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TORRANCE, Calif., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hello Kitty, the beloved pop icon created to inspire happiness around the world, is kicking off a year of festivities to celebrate her 40th Anniversary. In honor of this occasion, parent company Sanrio Inc. will present a world premiere Hello Kitty fan convention in partnership with Target, a first-of-its-kind museum exhibition, unique collaborations and limited edition commemorative products. Hello Kitty will celebrate her anniversary throughout the year with her devoted fans and continue to spread the message of friendship through the global 'Share a Hug with Hello Kitty' campaign.
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"Since her introduction 40 years ago, Hello Kitty has always been about providing happiness, friendship and fun to the world," said Janet Hsu, President and COO of Sanrio, Inc. "We commemorate this 40th Anniversary with milestone events, experiences, and special products to connect with and thank fans & celebrate the enduring appeal of Hello Kitty."
- Hello Kitty Con 2014 – The Fan Convention: The first ever Hello Kitty fan convention in the world, Hello Kitty Con 2014 will be presented in conjunction with Target and designed for enthusiasts from around the world to come together to celebrate all things Hello Kitty. Taking place at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, this milestone event places Hello Kitty fans at the center of the ultimate interactive experience. Fans will enjoy a full lineup of activations including the Hello Kitty Super Supermarket featuring a curated selection of vendors offering convention exclusives, products and experiences; a Hello Kitty retrospective and vintage shop selling rare collectibles from the past; integrated workshops, lectures and panel discussions; a tattoo shop; arcade; art installations; photo opportunities and more. Attendees will also be treated to sneak peeks into upcoming projects and partnerships and can find limited edition convention-only products and global exclusives at the official Hello Kitty Con 2014 pop-up shop. Target and Sanrio, celebrating more than 15 years as partners, will produce limited edition Hello Kitty product for the convention and Target will also offer special Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary product collections available at Target stores nationwide and online at Target.com beginning September 14. Hello Kitty Con 2014 will coincide with Hello Kitty's official birthday on November 1st, and will run from October 30th – November 2nd at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. A limited number of tickets are available now for purchase on the 40th Anniversary microsite at Sanrio.com (http://www.sanrio.com/hellokittycon-tickets/).
- Hello Kitty Museum Exhibition: The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles will host the first exhibition of its kind in the world in honor of Hello Kitty, opening October 11th and on view through April 26, 2015. 'Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty' will celebrate Hello Kitty's brand legacy and her influence on art and culture. Fans will have the opportunity to explore the evolution of Hello Kitty through a product retrospective of rare and iconic pieces from Sanrio's archives, an art exhibit featuring 40 mixed-media works by contemporary artists, lectures and panel discussions exploring the many facets of Hello Kitty, and classes and workshops offering hands-on Hello Kitty activities. The exhibition will also explore fans' emotional connection to the brand and Hello Kitty's influence on bridging Japanese and American cultures in the U.S. Christine Yano, author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific, and longtime Hello Kitty fan, will curate the retrospective component of the exhibition. Jamie Rivadeneira, founder and owner of pop culture-inspired boutique JapanLA, will curate the art component. The exhibition will be on view during the four days of Hello Kitty Con 2014 in October/November, making Southern California the destination for superfans. Tickets for Hello Kitty Con 2014 will also include admission to this exhibition during this limited four day period; JANM is located adjacent to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo.
- 40th Anniversary Collaborations & Products: Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary celebration will include a variety of product releases. Collaborations, unique licensed products and limited edition 40th Anniversary collectibles will launch throughout the year, with a selection of exclusives and vintage products available to fans attending Hello Kitty Con 2014. Sephora will create a special, signature collection for Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary that will launch this year and also be a part of the exclusive offering at Hello Kitty Con 2014. Other partnerships will include a diverse list of brands ranging from Mikimoto, Minnetonka and Chan Luu to national sports powerhouses Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Football League (NFL). The lineup will also include new product launches from popular collaborators Vans, New Era, Swarovski, McDonald's, tokidoki and many more.
- Share a Hug with Hello Kitty! Campaign: Hello Kitty will continue appearing at special events across the globe, giving hugs to her fans, and spreading the message of friendship. At every appearance, the hugs will be tallied and added to the Global Hug Report, available at http://www.sanrio.com/global-hug-report. Updates will also be available on Hello Kitty's social media accounts where fans can tag and share their posts using #HelloKittyHugs. This unique initiative is geared toward honoring and celebrating the ever-loyal and beloved Hello Kitty fans, while promoting the company philosophy of friendship, happiness and community. Fans can share a hug with Hello Kitty at Hello Kitty Con 2014, the exhibition at JANM, San Diego Comic-Con, "Hello Kitty Days" at select MLB team stadiums, collaboration launch events, participating Sanrio Store locations, and many more occasions.
Further details and updates on Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary celebration can be found at http://www.sanrio.com/hellokitty40th/. And fans can visit the 40th Anniversary microsite throughout the year to stay connected and informed about Hello Kitty Con 2014, JANM's Hello Kitty exhibit, exclusive products, the Global Hug Report, and more.
Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, who celebrates her 40th Anniversary this year. Home to many endearing characters including Chococat® My Melody®, Badtz-Maru® and Keroppi®, Sanrio was founded on the 'small gift, big smile®' philosophy – that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. Since 1960, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 15,000 U.S. retail locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 80 Sanrio boutiques. For more information please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.
Sanrio Contact: Orsi Public Relations
Dyann Hawkins/Sarah Danley (323) 874-4073
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