TORRANCE, Calif., June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- SANRIO, the global company behind such classic iconic characters as Hello Kitty®, Little Twin Stars®and My Melody®, is gearing up for a worldwide celebration that's sure to delight fans of all ages. The popular lifestyle company is turning 50 this year and will kick off a year long celebration in August, based on "small gift, big smile" - SANRIO's distinct philosophy that a small act of communication, friendship and sharing brings happiness to fans of all ages. To commemorate this milestone, SANRIO will launch unique co-branded collaborations, specially designed product collections featuring multiple iconic SANRIO characters, and exciting public events, designed to celebrate with their legions of devoted fans worldwide.
"Our philosophy of 'small gift, big smile' continues to be the foundation of SANRIO as we celebrate 50 years of friendship and fun," says Janet Hsu, President of SANRIO Global Consumer Products. "We commemorate this milestone with fans from around the world that have grown up with our characters and built a long-lasting relationship with the brand. Our year long celebration of events and product releases will be a special way for us to honor, thank, and celebrate with SANRIO fans of all ages."
SANRIO History: SANRIO was founded in 1960's Japan by Shintaro Tsuji, whose simple dream of bringing smiles to people's faces, grew into the brand's "small gift, big smile" philosophy. This philosophy has served as the inspiration for the legendarily broad spectrum of product bearing the likeness of beloved characters that has helped to skyrocket the brand into a $5 billion-a-year business. The last 50 years have bore literally hundreds of thousands of SANRIO products, making household names of not only pop icon Hello Kitty but also Keroppi®, My Melody®, Chococat® and Badtz-Maru®. All will be making appearances in this anniversary year, in addition to new characters Sugarbunnies™ and retro characters and fan favorites not regularly seen including Little Twin Stars®, Tuxedosam™, Patty & Jimmy™, and many others.
Collaborations & Products: As a "thank you" to their ever-loyal fans, SANRIO plans to unveil special co-branded collections, starting this summer with SANRIO x Dr. Martens. Signature Dr. Martens 8-eye boots & mary jane strap shoes will be bestowed a trademark Hello Kitty bow for this limited edition collection. Collaborations with a diverse group of brands including Brunswick, Girl Skateboard Co., Aerial7, Lomography, Demeter Fragrance, Mimobots, and Build-A-Bear Workshop will launch a plethora of amazing products at retail partners worldwide, featuring an assortment of SANRIO characters. A benchmark of SANRIO's 50th Anniversary will include iconic characters appearing together for the first time ever (outside of SANRIO's Harmonyland and Puroland theme parks in Japan), on products including the 8-eye Dr. Martens boot, a Brunswick bowling ball, iPhone cases, apparel, accessories and many other unique products. There will be plenty of signature "small gift" items at market as well, including pens and notebooks, coin purses, key caps & lunch cases, all carried in the 95+ SANRIO stores located across the country and at www.sanrio.com. "Our retail partners and licensees are equally as excited to be part of our 50th Anniversary celebration," says Ms. Hsu. "We are working with each on targeted programs to mark this special occasion."
Upcoming Events: In addition to in-store celebrations, contests, giveaways and gifts with purchase programs, SANRIO will host a series of events across the country, each with a pop-up shop offering additional limited-edition SANRIO 50th Anniversary items. For the truly die-hard fans, there will be a short film contest and an iPhone app that will alert them about limited-edition product releases. Surprise interactive get-togethers and other special anniversary events and contests will be announced online, and fans will have the opportunity to keep up to date on new products and events at www.sanrio.com as well as virally on Facebook and Twitter.
Many exciting details will emerge over the coming months on the milestone event so stay tuned and help us as we celebrate 50 years of all things SANRIO!
SANRIO, best known for global icon Hello Kitty® and home to many more endearing characters including Chococat®, My Melody®, and Keroppi®, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. August 2010 marks the golden anniversary for the worldwide lifestyle brand that was founded on the "small gift, big smile®" philosophy -- that a small gift can bring a big smile to people of all ages. Today, over 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are sold in over 70 countries around the world. In the Western Hemisphere SANRIO character-branded products are sold in upwards of 12,000 locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 95 Sanrio boutiques. For more information, please visit www.sanrio.com.