Japan-grown melons branded with face of Hello Kitty to go on sale for $69 each

A Hokkaido-produced melon branded with Hello Kitty's face is pictured at the Sanrio Co headquarters in Tokyo, Japan on June 23, 2016.
A Hokkaido-produced melon branded with Hello Kitty's face is pictured at the Sanrio Co headquarters in Tokyo, Japan on June 23, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Planes, trains, steaks and now melons - it appears that nothing is safe from being branded with the unsmiling yet beloved face of Hello Kitty, Sanrio's most famous cartoon character.

They go on sale in Japan this summer priced at 5,400 yen (S$69) each, after the design of Hello Kitty's whiskered face was carved into the exterior of each melon around a month before harvest.

By the time the cantaloupes of this Hokkaido crop are ripe in July, the shape of the carving will be etched into the fruit's rind by its natural netting.

The melons will be available to buy online and the company, which has been producing this specially designed fruit in collaboration with Sanrio since 2010, hopes to sell 1,000 this year.