Cute Beans

February 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Are they beans? Are they dogs?

They’re a hybrid of both… and they’re 100% wacky! They’re Mameshiba (mame = bean; shiba = dog breed), colorful little characters too cute to throw into a bowl of chili. Japan’s premier advertising company, Dentsu, is the brain behind them, promoting these adorable rugrats through animated TV spots across the country. We all know that cuteness is the ruler of Japan, so it’s not surprising to hear that Mameshiba made over $30 million in licensed goods back in 2008.

And now, Dentsu hopes to make Mameshiba big in the U.S. Luckily for us, they have an English-translated website where you can watch an assortment of their cute-but-strange video clips. This one is my favorite:

Even in the U.S., there’s a steady fan-base for oddball character goods like Afro-ken, Domo Kun and of course, Ugly Dolls! And personality goes a long way in charming their way into cute girls’ bedrooms. ‘Edamame’ is full of curiosity and travels the world in his furry, green pod. ‘Soy Bean’ is a worrywart who likes giving unsolicited advice. ‘Jelly Beans’ are a band of brothers from the USA. They don’t speak Japanese very well. Oddball characters, indeed.

You can buy Mameshiba goods online for anywhere between $5 and $30. Or you can just oggle them on You Tube. That’s what I plan to do. Dog-beans… Who woulda thought?!


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February 2010