You would have had to been born under a rock to be unfamiliar with Hello Kitty, the adorable character created by Japan’s Sanrio in 1974.
Through brilliant marketing, the company has produced thousands of bright pink Hello Kitty objects for children and adults alike; The Design Tree’s own Nathalie Mariano recently blogged about her past and present interest in the brand’s endearingly cute products.
But the obsession has reached new heights, literally, with the introduction of Hello Kitty planes. Sanrio partnered with Taiwanese EVA Airways to launch three Hello Kitty jets in October, 2011. Obviously it has been a popular move, as a few days ago EVA announced that two more planes will be added to the fleet at the end of the month.
EVA didn’t just stick a few logos on the hulls of their aircraft; passengers can expect a full immersion in Hello Kitty world for the duration of their flight, starting with the check-in kiosks. The blinding mix of pink and bows and stars resembles the bedroom of a twelve year-old. I simply cannot imagine a businessman checking in here!
During their trip, passengers are introduced to more than 100 specially designed Hello Kitty items, ranging from luggage tags and boarding passes to soap and toilet paper in the washrooms. If this isn’t enough for you, there are also limited edition duty-free products for sale onboard.
For those not obsessed with pink, the cabins are actually a rather lovely, muted shade of grey. And I think the little cushions are adorable and especially welcome in a time when such amenities are disappearing from other carriers.
The children’s meals look delightful and the fact that such an item is available speaks in part to EVA’s target audience for this venture. I don’t travel with children, so I am torn about these flights. Will all the memorabilia keep kids entertained (and quiet) or will they run riot like they would at an amusement park?
But EVA hasn’t forgotten the adults onboard. These meals (which I think are for business class) look delectable. Perhaps businessmen in the know will endure the embarrassment of check-in if this is what is waiting for them in transit!
(Photo: If It’s Hip, It’s Here)
The planes run between Taipei, Fukuoka, Narita, Sapporo, Incheon, Hong Kong, and Guam. I’ve never really been the biggest Hello Kitty fan (though I have always wanted the toaster that imprints bread with the a little smiling kitty) but if I was travelling to one of these locations and the price was right, I might give it a try just for novelty’s sake.
(Photo: Kitty Hell)
What about you? Is this a dream flight or your worst nightmare come true?