Confessions of a Hello Kitty Pack Rat…
When I was a little girl, I looooooved Hello Kitty and all her Sanrio friends. I mean, if you’ve got 2 x-chromosomes, you pretty much grew up knowing (and maybe loving) Hello Kitty. I don’t know why I was such a fanatic, but I know she and the other cast of characters became more “important” to me when I moved to Texas when I was 7 or 8. It was a familiar thing, a constant in the changing landscape. Asians did not dominate my new classroom, and it felt weird to be the minority. I suddenly felt the way Marcus, the only non-Asian boy in the entire grade in Oakland (haha which is funny), probably would have felt. And because of Hello Kitty, I was able to make friends with other girls in my class. Some of them were still completely rude (it is also strange to admit that I remember most of those awful transgressions, but I don’t think one can ever forget acts of racial discrimination, especially by that of a person who was supposed to be older and wiser and of authority), but in general they liked me cos of my cute Hello Kitty paraphernalia.
I never ran out of Hello Kitty things to share; around this time of my life, my mom and I returned to Hong Kong every year during the summer to visit relatives, who showered me with Hello Kitty stickers, stationary, plushies, and other crap I don’t remember. I now think stickers are a waste of freaking money because they’re not reusable anyway, and I remember sticking them EVERYWHERE. Oh, Sailormoon was a big favourite at this time too, so they also gave me a whole bunch of Sailormoon crap… like this denim romper and jean jacket set with Sailormoon’s face and name emblazoned on the back. I thought I was so cool back then. Now I’m just :-|
Anyway. Mom and I eventually found a store in town that sold Sanrio stuff, and it was pretty far from where we lived so I made sure to ‘stock up’ each time we were there. It wasn’t like I bought everything in the store – just a few select pencils and mini sticker booklets and stuff. But then that mall became more ghetto, so we didn’t go as often anymore, and one of the last few times I was there, it got closed down. Bummer. BUT WAIT. A few months later or maybe it was a year or something – whatever, time doesn’t matter here – the Galleria opened up a Sanrio store in the food court, and I was no longer special with my Hello Kitty stuff because then it started to become more maintstream and shit.
ANYWAY. The whole point to this story is I loved Hello Kitty and I knew where to get it and I knew how to use her to make me special with some of the girls in the class. Whatever. By the time I was in high school, I had a whole bunch of plushies, stationary, bath towels – you name it and I probably got it, minus the kitchen accessories and stuff because seriously, why would I have need a toaster that etched Hello Kitty’s face on it?
Since then, I haven’t bought much of Hello Kitty anything. I traded her in for clothes and shoes. So, a few months ago, my dad’s best friend in Hong Kong calls him up and asks to confirm our address because the post office sent him back his package intended for me. This conversation ensues:
Dad: What are you doin, man? What are you sendin’ her?
Uncle: Dude, I got these Hello Kitty toys…
Dad: Yo, man… do you even know how old homegirl is right now? She’s marry-able – way too old to be playin’ with Hello Kitty shiet.
Uncle: Dude, they’re just collectin’ dust and I got them with my McDonald’s meal, dude.
[sidebar: Now, you're probably thinking 'wtf is homeboy doing eating Happy Meals?' considering here in the States, toys only come with Happy Meals. But Hong Kongers are different and they don't play when it comes to their Hello Kitty paraphenilia. I remember back in 1999 McDonald's teamed up with some company and churned out these collectible Hello Kitty plushies. They had her and her boyfriend, Dear Daniel, dressed up in school uniforms, wedding attire, etc. I think each set was only available for a week until they brought out another set. If you bought 17HKD (~$2) worth of food, you can buy one of the plushies for about 20HKD (~$2.50). How awesuuum. It was so awesuuum to Hong Kongers that they waited in lines as long as what we see here at Walmart on Black Friday to get these plushies. So, yeah. It was soooo successful that they've continued this madness.]
This is also the same uncle that got me this Hello Kitty music box made for babies. It played music (duh) and the moon thing rocked back and forth and turned different pastel colours. I was probably 12 around that time… definitely not a baby. :-| Anyway.
So my dad tells him our address, and yesterday, I got the package.
It’s about at this time I realize that he probably didn’t eat at McDonald’s five million times and just got them as a set.
I didn’t know what they were or what to do with them. I thought it’d be silly to open them up and play with them beecause what if they were worth mooonay? So I googled and found out they’re called KITTYBRICK from around 2006. (no joke about collecting dust, I guess) And since I’m quite sentimental, I am a bit of a pack rat. I’m thinking I may just stick them in my room somewhere or up in the attic as I’ve already got way too much Hello Kitty stuff hiding in my room.
So I’ve actually got a story about plushies. As you can see 5 of those Hello Kitties are from the 1999 McDonald’s collection. I didn’t get the rest of them cos I had to return to the States and all. I was very sad. I also didn’t wait in line for these because my mom was not going to allow me to get that cray-cray over them. Speaking of my mom and plushies. A looong time ago, my mom got me this Green Apple Hello Kitty plushie from the store, and it smelled like the typical manufactured green apple smell. I refused to open the package because I didn’t want it to lose its smell so quickly. HOWEVER, Mom decided it would be a REALLY awesome idea to give one of her co-worker’s daughter a present, so she went into my room and just picked up something out of the bag and GAVE IT TO HER. Needless to say, as that Hello Kitty plushie was ‘rare’ (I dunno, I haven’t been able to find another like it thus far) I HAD A FIT. It was a really traumatic experience, and Mommy got in trouble with Daddy :-x Whoopsie. (I know this makes me out to be a really fucking annoying spoiled brat, which I’m not, but whatever. I was like 13 or something and just not having it.) Alright.. moving on… pencils and pens, y’all. Cos I need multicoloured pens with the Sanrio label on it as if other pens didn’t work.
Then the above stuff are just stickers. Lots and lots of retarded unopen stickers. I don’t really want to open and use them, so they’re just… sitting in a box. Also LOOK, WE ARE DINOSAURS. I liked dinos a lot too, you guys. I still do, but anyway. So yeah, we are dinosaurs are kind of rare now too, I think cos I haven’t seen them out and about. The dinos on the left are not we are dinosaurs, though they are dinosaurs… Anyway. whatever.
This is the only thing that’s out in the open, and it holds all my calligraphy pens and Chinese brushes and paints.
So, uh, yeah. I have way to much Hello Kitty stuff that I’m not willing to part with yet even though I’ve outgrown them. I may just put it all on ebay eventually. We’ll see. They were selling the KittyBricks for like $6 each….