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You'll be seeing a lot more of Hello Kitty at Universal theme parks

Universal's theme parks to say hello to Hello Kitty with new interactive shops

Hello Kitty will raise her considerable global profile with new concept retail stores set to open at Universal Orlando Resort this year and Universal Studios Hollywood in the future.

The announcement by Sanrio, the company that owns the pop icon who brought in $7 billion in 2014, describes them as "Hello Kitty interactive retail experience shops."

That means customized Kitty merchandise and sweets for Universal stores, a place where visitors can create their own version of Hello Kitty's signature hair bow and a roving Hello Kitty character to press the fur in person.

Hello Kitty turned 40 last year, and fans have never been more frenzied.

The live performance show "Hello Kitty's Supercute Friendship Festival" has been touring the United States. It comes to the Fabulous Forum in L.A. on Friday through Sunday and to the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego from June 19 to 21.

Performances continue around the country through Nov. 1; check here to purchase tickets and for a schedule.

Last year, a retrospective that opened at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles quintupled museum attendance.

The character's first Kitty Con at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in downtown Los Angeles last fall drew crowds too. It featured Hello Kitty head designer Yuko Yamaguchi and a host of Kitty-centric collectibles, including her debut performance on a change purse in 1974.

And, by the way, Hello Kitty isn't a cat. Really. Christine Yano, who wrote a book about Hello Kitty and curated the L.A. museum show, said in an earlier interview: "She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."

Now you know.

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