10 of our fave Sanrio character collabs: everyone needs friends, right?
Look at Sanrio’s character list, and… you’re not gonna feel like there’s something missing. Any company that can run an annual ranking event for their characters has sure dreamed up enough of them by now.
But that’s not enough for Sanrio! Why else would they keep teaming their own characters up with other ones? Anime characters, humans, random popular things… new collabs every year.
Gundam vs. Hello Kitty
The epic moment when 2 legendary forces collide. Seeing as 2019 marks 45 years of Hello Kitty and 40 years of Gundam, a tie-up event lasting all year was kinda inevitable.
The Gundam vs Kitty campaign involves taking a side on the LINE app, collabs with big Japanese shops and restaurants, and an escape room game in Tokyo.
Sanrio characters x Yuri On Ice
Yuri’s paired with Pochacco, Victor became BFFs with Pompompurin, and somehow Yurio ended up repping Hello Kitty. Oh yeah, and they worked Makkachin in there later on to keep everyone happy.
The amount of merch for the Sanrio x YOI collab’s impressive. Demand was always gonna be high, and the variety of goods doesn’t let us down. We’d pay to see Sanrio on Ice, too. Why doesn’t Puroland have that?
Sanrio characters x Gintama
If you’ve got the time to sit and count them, this collab has maybe the most characters in total. Gintoki’s obvious, and then there’s the rest of the Yorozuya Gin-chan team, the Kiheitai, Sada & Elly, and Tosshi & Okky.
The Gintama x Sanrio alliance is so strong, some of the merch was sold exclusively on pre-order through Premium Bandai. Other limited items only showed up at Kiddyland stores in Japan.
Sanrio characters x Pop Team Epic
What? Those sweet, innocent Sanrio kids working with 2 ‘super bad influence’ schoolgirls? If Popuko or Pipimi teaches My Melody to flip people off, we’re all doomed.
Sanrio x PTE was a weird collab to try and push, and both sides knew it. That shock level made it even better. It’s rumoured Takeshobo publicly apologised to Sanrio for how the merch looked.
Sanrio characters x Osomatsu-san
This felt like less of a half-and-half true ‘collab’, and more like ‘let’s just make all the Matsuno brothers wear cute Sanrio onesies‘. These ones:
- Osomatsu = Hello Kitty
- Ichimatsu = Nya Ni Nyu Nye Nyon
- Todomatsu = My Melody
- Karamatsu = Tuxedo Sam
- Choromatsu = Keroppi
- Jyushimatsu = Pompompurin
We’ve said it before, but those character personality and image colour matches are a great fit.
Sanrio characters x Tamagotchi
Spot all the characters on the outer design for this official collab Tamagotchi, the Sanrio M!x!
Well, that’s the outer design. (The box is cute too.) On the inside…
Yeah, things get weirder. It’s a M!x, so the ‘gotchis evolve into different genetic mixes of classics and Sanrio faves. Some of them look normal (for a Tamagotchi), and some… some are combos we never asked to see.
Hello Kitty x Crayon Shinchan
Sure, partner up the cat with no mouth and the kid that can’t keep his damn mouth shut. What could go wrong? It’s another 45th anniversary collab that’d never be a reality otherwise.
The backstory for this is: Shinchan randomly met Hello Kitty’s designer in the ‘New Crayon Shinchan’ manga (Feb 2019 edition of Monthly Manga Town). That’s right, not Hello Kitty herself, but her character designer. Way to get meta.
After that, Kitty-chan went for a sleepover at Shinchan’s house. And the first wave of collab merch was born! Would’ve been super awkward if the Nohara household didn’t allow pets indoors…
Hello Kitty x Doraemon
It happened in 2015, and it’s scheduled to happen again in 2019. The collab’s called ‘Doraemon Meets Hello Kitty’, a break from tradition in not putting the Sanrio character name first.
Little Twin Stars x Shouta Aoi
Famous voice actor and singer Shouta falls into Kiki and Lala’s fantasy world and becomes their new buddy. It’s a sweet, pastel-kei concept. The target audience for this collab is unashamedly young women (but if you like the stuff, hey, go buy it).
Official merch includes jewellery, and hair scrunchies, and hand puppets. Little Twin Stars and Shouta also released a book together – it came with nail polish and accessories, like stickers and a full set of fake nails.
Gudetama x Jin Akanishi
A former Johnny’s boy band superstar, and a lazy egg. Can’t say it’s the most obvious collab ever. We even said the main thing that Jin Akanishi and Gudetama have in common is admirable butts.
Every Sanrio character gets a chance to shine
Got a fave on this list, or are you still waiting for your dream Sanrio collab to come true?
Whenever there’s Sanrio merch on sale in Japan, use DEJAPAN’s proxy shopping service to snap it up. We take requests from the Sanrio official online shop, and have loads of items listed directly on our own website.