October 11, 2016
We got to speak with Hans N Tranberg, one of our most passionate UK-based Hello Kitty boys…
– Can you remember what the first Hello Kitty product you bought was?
I remember my first encounter with Hello Kitty so well! It was back in Norway when I was about 4 years old, so around 1991/1992. My Mum and I, as well as her best friend and her son who was my age, went on a trip on the ‘Color Line’ ferry to go on a mini holiday to Denmark. The trip at the time took about 14 hours and was an overnight experience, which included kids performances and buffet restaurants on the ferry. But the best of all was the huge duty free shop, which meant CANDY! I remember this so well, because my Mum bought me a set with Hello Kitty lollipops that were also whistles. They came in a beautiful blue and red wrapping, showing Kitty eating an apple, and it was love at first sight for me!
Ever since, my mum would always buy these for me whenever she was travelling. One time, she also bought me a sweet set which came with a Hello Kitty floating ball toy. It featured Hello Kitty riding a little red plane. I kept that toy for years.
– What is your favourite item in your collection?
It’s so hard to choose, I love it all! I have a lot of old collectors stuff as well as a lot of new Hello Kitty products. I tend to LOVE collaborations and I have some fab Funko Pop Hello Kitty x Kiss figurines. My favourite is the Hello Kitty toy that is designed as Gene Simmons (The Demon) with its tongue out!
I also have some cute Hello Kitty x McDonald’s plushes in traditional Asian wedding costumes. I have all three: Chinese, Korean and Japanese bride and groom sets. I do have to point out that I am obsessed with my Hello Kitty and Badtz Maru 40th anniversary boxed plush set that I have, as Badtz is my absolute favourite Sanrio character after Hello Kitty. Finally, I have some really cool t-shirts resulting of a collaboration with Dr. X at Dover Street Market as well as some Bape ones, and the Hello Kitty Beats headphones by Dr. Dre too!
My lovely friend Kanako-san from Tokyo has sent me some super cute Hello Kitty gifts from Japan in the past. I am meeting her in October, as I am going to Japan and we are heading to Sanrio Puroland to meet Kitty for the first time!
– What collaboration would you like to see in future?
I hope to see more Hello Kitty cafes and restaurants in London, I LOVED the Hello Kitty afternoon tea at Cutter & Squidge. I think it would also be awesome to have a collaboration with a big artist, someone like Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons or Yayoi Kusama. And London seriously needs a Sanrio store ASAP!!!
– How would you describe your relationship with Hello Kitty?
Unconditional love. It’s just impossible to get enough of her! I want more, and I keep sharing Hello Kitty with my friends’ kids to carry on spreading the cuteness!
I always have something Hello Kitty with me wherever I am in the world, whether I am at work or on holiday. I really believe in the ethos of the brand, ‘small gift, big smile’!
We wish Hans a fab trip to Japan! Check back next week for a new super fan interview!