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 more than 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 My Melody, Gudetama, 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 and Little Miss characters. 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 - Sanrio Puroland and Harmony Land - 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 2016 were Y72bn ($603m). The company's most valuable international markets are the US, Germany, Hong Kong and mainland China. 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 24th February 2017

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