03-31-2008 09:47

The musical "Hello Kitty's Dream Light Fantasy" comes to the Beijing stage for a rousing reception. The little white kitten conceived thirty years ago, in Japan, is set for another round of Kitty-mania. Today's style watch takes a look at the kitten's phenomenal transformation from nameless character to one of the world's best paid cats.

Poster of "Hello Kitty's Dream Light Fantasy"

She is a little white kitten with a big head, a bow on her ear and a blank space where her mouth ought to be. It's a face that appears on over 20,000 products, selling in over 40 countries around the globe. Hello Kitty earns annual profits for her parent company, running into billions of U.S. Dollars.

Hello Kitty was conceived in 1974 by Sanrio. The Japanese company sold character-branded goods in Japan and in other parts of the world. Sanrio initially used the character on small merchandise, like coin purses and pencil boxes for little girls.

But to the amazement of Hello Kitty's creators, the cartoon feline attracted a huge number of fans. Sanrio applied the brand to a wider variety of products. By the early 2000s, Hello Kitty was featured on products ranging from vacuum cleaners to DVD players, toilet paper to sedans, and computers to candy. It's considered one of the most powerful brands in the world.

Different from other feline cartoon characters, like Doraemon or Garfield, there are no films or cartoon books featuring Hello Kitty. She still managed to capture the hearts of legions of children and young women. She's the world's top earning cat and stands right up alongside the world's most famous dog - Snoopy and the world's most popular bear - Winnie the Pooh.

The musical "Hello Kitty's Dream Light Fantasy" comes to the
Beijing stage for a rousing reception.

Over the past thirty years, the kitten without a mouth has kept on smiling. She's like a constant ray of sunshine for her many fans -- a character with whom many are able to share innermost feelings -- in an alienating world full of hustle and pressure. That's helped to bring about the success of many cartoon brands.

Kitty is a favorite not only among small kids, but also adults and even older people. Hello Kitty has become a cultural icon.