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by Katie Peachesa April 25, 2020 2 min read

The Hello Kitty Vibrator

By Tatyana Dyachenko

Hello Kitty is the cute Japanese cat that little girls have on their lunch boxes and hair bows. Never did we think that innocent Kitty Chan (as she is called in Japan) would be the subject of controversy in none other than, gasp! The world of sex toys.

Sanrio, the company that licenses characters such as Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru and Minna no Ta-bo, made a choice in 1997 that they would soon come to regret.

Sanrio licensed Genyo Co. Ltd to make a wide variety of Hello Kitty products. By far, this 30+ year-old icon is the most successful character, so when she showed up on everything from lunch boxes to chopsticks, the items flew off the racks.

Then Genyo made the product that would cast Hello Kitty the world of adult paraphernalia. A Hello Kitty vibrating shoulder massager was released, but we all know that body massagers soon find themselves pleasuring the nether regions that aren’t detailed in the instructions.

The shoulder massager managed to avoid being characterized as a sex toy for about two years. It was seen as a family item and even sold in local chain restaurants. Imagine the surprise on the faces of some Japanese citizens when they realized that the shoulder massager that they bought in Denny’s was being used by porn stars in their adult videos.

The vibrating Hello Kitty on top of a cylindrical handle was shown treating girls to much, much more than a shoulder massage. It wasn’t long before the item that was only supposed to be sold in Japan was being sold online and overseas as a sex toy. It quickly gained what many refer to as “cult status.”

Sanrio was horrified that the shoulder massager was being used as a vibrator, and furthermore that the company’s name was on it. When they attempted to revoke Genyo Co. Ltd’s licensing rights, the company fought back claiming that they had put too much money into the endeavor.

Luckily for Sanrio, Genyo Co. Ltd’s big bosses got themselves into a bit of trouble. That gave Sanrio that reason that they need to gain hold of the license again. Sanrio retrieved the mold for the infamous Hello Kitty shoulder massager (or should we say vibrator) and broke them all.

A few remained on the market, but when they were gone that was the end of the shoulder massager that caused so much trouble. Of course, Hello Kitty vibrators are still floating around. I’m sure someone is selling them for an outrageous price on E-bay, but right now they’re probably considered more of a collector’s item. You wouldn’t want to run the motor out during a long night of vibing just to find out that some fanatic is out there willing to pay thousands of dollars for one of the last remaining Hello Kitty vibrators.

Now, the Hello Kitty vibrator remains in history as an example of how humans will creatively find any way to circumvent laws (sex toys are illegal in Japan) and make new uses of even the most common tools.

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.


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