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As cute as we thought they were, when we first heard about Hello Kitty contact lenses last summer, we weren’t entirely sure they’d catch on. Was there really a market for this kind of thing, particularly at the contacts’ price point of 5,800 yen (US$57) per set?

You should never underestimate Japan’s queen of licensed merchandise though, as Kitty-chan’s making a return trip to people’s irises, and this time, she’s even bringing a couple of her Sanrio pals with her. And it’s not just fashion that marches along, but technology and production techniques, too, as the new contacts cost less than half what the old ones did.

While the previous Hello Kitty contacts were made by the company Fall in Eyez, the new batch comes courtesy of manufacturer Sho-Bi. This time, the famous feline is available in two contact lens designs. The first of which, which Sho-Bi refers to alternatively as “dark brown” and “yellow brown,” has the more understated color, which the company says makes them appropriate for “ordinary situations.”

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If you’re somehow looking for even more visual impact than a ring of six cartoon cats can provide, the caramel/brown dolly Kitty lenses are more vibrant in color.

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Kitty-chan is just one of the many characters in the Sanrio roster, though. For example, there’s also the rabbit My Melody, who regularly runs neck and neck with Hello Kitty is the company’s annual popularity polls.

With her Little Red Riding Hood-style outfit and ever-present flower, My Melody is even more overtly cute than Kitty-chan, so it’s only fitting that her contacts are tinged with pink to create the effect Sho-Bi dubs “sweet girly eyes.”

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Surprisingly, though, the biggest seller of the group doesn’t feature Sanrio’s most famous cat or bunny. Instead, the title goes to the contacts graced by the Little Twin Stars, Kiki (who’s counterintuitively the brother) and his sister Lala. Sho-Bi hasn’t said why the design is selling so well, but our theory is that it’s a combination of the fact that you get two characters for the price of one, the cute bells and stars motif, and the fact that it’s hard to resist a product that claims it will give you “natural nudie eyes.”

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Like Fall in Eyez’ Sanrio contacts, these new offerings are non-prescription. Sho-Bi’s versions are quite a bit cheaper though, at 2,160 yen for a pair that can be used for a month. All four sets can be purchased here through Sho-Bi’s online shop, Petitbeaumo.

At first glance it seems like the intricate artwork would severely compromise the wearer’s field of vision, but Sho-Bi explains that since none of the design intrudes in the area near the center of the eye they won’t impair your vision at all. Like the Japanese expression goes, it won’t hurt to put them in your eye, so if you can’t get enough of Sanrio’s adorable characters, there’s really no reason not to take the plunge on these.

Sources: Jin, Excite News
Images: Petitbeaumo