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Hello Kitty not a cat, creators reveal | Ents & Arts News

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After 50 years in business and annual retail sales of $5bn (£3.87bn) last year, you may think Hello Kitty is the cat that got the cream.

But she’s not a cat at all, according to her creators.

“She’s actually a little girl – born and raised in the suburbs of London,” said Jill Cook, the director of retail business development at Sanrio, the Japanese company that made the iconic character.

“She has a mum and dad and a twin sister Mimmy, who is also her best friend.”

The "Hello Kitty" balloon makes its way down 6th Avenue during the 89th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York, November 26, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
The Hello Kitty balloon makes its way through Manhattan in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in 2015. Pic: Reuters

She also enjoys baking cookies and making new friends.

Ms Cook revealed to Sky’s US partner network NBC’s Today Show the character “weighs three apples and is five apples tall”.

Hello Kitty – who has whiskers despite being a human child – has her own cat, a boyfriend called Daniel, and hundreds of friends, her creator said.

“Her core message is friendship, kindness and inclusivity and part of what has helped her transcend borders, languages, cultures is that that’s understandable to everyone,” Ms Cook said.

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Hello Kitty was created in 1974 and first appeared on a children’s coin purse in Japan.

Since then, Hello Kitty has become one of the most recognisable characters in pop culture, with toys, TV cartoon shows, a theme park and clothing all contributing to its success.

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King Charles even wished her an early happy birthday at a state banquet last month during Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako’s visit to the UK.

A live-action Hello Kitty feature film was also announced in 2019.

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