Sanrio Expands Hardlines Category Partnerships; Supports Growth with Two New Staff Developments

TORRANCE, Calif., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanrio's global lifestyle brand Hello Kitty® continues to deliver a multi-generational appeal that's seen in a host of exciting new licensed products in 2013. With a dramatic increase in the hardlines and infant categories, the extensive assortment of new products include Blip, Fashion Angels, Just Play and University Games in the toy category; MMA International and Street Flyers in the sporting goods category; Baby Trend, Ginsey and International Playthings in the infant category; and LeapFrog and VIZ Media in the digital and publishing categories. 

Ongoing Sanrio partnerships remain valuable and vital, as well. Dynacraft bikes and Bell protective gear and helmets, for example, have laid the groundwork for growth in the sporting goods category and a new partnership with Street Flyers, which offers active skates, skateboards and pogo sticks, keeps the girls' category energized. Established Sanrio partners Ty, Jada Toys, Mega Brands and Horizon continue to deliver as mainstay hardlines partners, delivering a variety of Hello Kitty products appealing to a range of ages.

In the infant market, co-brand partnerships with aden + anais and Trumpette have been integral in reaching adult Hello Kitty fans looking for chic, quality products for their newborns, infants and toddlers. These savvy moms are thrilled to pass on the nostalgia and warmth synonymous with Hello Kitty, proving this to be a brand consumers never outgrow.

New Sanrio Appointments Reflect Sanrio's Ongoing Success

Sanrio actively supports its growth and success with two new executive appointments. Tori Cook has been promoted to Vice President, Retail and Business Development, reporting directly to Janet Hsu, President & COO of Sanrio Inc, based in Torrance, CA. Tori's new responsibilities include identifying and building additional consumer touch points through national promotions as well as developing retail strategies across all tiers of distribution; she will also work closely with licensees and retailers on execution. Previously, Tori was Executive Director, Retail Business Development.

Bobby Saygan has been hired as Art Director, Hardlines, also reporting directly to Janet Hsu. In this role, Bobby will lead the creative team in oversight of all hardlines categories, publishing and digital content development from the Sanrio Torrance headquarters. Prior to Sanrio, Bobby was employed at Disney Consumer Products working across all brands including Marvel, with a focus on toys and innovation.

"Tori has played a key role in building Sanrio's retail programs which have contributed significantly to the company's overall growth. Her experience and knowledge will further strengthen these programs in her new position as Vice President of Retail and Business Development. Bobby, in his new role as Art Director of Hardlines, will be instrumental in driving the creative vision for our expanding hardlines categories," said Janet Hsu. "As we continue to focus on strategic licensing programs and building retail partnerships, these executive appointments will help support our current initiatives as well as broaden our business ventures for the future."

Sanrio Licensing Partnerships - New for 2013:

Toys
Blip Toys – Large & small dolls, plush, novelty & playsets

Just Play – Plush toys

Fashion Angels – Sketch Portfolio, Hair Chox & Tapefitti

University Games – Colorforms

Ohio Art – Doodle sketch, etch a sketch and Nano Blocks

Sporting Goods
MMA International – Tennis, volleyball, basketball & soccer equipment

Street Flyers – Skates, skateboards & pogo sticks for girls

Brainstorm – Kites

Life+Gear – Flashlights & night lights

Infant
Baby Trend – Infant gear including car seats, strollers, play yards, high chairs

Ginsey – Bath accessories

International Playthings – Soft infant toys

aden + anais – Blankets (including swaddles), bibs, hooded towel and washcloth sets

Trumpette – Socks, leggings, shoes and accessories

Digital/Publishing
LeapFrog – Educational learning systems

VIZ Media – Graphic novels

About Sanrio

Sanrio, best known for global icon Hello Kitty and home to many endearing characters including Chococat, My Melody, and Keroppi, is a worldwide lifestyle brand founded on the "small gift, big smile®" philosophy -- that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. For over 50 years, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique Sanrio products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 12,000 U.S. locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 100 Sanrio boutiques. For more information, please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.

Sanrio Contact: Orsi Public Relations
Dyann Hawkins - Email / Lexi Klein - Email
(323) 874-4073

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Sanrio



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