Surely all of us either had a Hello Kitty toy, school bag or pencil case when they were younger, or sat next to someone in class who did. Hello Kitty is arguably Sanrio’s most well-known character, and now she, along with other beloved Sanrio characters like Pompompurin and Cinnamoroll, will be making a special appearance at Studio City in Macau for the exhibition Our Sanrio Times.
The exhibition, which will run until September 3, features 15 Sanrio-themed installations where people can view and take photos with characters from their past. The exhibition takes visitors through the Sanrio time tunnel, where more than 2,000 stuffed toy versions of Sanrio characters dating back from the 70s to the 00s, are on display.
Then there’s Hello Kitty herself, of course, who – quite literally – looms over the whole thing. An enormous 3.5 metres tall Hello Kitty is on display, and visitors are encouraged to take photos with her as they pass.
Even the most hardcore Sanrio buffs may learn something new about Hello Kitty at the exhibition – like how she isn’t, in fact, a cat at all.
Hello Kitty is actually a British schoolgirl called Kitty White, who lives with her family just outside of London in England. She even has an actual cat of her own, called Charmmy Kitty. Another little fact we learned: Hello Kitty, created in 1974, is also the US children’s ambassador for Unicef, and has been since 1983.
Other installations include a class where Sanrio fans can learn to draw their favourite characters. Artists from Japan are also on hand to take visitors through step-by-step tutorials on how various characters are created.
Visitors can also check out Sanrio Town, where they will be transported, via a giant toy steam train, to 1970s Tokyo to the world’s first Sanrio Gift Gate. Do you remember how excited you were when you received your first Hello Kitty watch, or your first Little Twin Stars keyring? Relive that moment here.
Ever wanted to grace the cover of a magazine? You can here – there are plenty of photo booths, where guests can snap a shot of themselves on the cover of Strawberry News, Sanrio’s official magazine. If you want to learn more about the mag, you can check out the first edition, published in October 1974, in the Strawberry Newsroom.
The last installation is full of scenes depicting the Sanrio characters in Macau – featuring landmarks like the ruins of St Paul’s, the Macau Tower and Coloane. If you’ve ever fancied taking a tour of Macau with the Sanrio family, now is your chance!
Finish off your visit to Our Sanrio Times with a stop at the gift shop – try to control your impulse to buy everything in sight. It’ll be hard, trust us.
Our Sanrio Times is a one-way exhibition (you can’t double back on yourself), so take your time, and make sure you’ve taken enough photos before you move onto the next installation.