You see them everywhere… but what’s their story?
Anyone that uses Facebook is familiar with the cute, chubby cat Pusheen. But what you might not know is that Pusheen is entirely based on an American tabby cat that lives in the state of Oregon with her family. The name Pusheen comes from the Irish word for kitten, puisín. Pusheen has even got its own app now and remains one of the most popular cats on the Internet.
If you’ve walked around any major Chinese city there’s no doubt that you have encountered Line Friends. They can even be found in New York or Hong Kong! What’s ironic is that Line Friends were developed for the messaging app Line. If you haven’t heard of Line, it’s because it was developed by a Japanese subsidiary of a South Korean internet service company and is used by tens of millions of people in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, India and more…and has got nothin’ on WeChat usage in China.
The adorable little bear Kumamon was created in 2010 by the government of Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan to attract tourists to the region. What they didn’t know is that he would blow up into an international superstar that has to date generated over 150 billion US dollars for the region in merchandising revenue, tourism and product sales.
While most of us are familiar with Hello Kitty and the other cuties from Sanrio, the most relatable by far has got to be Gudetama, the lazy egg that hates to do anything. He/she even has its own television show and themed cafes that serve egg dishes throughout Japan. It’s hard not to like someone that has no energy or strength to do anything and hates to be alive.
Do you remember the first time you ever sent someone a sticker on WeChat? Chances are it was probably Tuzki. This cute rabbit was created in Beijing in 2006 and became a huge hit in China before expanding overseas, becoming one of the most popularly used stickers on Facebook, WeChat and South Korea’s Kakao Talk messaging app.