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Pointless Products
29 October 2006


In my on-again off-again quest to monitor the merchandising madness of the Hello Kitty brand, I came across the item pictured below. It came in plastic wrapping with a tag at the top that did not explain what exactly the product the was meant to be used for. No instructions. No description. I think that there was a 'suitable for ages 3 and up' disclaimer on it, but that was about it. It's about 20cm long, 3cm wide and 1.5 cm deep. It hinges open on the side, and for the life of me, I can't figure out what on earth it is supposed to be used for.

The Hello Kitty Parliamentary Do-Nothing Device
What is the intended purpose of this product?

After pondering this for some time, I came up with some potential intended uses for this 'thing':

Possibility #1: Pencil Case
I suggest this simply because an overwhelming percentage of Hello Kitty products are stationary-based. It's about the right length for a regular pencil as well. However, if you're intending to carry pencil or pens in this, you could probably only fit two, maybe three in there at the most, which sort of defeats the purpose of using this as a pencil case - after all, at that point it's almost easier just to carry the pencils as they are.
Verdict: Probably Not.

Possibility #2: Pacer Leads Case
Moving from the pencil case theory, maybe this could actually be a case for pacer leads! You could hold heaps of pacer leads in this. However, it's way too long. Pacer lead cases are usually about a quarter of the size of this thing.
Verdict: It wouldn't look so pretty after housing pacer leads for, oh, a DAY.

Possibility #3: Bizarro-World Pez Dispenser
It's lacking a freakish head, and Pez Dispensers nearly always come with instructions. Besides, Hello Kitty already has a Pez Dispenser line - Sanrio hardly needs to try anything different there. That being said, I always assume that most Hello Kitty-fied containers not associated with stationary are meant to contain candy.
Verdict: Unless this is Bizarro-World, highly unlikely.

Possibility #4: Happiness Box
This seems like the sort of marketing scam Sanrio would be into. This could potentially be one of those boxes that lame hippies give to friends and family members on their birthdays, with a note saying that the box contains kind thoughts of them, but it's essentially a cheap way of getting out of getting people REAL gifts with REAL thought put into them. Those are usually more square than rectangular, though, tend to come with some sappy poem on the front, and are opaque, presumably to stop the happy thoughts leaking out.
Verdict: Probability is higher than what I'm comfortable with.

Possibility #5: Toothbrush Holder
This is about the right dimensions for a children's toothbrush container, though such things normally come with a toothbrush - but Sanrio would probably make you buy that separately. The only drawback is the lack of room for toothpaste, which indicates that this must be one of those bathroom-only toothbrush containers, rather than the travel kind. Wow, I never even knew these things existed until I came across this product, but now I absolutely must store my toothbrush in one.
Verdict: Highly likely.

Possibility #6: Emergency Air Supply
Keep this with you in case of biological or chemical weapons attack (or in case your aircraft suddenly springs a leak). Open it for one last breath of fresh air!
Verdict: Case doesn�t seem particularly air-tight. You could spend those last moments before losing consciousness cursing shoddy manufacturing practices.

Possibility #7: Children's Senbon Storage Container
Kids keeping their poison-tipped throwing needles in an innocuous Hello Kitty product? HELL YEAH!
Verdict: Almost definite.

If you can think of any other potential uses for this item, drop an E-Mail with 'Tomes' in the subject line. If I get enough replies (Verdict: Probability is about the same as the Earth suddenly ceasing rotation), I'll post them up on the site for everyone to see.



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