Think you’ve seen it all at Comic-Con? Well you haven’t seen Hello Kitty, because they are setting up on their own this year for the first time—or at least they will have an interactive Hello Kitty fan experience. (Aside: is this what you tell your children? “Hey kids would you like to go to the Hello Kitty Interactive Fan Experience today?”)
What will this fan experience entail? The Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland! And it comes with a graphic novel. Apparently it will be set up at Petco Park, where all the action seems to be this year, but a booth inside will be a Kitty-Chan Secret Space where…things will happen.
All the details are below, but we note there is no mention of Kuromi or Badtz Maru and those are the only Sanrio products we carry.
• Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland: Open to the public, this energetic hub is inspired by the styles of Tokyo and Japanese pop culture, putting Hello Kitty at the center of the ultimate fan experience at Comic-Con Interactive Zone at Petco Park. Hello Kitty’s band of Lolitas, who personify anime, cosplay and the colorful style of Japanese pop culture, will host fans at the experience. A retail pop-up shop will offer a mix of event-only and limited edition Japanimation-themed collectible Hello Kitty items, including a free poster with any purchase. Hello Kitty will be present to meet her fans in a Japanimation-style outfit that mirrors the collection of products that will debut at the show. On Friday, July 19th and Saturday, July 20th, a nail artist from Tokyo will be on hand to treat fans to a free Sanrio nail art application with any $25 purchase from the pop-up shop.
• Kitty-chan Secret Space: Inside the convention center, the fan experience continues at “Kitty-chan Secret Space” (booth 4537). A term of endearment used for Hello Kitty in Japan, “Kitty-chan” is a nod to superfans and a clue that this Comic-Con Hello Kitty is truly distinct. Comic-Con badge holders will have access to the limited edition pink Hello Kitty flocked collector’s figure by Funko that will go on sale each day. The first 50 fans to purchase the figure on Friday, July 19th and Saturday, July 20th will also receive a free customized drawing by one of Sanrio’s lead designers from Tokyo.
• Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland: A new graphic novel: Published in partnership with VIZ Media, this is the first-ever Hello Kitty graphic novel and it will make its debut at the retail pop-up shop. The Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland graphic novel features three stories, each by a different graphic artist: Jacob Chabot, Victoria Maderna and Ian McGinty.
• Hello Kitty Comic-Con on Social Media (#HelloKittySDCC): Fans can stay connected with all things Hello Kitty at Comic-Con through a variety of social elements aimed at both Comic-Con goers and those not attending the event. Hello Kitty’s millions of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram friends can share photos and access contests and behind-the-scenes footage to connect with their Hello Kitty fan community. The fun starts before Comic-Con with a Fan Fiction contest tied to the launch of the new graphic novel. Fans on-site and at home can stay engaged and entertained through a different interactive social media event each day of Comic-con including Uglydoll and Street Fighter promotions as well as a free download of the Japanimation photo app for a limited time.
• Limited Edition Products and Comic-Con Launches: A mix of Sanrio co-branded partnerships and special product launches at Comic-Con include:
o Hello Kitty Uglydoll: This collaboration will make its official debut at Comic-Con (booth 3245)
o Sanrio vinyl figures will be available from Funko (booth 5343)
o Limited edition Street Fighter x Sanrio plush at Toynami (booth 32290) and Capcom (booth 215)
o Additional Hello Kitty products at Comic-Con can be found at Mimoco (booths 5338 and 2913M), tokidoki (booth 5145) and Mighty Fine (booth 5647)
o The Hello Kitty ‘Japanimation’ product collection at the Hello Kitty Fashion Music Wonderland pop-up shop at Comic-Con Interactive Zone at Petco Park will include leggings, bodysuits, iPhone cases, a wrist watch, plush, cushions and much more
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.