As Japan's birthrate continues to sink like a stone, the nation's toymakers find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The answer? Go upmarket to an older demographic desperate to hang onto their idyllic youth! The result, when it comes to icon of cuteness Hello Kitty, is a succession of new products that are anything but childlike.
Take the Sanrio Hello Kitty x BALZAC Cell Phone Strap. The official collaboration with BALZAC (one of Japan's leading goth-punk bands over the past decade & a half)
results in Hello Kitty's classic red hair bow featuring a skull motif.
Her tight black cat-suit now shows off her skeleton! As cellphone maven
Strapya World so eloquently puts it, "Kitty shouts in horror punk look! She's a cutie and horrible horror punk kid!"
Sanrio's co-marketing venture with BALZAC extends beyond cellphone charms to mugs, posters and more - though one has to wonder whether BALZAC will be displaying Hello Kitty graphics at their concerts and live shows... I'm guessing NO.