A small museum in downtown LA says it's selling out its major exhibit of Hello Kitty paraphernalia, as it helps celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic character. Mana Rabiee reports.
The Hello Kitty phenomenon you know today began 40 years ago....with a single vinyl coin purse made in Japan. SOUNDBITE: HELLO KITTY SPOKESPERSON SAYING: "I think because she has always appealed to so many ages and backgrounds and she is very zen-like in her disposition that you are able to make Hello Kitty your own friend." She's super cute, so it's only fitting that a major exhibit on the iconic character now running now at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles is called "Hello: Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty". It's the first such exhibit in the U.S. More than 500 items are on display here -- from everyday products to pop culture items like this dress worn by lady Gaga. SOUNDBITE: MUSEUM PRESIDENT SAYING: "We are thrilled to originate it here. We brought in a couple of wonderful curators to tell the story of Hello Kitty as a character and a product. And also a curator to tell the story of Hello Kitty as a muse for artists." Hello Kitty was actually named Kitty White when she was created 40 years ago. She has a twin sister called Mimmie, identified by her yellow bow. And did you know that Kitty and her family live in England? You would, if you were part of her cult following. SOUNDBITE: CHRISTINA YANO, CURATOR, SAYING: "You know, I won't say that everybody feels the same about her but certainly there are those who consider her, dare I say it, a kind of religion." The museum says it's had sold out shows of the exhibit, which runs through April.