With mascots being omnipresent in Japan, any bigger brand, bank, company or organisation has one of its own. May it be for the sake of profit or for representation, mascots are popular among all: the young and old; male and female. Whereas in the Western world overseas, cute characters are supposed to be for kids, in Japan there is no shame if an adult likes a colorful and cute animal, object or person.
Fujiya Co.,Ltd, famous for confectionary and restaurants, has its own very cute mascot named “Peko chan”. The lip licking girl has pigtails and is famous all over Japan. Referring to “hara peko” (腹ペコ) or ‘peko peko’, the onomatopoetic phrase for being hungry, her name is a cute form of wordplay.
As with all important characters, Peko chan has very detailed background information: Born in 1950 in the “Land of dreams somewhere on earth” (at least she is human and no alien), she is a forever-6-year-old, and has a height of 100cm. Weighing just 15 kg, she has very unusual vital statistics: “58-55-63″ (in cm). Her hobbies are baseball and pogo stick jumping, which is called “hopping” in Japanese. As for her favourite animals Fujiya states that they are puppies.
A huge figure of Peko chan is often seen in front of Fujiya pastry shops, greeting customers who enter or catching the eyes of children passing by.
She is also depicted on Milky chocolate and milky caramel bonbons packaging.
Peko chan has a huge fanbase with avid collectors and a vast amount of merchandise. Most popular are dolls of various sizes but also stationery, cups and mugs and other possible items. Limited editions even feature collaborations with Hello Kitty and BE@RBRICK.
The current most expensive doll set is being sold for ¥39,960 (around US329) and features two porcelain dolls: “Carmen Peko”, and her friend “Matador Poko”. If you intend to buy them you should hurry: the reservation period ends on October 30th 2015 and will be shipped in December 2015 from the Fujiya webstore.
Fujiya Peko Chan Netshop*Automatic translation