When we were at CE China last week, we saw what could become a huge tradeshow for the growing, if troubled, Chinese market. More importantly, we saw this amazing Hello Kitty washing machine and, like you, desperately wanted to know if we could get our hands on one. After application of limited Chinese language skills and a little help from a friend, we’ve been able to come up with an answer: no, unless we move to China.
The Hello Kitty washing machine is part of a new program from Haier in partnership with Suning, an electronics retailer in China. Haier is going to be making more custom, limited edition appliances like the Hello Kitty washing machine, which does have Sanrio’s blessing. This washing machine in particular will have a limited production run of 200,000 units, all of which will be available exclusively online through Suning.
There are three models available — a mini top-loaded washing machine, a regular-sized top-loaded machine, and the front-loaded machine we saw. The front-loaded machine is the limited edition model, and it looks like a deposit needs to be made on it by April 30. The deposit required is ￥399 (that’s Chinese renminbi, not Japanese yen), and the total price is ￥4399 (that’s about $680). It seems like a Hello Kitty Polaroid camera is also being thrown in as a preorder bonus, so all in all this is a pretty solid Hello Kitty deal. Consider us mad jealous.
The top-loaded machines are a bit cheaper at ￥3299 and ￥2199 and require deposits of ￥299 and ￥199. It looks to us like they’ll be available to order past April 30, although there are discounts if they’re ordered before that. The bad news for us is that all three can only be shipped to certain cities in China, and most definitely not New York. Come on Haier, don’t do us like this.