Kitty checks and a Hello Kitty debit card. She regrets nothing.)