Small Gift, Big Smile“. It’s more than just a catchy phrase; it’s the foundation of everything we do, and we’re proud to say we’ve been creating smiles for over 50 years.

Best known for global icon Hello Kitty, Sanrio offers a portfolio of more than 400 characters able to fulfil every need positioning and target-wise. Other characters include My Melody, Little Twin Stars, CharmmyKitty, Kerokerokeroppi,Bad Badtz-Maru, Chococat and the British icon Mr. Men and Little Miss. Sanrio designs, develops, distributes and licenses a unique collection of branded gifts, stationery and fashion accessory items while collaborating with the most respected companies in the world.

Sanrio GmbH

Sanrio GmbH is the European headquarter that coordinates the development of the EMEA Market. Sanrio GmbH began in 1980 with a small corner in department store in Germany and distributes products throughout East and West Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa.

Hamburg Office
Zwischen den Toren 9
21465 Wentorf bei Hamburg, Germany

Milan Office
Piazza Fontana 6,
20121 Milan, Italy

London Office
Unit 321 Parkshot House
Richmond Upon Thames
LONDON TW9 2PR, United Kingdom

Dubai Office
P.O.BOX: 36682
Saraya Avenue building, Office AM-06
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Our Philosophy

"Small gift,
big smile"

Sanrio is founded on the philosophy that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. We believe that a gift is more than just a gift. Rather, a gift is a means of expressing our heartfelt feeling for others. This philosophy guides all Sanrio activities, we invite all our friends and guests to experience the magic of these four simple words.


Sanrio through the years


August – As the first step towards building a Social Communication Business, Shintaro Tsuji establishes Yamanashi Silk Center Co., Ltd. with 1 million yen in capital.


Sanrio’s first original character design, Strawberry, is produced.



December – Sanrio Greetings Co., Ltd. is established.



December – The first “Gift Gate” shop is opened in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.


April –  The company is officially established under its new name, Sanrio Company Co., Ltd. Head office is moved to Gotanda, in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward.


June – The first Sanrio Salon restaurant is opened in Gotanda TOC building, Tokyo.

October – Sanrio Greetings Co., Ltd. is merged with Sanrio Co., Ltd. Film production activities commence.


The characters Hello Kitty, Patty & Jimmy are created.

December  – Sanrio Film Corporation of America (currently Sanrio, Inc.) is established in Hollywood, California.
 U.S. film production and distribution activities commence.


March – Sales of the first Hello Kitty product (small coin purse) begin.

April – The monthly print publication ‘Strawberry News’ is launched.

August – Sanrio’s first step into the commercial film industry comes with the release of the animated feature Little Jumbo. The characters Little Twin Stars and My Melody are created.


April – Character merchandise licensing begins.

May – Sanrio, Inc. is established in San Jose, California.


April – The movie ‘Who Are the DeBolts?’ And ‘Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?’ wins an American Academy Award in the documentary feature category.

May – Sanrio launches its first 70mm animated feature, ‘Winds of Change’ (a.k.a. ‘Metamorphosis’), in the U.S.

July – The feature length film ‘Kitakitsune Monogatari’ (‘The Glacier Fox’) opens in domestic movie theaters.



May – A branch office (currently Sanrio G.m.b.H.) is opened in Hamburg, Germany to coordinate development of the European market.


April – Sanrio is listed on the second section of the Tokyo stock Exchange.


January – Sanrio’s listing is moved to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


October – Sanrio’s first for-TV animated cartoon ‘Button Nose’ airs.


January – Head office moves from Gotanda to Osaki, also in Shinagawa Ward.
 Sanrio Communication World Co., Ltd. (currently Sanrio Entertainment Co., Ltd.) is established as operating company for Sanrio Puroland.




April – Sanrio Far East Co.,Ltd. is established.

December – Sanrio Puroland theme park opens in Tama City, Metropolitan Tokyo.


April – Harmonyland theme park opens in Hijimachi, Oita Prefecture.


May – Hello Kitty is appointed child goodwill envoy of UNICEF in Japan.




September – The character Cinnamoroll is created.


The character Sugarbunnies is created.


May – Hello Kitty is appointed as the Tourism Ambassador for the Visit Japan campaign in China and Hong Kong by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.


July – Established Sanrio Entertainment Co., Ltd. for the amalgamated operation of theme parks.



Sanrio celebrates its 50th Anniversary!


Sanrio acquired the British company Mister Men Limited, widening its already huge portfolio of properties.



The character Gudetama (‘Lazy Egg’) is created.


Hello Kitty celebrates 40 years of success!


Hello Kitty is the Official Ambassador of the Japanese Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015.


Hello Kitty Gang launches in Europe and Australia!

December – Hello Kitty is appointed Special Ambassador of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development by the United Nations.

April – Sanrio announces its new character Aggressive Retsuko, also known as Aggretsuko.


Aggretsuko hits the small screen with a global release on Netflix.


Sanrio celebrates the 45thAnniversary of Hello Kitty.


Sanrio will celebrate its 60thAnniversary!