06. 29. 2006
Mickey Mouse gets a makeover
While browsing the Nikkei wire service last night I came across an interesting fact: 90% of the Mickey Mouse representations sold in Japan are purchased by women. Toy manufacturer Tomy holds an exclusive license to produce Disney products for Japan, and the company has set their sights on capturing the male market that they have so far missed.
Three redesigned Mickeys are being released late this summer as a gamble that a pop culture image will encourage new sales. The twelve inch vinyl Mickey dolls are designed to appeal to Japanese men in their late teens to early thirties. Apparently the red pants and the milquetoast image just weren't getting Mickey the cold hard Yen that he needs to support his hobbies as a punk rocker, a surf bum, and hip-hop producer.
Pass Da M.I.C - Rap Mickey is decked out in the fashionable clothes of hip suburban schoolchildren: Baggy blue jeans, an over length short sleeve black t-shirt, a white hairnet under a baseball cap. Just like the MTV hip-hop kings Mickey is not without a massive piece of golden Mousekateer bling to show the kind of scrilla he brings in.
Take Off - I've just gotta get away to thrash some gnarly breakers, bro. Decked out in matching swim trunks and t-shirt this Mickey is ready to get all wet as he paddles that longboard into a high wave. Matching sunglasses and blocky flip-flops
The Punk!! - Mickey Mouse plays by no rules but his own! This faux leather jacket with miniature one inch buttons screams street cred and Mickey even got his callsign silk screened on the back of his leather. A motorcycle bandito disguise and a pair of creepers complete the look. (For the record, I used to dress like that)
The blocky extremities and sharp angles are much more in line with modern computer generated animation aesthetics than Mickey's classically rounded look. The face forward view is dead-on, and I barely noticed a stylistic difference until those big meat hooks registered. Retail price is expected to be ~$40 USD, and the dolls will be on Japanese shelves this August.