The first ever official Hello Kitty Con is making herstory at The Geffen Contemporary at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), which is located downtown Los Angeles (L.A.) in the Little Tokyo neighborhood. Festivities began the evening of Oct. 29 with a VIP preview/media event co-hosted by Target Corporation. Hello Kitty Con 2014 runs Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2014.
One of the many treats for the eyes that Hello Kitty Con attendees can see is the displayed under glass coin purse that started what forty years later (as of Nov. 1, 2014) surely can be referred to as the Hello Kitty (R) phenomenon. The coin purse originally retailed for 220 yen, which at that time was comparable to about seventy-five cents USD* or what would be about $2.71 USD now adjusted for inflation.
The event also includes a larger-than-life version of the coin purse created for fun photo opportunities.
Hello Kitty is the creation of Shintaro Tsuji, who established Yamanashi Silk Center Co. Ltd. with 1 million yen in capital in 1960. Since 1969, Sanrio Greetings Co., Ltd. was established with the credo of
“Small Gift Big Smile”
has grown into an 8 billion dollar business. Much of this company’s success is related to its being a textbook example of licensing at its best. Sanrio is currently ranked as the 6th largest brand licensor in the world.
Shintaro Tsuji also known as Papa Tsuji has a wish he shared in the Hello Kitty Con 2014 Official Guide Book that is
“…Sanrio’s small gifts to bring smiles to everyone and to promote friendship everywhere.”
The friendship sentiment will be prominent during Hello Kitty Con 2014 on the outside of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA with a mural reminding attendees
“You can never have too many friends.”
There is plenty for Hello Kitty Con 2014 attendees to see and participate in. Below is a list of some of what is available
- Hello Kitty will visit Friendship Village daily to hug and for photo ops.
- Friendship Station Pop-up Shop with a huge selection of Hello Kitty Con 2014 exclusives and gifts.
- Super SuperMarket with 29 exciting exhibitor booths such as Beats by Dr. Dre, Sephora, SPAM, BedHead Pajamas, Poketo and more.
- Sanrio Vintage Shop where vintage Hello Kitty merchandise is available for sale.
- Target Presents: The Adventures of Hello Kitty and Bullseye.
- Art Scene including an opportunity to create art and displayed art from artists Dabs Myla, Pose and Globe Poster.
- HK Ink! An actual tattoo shop where attendees have the opportunity to schedule (while appointments are still available) and receive Hello Kitty permanent tattoos
- Lovely Kitty Wonder couture curated by Stephiee Nguyen of JapanL.A. Clothing, and
- Hello Kitty Cafe Truck.
If all of this sounds like “I want to go to there” appealing to the at least fifteen million Hello Kitty fans as evidenced by the 15,083,939 (as this article was being written) likes the Hello Kitty Facebook page has, it may be a little sad to know that this first ever world event, Hello Kitty Con 2014, is sold out. Event badges are not transferable either.
If you are going to be in L.A. and would like to somehow participate even though you don’t have entree to Hello Kitty Con 2014 (HKC2014), the event is being enjoyed in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of Hello Kitty. There are some activities you can attend, like
- Explore the Supercute World of Hello Kitty at Japanese American National Museum (JANM, 100 N. Central Ave., adjacent to The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Ticket details can be accessed at www.janm.org. This option is open for attending through April 26, 2015. Actually, this option is available only for HKC2014 attendees until November 3, 2014.
- Visit the Hello! Exhibition Store which is adjacent to JANM. Also, only available to HKC2014 attendees until November 3, 2014.
- Participate in the Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt, which includes a special menu at Chado Tea Room, 369 E 1st St.. Chado Tea Room is also adjacent to JANM in Little Tokyo. Cafe Dulce, Xlixe Pizzeria and Zip Sushi & Izakaya are also Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt participants also located in Little Tokyo. This option is available through November 21, 2014.
- Visit L.A.’s located in the Korea Town neighborhood, less-than-a-year-young The Line, 3515 Wilshire Blvd., which is the official hotel for Hello Kitty Con 2014 with Hello Kitty art featured in the lobby. As an FYI, parking will be crazy with all of the attendees for these events. JANM (yellow line) and The Line (purple line) are easily accessible by public transportation including the Metro rail.
- Sanrio Costa Mesa, 3333 Bristol Street in Santa Ana will have a Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary celebration Nov. 1 from 1 – 5 p.m.
- Samrio Japanese Village, 115 Japanese Village Plazz Mall in L.A. is also having a Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary celebration Nov. 1.
If you are not going to be in L.A. during the days Hello Kitty Con 2014 runs, you aren’t attending, obviously.
However, there are ways to get a taste of the celebration from
- various reports that show up when you do a Hello Kitty Con 2014 internet search,
- updates from Hello Kitty’s Facebook page,
- updates from Sanrio.com Hello Kitty Con 2014 which includes but is not limited to their global hug report updates, and/or
- download the free Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary app.
Congratulations and Happy 40th Anniversary, Hello Kitty.
*1974 Japanese Yen Rate (JPY USD) 291.94