Small Gift? But I want a big gift!

It’s amazing that Sanrio has been around for fifty years and is as popular as it is in America, especially considering how so many of the ideas don’t translate cross-culturally. I mean, who the hell wants a small gift? In America we want big, awesome gifts that make loud noise and have flashing lights. Yet the most iconic character for Sanrio is a cat that has no voice or personality outside of the outfits that are designed for her. For whatever reason it’s so popular, Sanrio is fifty and we celebrated at the Small Gift event. We went during their “I Heart Nerds” party at one of the airplane hangars at Santa Monica Airport. People were dressed up as nerds in addition to the Sanrio characters.

Some of the giant balloons over looking the miniature golf course. When did a strawberry king and fish become characters in Sanrio?

What’s the name of the hamburger?

And the yellow dog with the nipple hat. Who is he? Should I be proud that I don’t know who these characters are now that I’m a grown man?

There was a great gallery of artwork based on the Sanrio characters. Even if you aren’t into Sanrio, it’s worth it to check out some of the art pieces.

This was our favorite piece there. It’s by an artist named Martin Hsu. A larger size can be viewed here.

This is a classic pose, but I always thought Hello Kitty was flipping the bird whenever I saw this.

There was even an exhibit that mashed up Sanrio and Fight Club.

Of course we had to get a picture with Hello Kitty herself. The headband and glasses I’m wearing were handed out at the door, yet our friend Jenny said to me, “Oh wow, you look so nerdy.” Uh, this is just me.

The costumes people were wearing were awesome.

Jenny and Michelle made sand art!

They even showed off some car wraps for Smart Cars. As if these cars could get any less masculine…

Ladies, look out for the Hello Kitty line of products at Sephora in 2011.

Whether you like it or not, Sanrio is here to stay. Here’s to another fifty years of cute, Japanese icons. Check out some more of my pictures here.