Chogokin Hello Kitty by Bandai (Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com)
As this year is the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty, Bandai has released a special edition chogokin of the much loved Sanrio character. As Kitty-chan is very much a product of the 70s, the chogokin itself reflects that quite magnificently in lots of ways. Despite being on the small side, it’s actually quite heavy as the bulk of the toy’s composition is diecast metal.
It’s clear from the off that this homage to Hello Kitty is very closely tied to the likes of the original Mazinger Z. From her rocket punch, to the cockpit setup in the head – it’s all lovingly meant to hark back to a more hot-blooded era of super robots. Even the fact this is a chogokin, the line of toys that Mazinger Z pioneered, is a lovely nod to the cultural history at work here.
None of this has been lost on Bandai obviously, as they’ve gone to great lengths to continue the classic super robot nuances even further.
For a bit of background on Hello Kitty, her real name is actually Kitty White and she comes from London (as in the proper one in England). She, and other characters, are also not animals but anthropomorphized people. Yeah, Hello Kitty isn’t a cat*. Now this has been known in Japan for a long time but it only recently broke as news in the West, to which most outlets basically went “say whaaaaaa?!?“.
*In a flurry of press coverage, this statement has been retracted and modified, but made for some interesting press coverage!
Anyway, this mighty chogokin cares not for these recently discovered revelations.
If you’ve ever owned a classic chogokin then this is spot-on in so many ways. It’s also both a lovely collector’s piece and proper toy for kids, that in itself is pretty brilliant, really.
We’ll be going into more detail on the toy in the review, so keep an eye out for that!