Cute is a way of life for the Japanese regardless of age — and occasionally gender. Rather like George Lucas’ The Force, it permeates all life, binding consumer and corporate galaxies together. The undeniable mistress of power in this universe is Sanrio’s Hello Kitty. It was inevitable that Kitty would join in a fearful synchronicity of marketing with Apple to create a limited-edition Hello Kitty iPod mini.
Kitty on her own was not quite cute enough to raise blood sugar to dangerously high levels, so Sanrio buddied with the impossibly popular (on both sides of the Pacific) BearBrick-series from Medicom Toy Corp. for — drum roll, please — the iPod mini-and-Hello Kitty-BearBrick set.
This cotton-candy pink iPod is stamped with the Hello Kitty face logo, comes with mascot metallic BearBrick (rendered as “Be@rbrick” in Mediacom marketing) key-chain accessories for your earphones (or wherever), a pink iPod mini-Hello Kitty case and poseable BearBrick stand — pink with Hello Kitty scrolled all over its little body, of course. Cost is 39,900 yen for the whole set; available at Sanrio stores in Japan from 25 March. A guaranteed must-have collectors’ item, we think.
– Gail Nakada