Monday, December 22, 2014

What to see at the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town in Malaysia

Back to back with Legoland, we visited the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town located at the Puteri Harbour Theme Park in Johor Bahru on a day trip from Singapore.

But if you've been to Sanrio Puroland in Japan, you may skip this.  Hello Kitty Town is very small compared to Puroland.  It's just probably the size of Puroland's cafeteria.  And as the name "Hello Kitty Town" implies, it's small and it's all about Hello Kitty (unlike in Puroland where each character has its own special section).

Anyway, with just an hour to spare, here's a glimpse of the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town:

Hello Kitty Cafe
You'll find this at the ground floor by the entrance of the Puteri Harbour Theme Park.  You may opt to   grab a quick snack here or the the Cinnamoroll Cafe inside the Hello Kitty Town.  

Check out the delectable Hello Kitty goodies!:)

The Hello Kitty Town is located at the second floor.  Here is the ultra cute entrance - 

For your kawaii (the Japanese for the word "cute") fix, make sure to visit the Hello Kitty House.  Here's the reception of the Hello Kitty House.  A bunch of school kids were on tour - everyone was having so much fun!  

Check out the White Family's cute piano.  Yes, White is the surname of Hello Kitty.  Hello Kitty's real name is Kitty White.

And look at the White Family's dining table.  Notice the Kitty-shaped backrest of the chairs?

Here is Hello Kitty's work desk and on the wall are some of her photos with family and friends.

Just to backtrack a little, here's a little trivia about Hello Kitty:   Kitty White was born and raised in the suburbs of London on November 1, 1974.

She has a twin sister named Mimmy (you know it's Mimmy if she wears a yellow ribbon on the right ear; Hello Kitty wears a red ribbon on the left ear).

The White Twins:  Hello Kitty and Mimmy
You're probably wondering why Hello Kitty is British, not Japanese.  According to the Sanrio history, at the time when Hello Kitty was created, Britain was considered very trendy in Japan, so they made her British.

As for her name,  Sanrio's motto is social communication so the creator wanted to reflect a greeting in her name. "Hi, Kitty" was considered as her name but they finally zeroed in on "Hello, Kitty".  Perhaps, that's why her friend's name is Dear Daniel, not simply Daniel.

BTW, do you know where Hello Kitty made her first appearance in Japan?  It was in a vinyl coin purse which featured her between a milk bottle and a goldfish bowl.  

First ever Hello Kitty item
Going back to the White Family house, here is Mimmy's bedroom.  Super cute!

And check out the toilet and bath which Mimmy and Hello Kitty share. 

The twins also have an adjoining walk-in closet.  Everything is kawaii! Haha...

And here is Hello Kitty's bedroom - 

And presenting the White Family's Kitchen -

Check out their plates and cups -

And stove!

And their kitchen appliances -

Everything is just kawaii!   

Other attractions inside the Hello Kitty Town are rides and activity rooms where kids can make Hello Kitty souvenirs (for an additional fee I think).

There are also scheduled appearances of Sanrio characters.  We were able to catch My Melody and Bad Badtz Maru.  

According to what I've read, the Black Wonder is the main attraction at the Hello Kitty Town.   It is described as a high tech, interactive game (using censors) where you will try to find Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel who have been kidnapped my Kuromi.  Unfortunately, we only had about an hour there and the next schedule for Black Wonder wasn't in sync with our remaining time.

As for shopping, there's no price advantage if you buy Sanrio items from the souvenir store.  But if you're looking for Little Twin Stars and My Melody stuff (which we don't have a lot locally, buy some and relive your childhood! Haha...).   I didn't shop anymore because when I went to Sanrio Puroland last April, I already bought a lot.  Haha...  

Last August, the headline "Hello Kitty is not a cat" rocked the world.  But Hello Kitty isn't  human either if that was what you concluded after reading the headline.  As Sanrio explained, Hello Kitty was created in the motif of a cat but she isn't a cat and not quite a human either.  In fact, Hello Kitty has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty, a white Persian cat.  Unlike Hello Kitty, Charmmy Kitty is depicted on all fours so she's definitely a cat.

Charmmy Kitty - Hello Kitty's pet cat
And just in case you're wondering why Hello Kitty doesn't have a mouth, it was done on purpose.   It signifies that she speaks from the heart and she isn't bound to any particular language.  She's considered a symbol of friendship and Sanrio hopes she will encourage friendship across the world.  

This year was a special year for Sanrio as Hello Kitty turned 40 years old on November 1.  You know how much she is worth today?  According to Wikipedia, she's worth USD7 Billion a year - and that is without advertising!   Whoa...

P.S. I spotted another interesting place at the Puteri Harbour Theme Park although it's still closed.   Check these out -  

I heart Batman.  Exciting! :)