Hello Kitty Is 40
You would never know that Hello Kitty turned forty. The mouthless white cat with a red bow and six whiskers looks like she hasn't aged a day, but, last month, the most famous cat in the world celebrated her 40th birthday.

In 1974, Hello Kitty was born. Her first incarnation had her in a navy blue jumpsuit, sitting upright in a coin purse. Since then she's stood on her own paws and developed her own fashion style, adopting different looks as trends have come and gone. She's even had a fashionable boyfriend, Dear Daniel. In fact, Hello Kitty has not only survived for four decades, she's thrived.

Over the past forty years, Hello Kitty has earned $5.68 billion dollars for parent company Sanrio. The beloved cat has a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and is found on everything from stationary to tennis racquets to jets. There are even two Hello Kitty theme parks in Japan: Harmonyland in Oita, Japan and the indoor Sanrio Puroland in Tama New Town, Tokyo, Japan. Puroland attracts over 1.5 million visitors per year.

So what is it about Hello Kitty that makes her so loved and such an enduring character? The creators believe it's in her design. She has no mouth, allowing people to interpret her emotions based on their own.

In Hong Kong, Sanrio, along with a team of volunteer Hello Kitty fans, celebrated the cat's birthday with a month-long range of activities. Sanrio also teamed up with Bandai to make a commemorative mechanical action figure, the Hello Kitty Chogokin Robot.

In addition to the plethora of Sanrio merchandise, Hello Kitty also offers an array of tennis gear, including Hello Kitty tennis racquets, racquet bags, tennis balls, wristbands, headbands and towels. Now the fan in your family can play happy with Hello Kitty.

Whether you're a new Hello Kitty fan or you've been a long-time admirer, you can't deny the impact this little white cat has had on popular culture. So happy belated birthday Hello Kitty, here's to another 40 years of Hello Kitty happiness!