Domo-Kun Sells Out to Target

When you find an obscure something that's fun or interesting, or just entertaining in a bizarre way, you kind of start to own it.  It's like your own little diamond that you find in the rough and you don't want to share it with the world.  Then, if it is as great as you think it is, it inevitably gets discovered and becomes popular, and you're left feeling a loss because your own personal affection has become diluted.

I think fans of music performers suffer this effect more than any.  A band has a core group of supporters ("groupies," if you will) that get to say "Yeah, but I liked them before they were popular!"  The most interesting example I have noticed is with fans of Death Cab for Cutie.  Absolutely everyone I hear talk about that band claims to have been a fan before they were popular.  But then their iPod goes back on repeat of the 2008 song "I Will Possess Your Heart."

domokun.jpgI had one of these obscure fascinations that recently hit mainstream, but it wasn't about music.  It was for Domo-Kun, the lovable mascot of Japan's NHK television station.  It's impossible to look at this stout creature and deny his awesomeness.

One of my friends used to refer to him as the Angry Poop Monster.  I don't really see the similarity, other than the brown color.  And maybe the shape, but only if your butt happens to be square-shaped (if so, please consider altering your bedroom activities). 

By using an image of Domo on my phone background and as my IM avatar, I've had a regular influx of questions about him, such as "what is that thing" and "why is that on your phone" and "are you taking your medication?"

So in all of his obscurity, imagine my surprise when on a recent trip to Target for toilet paper and cheese cubes, I strolled into the retail giant's Halloween section and discovered posters and cardboard cutouts of my furry little friend, Domo. There he was, licensed out as a mascot to sell pumpkin pails, piƱatas and candy corn.  Shoppers everywhere must be scratching their heads in bewilderment.

I can't say I approve of the merchandising, but I do welcome Domo to this country with open arms (and an open mouth).  And he was even effective at getting me to buy some candy--I left with a small bag of store-brand peach rings.