In what may be the most ironic product names of all time hello kitty from Sanrio is selling a vibrating massager on it’s online store. It was being marketed as a “shoulder massager” but just take a look at it…
It all started back in 1997 when Sanrio gave a license to Genyo Co. to make a number of different Hello Kitty products. They produced all different types of products and one that was approved was a Hello Kitty shoulder massager. This was sent out to gift shops, restaurant chains, and other knick-knack stores and was truly sold as a shoulder massager around Japan initially.
It wasn’t long, however, that some people decided to use the shoulder massagers to massage other areas besides their shoulders. The Hello Kitty shoulder massagers that were being sold at the store down the street began to show up in adult movies. Soon they were also being sold in video shops and the sales of the product skyrocketed. Eventually it made its way online to be sold internationally as a “must have” toy.
When Sanrio found out that the shoulder massager was being sold as a sex toy, they claimed to be disgusted, especially since the Sanrio name and Hello Kitty character were on it. They immediately contacted Genyo Co. and asked them to stop. The Hello Kitty toy had at this point gained cult status and was selling like hotcakes and Genyo Co. had no intention of letting a hugely profitable product be taken off the shelf just because people were using it to stimulate other parts than intended. Sanrio tried to revoke Genyo’s licensing rights, but Genyo refused saying they had a valid license that had been approved and had spent much money developing the product.
Since Sanrio was supposedly so disgusted and enraged by this “shoulder massager,” but the company’s online store has begun reselling the item for $10 (1260 yen) in the Sanrio Japanese online store (in Japanese):
In a 2006 Elle/MSNBC.com survey, a whopping 40% of women said they had used a toy on themselves.