Sanrio wants men to know it's OK to like Hello Kitty

If My Little Pony can have a large, devoted male following, then why shouldn't Hello Kitty?

It may be because, even after 40 years, many people still considering the adorable little merchandising juggernaut too feminine. However, Anime News Network reports Sanrio is hoping to change that with the Hello Kitty Men Project.

Launched Wednesday with a six-day exhibit at the department store Hankyu Men's Tokyo, the initiative boasts the tagline "Sorry to keep you waiting, boys." The goal is to put an end to the gender stereotype, and convince men that it's OK to like Hello Kitty -- and to buy her products.

Shoppers who spend more than $152 at Hankyu Men's Tokyo will receive an exclusive Hello Kitty Men card case. No other details have been provided about the project, but products are set to be released next year.

In the meantime, Hello Kitty fans -- women and men -- are expected to descend on Los Angeles Oct. 30-Nov. 2 for the first-ever Hello Kitty Con, part of the character's 40th-anniversary celebration. Held at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the four-day event will feature lectures, panels, workshops, exhibits, a pop-up shop, a tattoo parlor, parties, an arcade and, of course, plenty of exclusives.

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