April 02, 2002 - 9:57 a.m.

Why I Am Mad At Hello Kitty



Why I Feel Betrayed by Hello Kitty!


I am a big San Rio FAN. I started off collecting HELLO KITTY! merchandise way back when Americans had no idea who she was, what she did, or why. We were all attracted to that simplistic cat face that could sometimes suspend BODILESS on the tiniest, cute red plastic merchandise. It was almost ZEN. You didn't understand it, but, Hello Kitty! HYPNOTIZED you into taking products with her on it you thought wanted (but, didn't understand why) to the cashier and handing over all of your money for a tiny bag of TRINKETS.

When San Rio expanded its line to include other precious characters: dogs, frogs, and some other unrecognizable animals, I was in heaven! Particularly when Bad Batz Maru arrived on the scene. I diligently kept up my STAMP BOOKS in my wallet and made sure to go the DOUBLE stamp and (GASP!) triple stamp days! Once, I lost my wallet with about 10 completed stamp books. I was more pissed than the losing the money or the credit cards.

Then something AMISS was BREWING in San Rio land. You could feel it in the store when the Pekkle and Keroppi merchandise started dwindling. Soon, we were to hear the terrible news. They were being discontinued! Those 2 characters were the FAVORITES of my husband's and our best friend.

When I found her at TARGET, I almost cried. "Hello Kitty! has sold out!" I cried. She was no longer relegated to San Rio stores or SPECIALTY SHOP who would have a tiny display of her merchandise. She traded her CELEBRITY status to be WHORED out by Target (don't get me wrong, I love Target). Now you can buy a Hello Kitty! hair dryer for less than $20! At a San Rio shop, it would cost you $120!

Now, don't you shake your finger at me! I know she is MASS produced in JAPAN. That's Japan. I feel that Americans made a big leap of FAITH buying a CAT we know nothing about. We made her a celebrity in the United States. I still want to keep her on a PEDESTAL.

"Well," I told self, "maybe that's not so bad. A lot of kids do like her and now they can actually afford her." Production for the masses is not a bad thing. After all, we are a FREE MARKET society.

The final blow was when I found her CAROUSING with the PAUL FRANK monkey! Hello Kitty! has left her circle of friends to ROMP and prance and heavens knows what with that PRIMATE. We always knew Paul Frank was a sell-out. For some reason, that's what we love about him. Now, that the cat has climbed the ladder of SUCCESS and ABANDONED her friends, I can no longer buy anything with her on it.

Sniff. Goodbye Hello Kitty!. How I loved thee.

I just hope Batz Maru stays where he is!



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