Shortly after her creation in 1974, the first Hello Kitty product, a vinyl coin purse, was introduced by Sanrio.
Hello Kitty sold well after the 1974 launch, and Sanrio’s sales increased seven times. Hello Kitty was originally marketed only towards a child and preteen audience. In the 1990s, the target market for Hello Kitty was broadened to include teens and adults as a retro brand. Marketed to those who could not get Hello Kitty merchandise as children, or who fondly remember items they had, Sanrio began selling Hello Kitty branded products such as purses and laptops. The 1994–1996 Face series was the first to be designed for a more mature appeal.
According to Sanrio, in 1999 Hello Kitty appeared on 12,000 different products yearly. By 2008, Hello Kitty was responsible for half of Sanrio’s $1 billion revenue and there were over 50,000 different Hello Kitty branded products in more than 60 countries.
Hello Kitty and Mimmy celebrated their 40th Anniversary on 1 November 2014. The “Arigato Everyone Birthday Celebration” took place in Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo for several days.