After leaving his job in the government, Japanese bureaucrat Shintaro Tsuji formed a toy and gift company in 1960 that would later be known as Sanrio. The company had success producing merchandise for popular manga such as Anpanman before purchasing the license for Peanuts. But after being fed up with paying royalties to Charles M. Schulz, Sanrio decided to create their own characters. In 1974, Tsuji and designer Yuko Shimizu worked on a cat-based character that eventually became Hello Kitty. Since her debut, Hello Kitty has become not only the best–selling girl's toy in Japan, but also a pop culture icon for all ages worldwide, earning at least US$5 billion a year.