Sanrio / Hello Kitty (Japan)

Sanrio has defied all sceptics by establishing the cutesy Hello Kitty brand as a perennial favourite which, incredibly enough, has now been delighting the world for 40 years. The company specialises in what it calls "social communication gifts": toys, clothing, stationery and hundreds of other items adorned with the likeness of its internationally famous mascot. In fact, Hello Kitty herself is only the best-known of a cast currently numbering well over 100 different creations, including Kerokero keroppi, Sugar Bunnies, Chococat, naughty penguin Badtz Maru and the company's second most popular invention, floppy-eared puppy Cinnamoroll. It also has selected international rights to the Mr Men Little Miss character. Sanrio is effectively a retail operation, licensing the creation of a vast collection of products based around its characters, which it sells through its own worldwide store network. It also operates two Disney-style theme parks in the domestic market as well as restaurants and arcades. The business is still controlled and run by founder and head designer Shintaro Tsuji. Software company Sega Sammy is the largest minority shareholder and the two companies have an alliance to develop jointly owned characters. Sanrio's revenues for the year to 2014 were Y77bn ($770m). Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

Who are the competitors of Sanrio? see Toys & Games Sector index

Capsule checked 31st January 2015

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