Marlyn de Leon with her favorite Hello Kitty stuffed toy in her pink bedroom complete with everything Hello Kitty including murals. Photos by Ernie Penaredondo
 

Hello Kitty won her heart
ATTACHMENTS - Nikki Coseteng (The Philippine Star) - February 11, 2018 - 12:00am

I love pink! Whenever I go out with friends and see something pink, I like to have it.” That’s Marlyn De Leon’s explanation for collecting Hello Kitty items since she was a senior in high school.

Today, age 24, Myn, the youngest collector we have featured so far, has indeed gotten herself deep into the Hello Kitty universe. And it is a universe, considering the almost endless variations of a theme, ranging from clothing to home décor, toys to appliances, linens to tumblers and toothbrushes… You name it, it’s got Hello Kitty on it.

Although Myn did not grow up with her mother, she recently found out that her mother also collected Hello Kitty and that all her baby blankets, pillows, clothes and formula bottles had Hello Kitty figures on them.

“My father has always been supportive of my collection. He bought 90 percent of my stuff except for some which were given to me as gifts and others I personally bought,” beams Myn.

“Although I live with my paternal grandfather, it was my dad who suggested I paint my room pink and he even paid for it. He also hired someone to paint the murals to complete the look,” she says.

“My favorite piece is a Hello Kitty stuffed toy wearing a pink panda costume. It was given to me by my dad as a birthday gift when I turned 18 and to this day, I sleep with it every night.”

I must say, Myn does have an overwhelming collection of Hello Kitty, from the usual stuffed toys, shirts, pajamas as well as an electric fan, a coffee maker, water dispenser, playing cards, wine and, yes, Hello Kitty cotton buds which she does not use for fear she will run out of them and not be able to find a new supply.

“My most expensive Hello Kitty item is my Hello Kitty plate number frame with genuine Swarovski crystals which I bought in the US for about P20,000. But when I sold my car, the buyer didn’t give back my plate number frame. Despite our trying to contact them repeatedly, they have not responded. That really saddens me,” says Myn.

“To begin with, it is hard to find and they just won’t give it back to me. I still hope they’ll have the heart to return it one day, as it means a lot to me,” she adds.

“I was so obsessed with Hello Kitty that for my informal college graduation picture, I wore a Hello Kitty costume which I made myself,” she says, laughing.

“When I was in college, all my stuff was pink and had Hello Kitty on it. I had Hello Kitty notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, bags, wallets, shirts, skirts, hair accessories, etc. But when I started working as an HR staff at Ring Central, a call center, I stopped wearing Hello Kitty-themed clothes every day because we are not allowed to do so in a corporate setting.”

Myn also has her own business, TheMyn Events Manila, an events planning and organizing company.

Hello Kitty has never failed to inspire and comfort children as well as adults. With its wide eyes and signature ribbon on the left ear, whether in red or pink, the cartoon icon has brought cheer and comfort to many who otherwise might have felt alone. Combined with flowers, checks, dots, stripes and other colors, Hello Kitty comes in all shapes, sizes and texture. But it’s that unmistakable pink that allows it to be spotted from a mile away and surely tempts many to bring one home.

“It is quite difficult to outgrow Hello Kitty,” muses Myn. “It will stay with me for always.” Judging from her collection, we don’t doubt it.

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 Email the author at nikkicoseteng2017@gmail.com or text her at 0997-4337154.

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