Cuteness Overload: 1st Hello Kitty Convention in Los Angeles
The moment I first heard that there will be a Hello Kitty Convention, my initial reaction was priceless! Then, I prayed that the venue will be somewhere in the United States so that I can attend. And, it was announced that the venue will be held in Los Angeles — I jumped (3x!) and immediately browse for flight schedule available on October 30 to November 2. I nearly forgot to purchase the entrance tickets which is $30 per day, so my cousin & I decided to go on Friday which is October 31. But airfare during weekend is expensive so I arrived earlier (Thursday) and hangout with my longtime friend who is currently near in LA.
I took the 10am flight going to Los Angeles courtesy of American Airlines. We arrived a bit earlier. Then, I took a cab going to Miyako Hotel (I spent overnight in Little Tokyo) and rushed to claim my badge which is just few blocks away from the hotel.
I saw HK fanatics everywhere. The ambiance is exciting. The streets were filled with HK banners. I saw a HK bus. Cuteness overload.
After getting my badge. I sneaked for a while and stroll around the venue. Everywhere is filled with people lining up for some activities. From shirts, to dolls, to toys, candies, etc everything you will see is definitely — awesome.
My only complain on that day is the ‘dim light’ they used inside the venue. The lights they used are intended for exhibits. So it was really crowded and dark in some areas. Over thousands of people gathered inside the venue – I find that venue too small for a convention. We can’t even stretched our arms, the right side of Supermarket was so dark and the long line stretched to other booths which is not good because we can’t see the booths clearly. I even waited my turn just to check what’s inside the booth. That’s how the venue is crowded. Since I am attending day 2, I surveyed the place so I would know which one to go. I also made my list when I went back to hotel after my side trip to some streets in LA.
The battlefield so-called the Hello Kitty Convention itself
We lined as early as 9am to get inside. The line for the entrance was stretched reaching the other side of the street. It was happy but chaos. Thinking if we can accomplish our goals on that day – to buy stuff like souvenir shirts, toys, and take photos!
For $0.51, you’ll able to make your penny stretcher with different Hello Kitty designs. I’m not good in spinning to engrave the penny, good thing, the finished product is — a OK.
We enjoyed playing inside the Target Booth. We were given a player card wherein we will just swipe the card and play the game we wanted. The points we earned can be redeem for prizes. And we took home some Hello Kitty shirts for kids, pencils, pens, nail polish, stickers, etc!
We were also after for souvenirs. So we patiently lined up for 4 hours (yes, that’s extremely tiring!) just to get inside the Friendship Area. My only suggestion would be that instead of mixing the non-souvenir items to souvenir items, why not create a separate booth for souvenirs (they would knew from the start that people are buying souvenirs, not with just an ordinary pen!).
Some just bought small things and line up for 4 hours! One of the worst part of the event was we didn’t enjoyed much because it was too crowded, they needed to get some more event space that is well ventilated and invest on lighting. Its pretty dark inside some of the booths were ignored 🙁
What else did we saw? Hmmm, I got Hello Kitty yogurt for breakfast for FREE. Got some goodie bags with pins, I bought stuff from Japanese American National Museum souvenirs and last we went to Sanrio Japanese Village which has a better “stuff” inside compared lining about 4 hours (I only bought the bobblehead & anniversary shirt…walked away afterwards because my legs so tired!).
Oh well, that is really a great pretty experience. I hope there will be improvements on the next Sanrio conventions because they said they are planning to have a “Sanrio tour for 2015” … a lot of characters will celebrate its 40th anniversary. And this will be a total craziness imagine Kero-kerroppi, Little Twin Stars, My Melody and a lot more in one event???
Save Money, now!
Up next: Sanrio tour 2015!!!!