Squier Badtz-Maru Bass

Hello Kitty is the little white cat with a bow in her hair loved by teenage girls and confused Goths the world over.

Her image adorns over 22,000 products from stationery and clothing to cutlery and toilet seats – all available from a department store or 'alternative' shop near you.

But forget the Hello Kitty electric toothbrush, hair pin or gloves – you can now have the little cat's face on an electric guitar!

Sanrio, the people responsible for Hello Kitty and her furry gang, have teamed up with Fender to create a guitar and bass aimed at encouraging young girls to start playing rock 'n' roll. Lisa Loeb's a fan, and US girl band Rocket have a whole set of Hello Kitty axes in their arsenal.

In addition to the guitars there's a ton of accessories available, from battery-powered headphone amps to picks, straps and gig bags.

The guitar is available in a choice of pink and black with Hello Kitty's face as the scratchplate, while the bass comes in black only and is adorned with the face of Badtz-Maru, Hello Kitty's penguin mate who comes from the South Pole.

Overview

OK, we know TG doesn't normally review bass guitars, but how could we resist that cute little fella's face? While the sugar coated Hello Kitty six-string is very much a girl's guitar, the Badtz-Maru Bronco bass is more neutral in appearance and should have a wider appeal.

It only comes in the none-more-black finish and is adorned with the face of Badtz-Maru, Hello Kitty's feathery friend from cooler climes. He's mean and moody-looking and bears a strange resemblance to the singer from Aiden. We kid you not!

The bass is quite stylish, so you wouldn't look a complete twonk if you turned up to an audition for a metal band wielding this bad boy. This penguin's got attitude and Fender claims this bass does, too.

Based on the Bronco model from Squier's Affinity series, this four-string has a double cutaway and is a bit shorter than your average bass at just 30-inches in length.

Like the guitar, this bass is ideal for younger (or smaller) players and is great for those who are just starting to learn – the shorter scale length means it's easier for small fingers to make the stretch between frets.

This is also handy for guitar players who are picking up a bass for the first time, as it won't seem like such a giant leap in size.

The bass is made from basswood, making it light enough for aspiring younger players. The maple neck is slender and perfectly proportioned to make it easier for wee ones to play, too.

Sounds

The sound of the bass is well rounded and, much like the guitar, this bass only has one pickup. In this case it's a Special Design singlecoil, but it does have both volume and tone controls so there is a bit more scope for tweaking the sound here than on the guitar.

With only 19 frets, at least two of which being pretty much unreachable due to the shallowness of the cutaway, your options are limited when it comes to note choice.

To be fair, it's unlikely that bass beginners will venture past the 12th fret for a while anyway. Another small niggle of ours was that we'd loved to have seen a thumb rest on this bass.

It's not something that will cause a problem if you use a pick, but if you play with your fingers it's good to be able to rest your thumb on a dedicated rest or even on the pickup while you play.

The pickup on this bass offers little room to rest your chunkiest digit, which seems like an attempt to prevent the pickup dominating Mr Maru's face.

That's great aesthetically, but if you're used to having somewhere to anchor your thumb you might find this setup a bit awkward.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Looks great. Good size for small mitts.

Cons

We'd like a thumb rest please.

Verdict

We love the way this bass sounds. It doesn't hurt that it looks so great too!

Available Controls

Tone Volume

Available Finish

Black

Bolt-on Neck

Yes

Case Included

No

Country of Origin

Indonesia

Fingerboard Material

Maple

Fingerboard Radius

9.5 inch (241mm)

Guitar Body Material

Basswood

Hardware

Chrome

Inlays

Dot

Machine Heads Material

Chrome

Neck Finish

Satin

Neck Material

Maple

No of Strings

4

No. of Frets

19

Pickguard

Yes

Pickguard Colour

Black

Pickup Type

1 Special Design Single-Coil Pickup

Pickups

1 x Single Coil

Scale Length (Inches)

30

Top Finish

Gloss Urethane

Unique Features

Badtz-Maru Pickguard Badtz-Maru Logo Artwork on Back of Body Short Scale Length Knurled Chrome Dome Control Knobs Rear Routed Control Cavity Engraved Squier Neckplate

Width at Nut (Inches)

1.61

Width at Nut (mm)

41

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.