Sorry, Hello Kitty, there's a new kid on the block, and she's already got a big head.
Kirimi-chan is the latest character to join Sanrio, the Japanese lifestyle brand behind Hello Kitty. But she isn't a teddy bear, a cute cat or a furry friend of any kind. She's a fillet of salmon with arms and legs.
Salmon aren't typically fish you want to cuddle up next to. No fish is really something you'd ever want to pick up and hug; they have scales, and can be slimy.
But then again, this isn't the first time Sanrio has looked to the ocean for inspiration. A character called Hangyodon is a green sea creature with fins and a fish-like mouth.
Last year, Sanrio presented 20 potential new characters based on popular Japanese food (including a tofu geisha, a bread-shaped panda bear and a team of alpacas wearing ice cream, fries and popcorn) and asked the public to vote in an online election. Kirimi-chan won, and was developed into a line of products.
The Kirimi-chan collection has 16 items, including a change purse, plush charms, a mini cushion, a tote bag and plates.
The friendly fish goes on sale at Sanrio stores Feb. 13, and on the Sanrio website on Valentine's Day.
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