Last month, Sanrio held a vote to see which of their adorable characters is most popular (Hello Kitty won, needless to say). Now that the dust has settled, it seems like there are no hard feelings over election season — at San Diego Comic-Con, Sanrio is introducing their new Hello Sanrio brand, which will bring all of their characters together in both merchandise and apps.
For the most part, Sanrio’s large cast of characters have existed independently, with Hello Kitty all too rarely interacting with Little Twin Stars, Keroppi, or Gudetama. But, shared universes are all the rage these days, and not even Sanrio or Hello Kitty are immune to the draw.
The whole enterprise will be underpinned by a new app (iOS and Android) launching this week called hello sanrio: say hello. If you remember Miitomo, the idea behind this isn’t much different — you create a Sanrio-style avatar for yourself, then interact with everyone else using the app. It’s your standard avatar-based community app, just way cuter because all of your Sanrio faves are in attendance. Of course, that means you’ll be able to build your own Sanrio home for your avatar, level up, and collect upgrades. And, like Miitomo, this is probably just the hub that will tie multiple apps together — Sanrio has already confirmed that more Hello Sanrio apps are in development.
But, Hello Sanrio is assuredly more than apps. Merchandise has always been their bread and butter, and that doesn’t change here. Most of us will have to wait until the holiday season, when Sanrio will unleash a full line of the usual merchandise — stationery, keychains, accessories, and the like. But, as always, those going to Comic-Con will get first dibs. At their booth, Sanrio will be selling a clear vinyl tote bag holding a limited edition set of five mini plush toys. That set includes Hello Kitty, Chococat, My Melody, Keroppi, and Pompompurin.
We don’t know too much else about Hello Sanrio yet, just that Comic-Con is going to be the launching pad for the new brand. All we know is that if Sanrio was able to rule the kingdom of kawaii with all their characters individually, we shudder to think what will be possible when they’re all brought together.