Japan’s obsession with mascots and the massive amount of money they can make

Mascots bring in billions of dollars to Japan’s economy.

Hello Kitty and Pokémon are some that have evolved into multimillion dollar franchises around the world.

Now, a talking pear is one of the country’s hottest celebrities.

Music is blaring. Cameras are rolling. Excitement is building. It’s like they are ready for a rock concert. This crowed is pump

One of Japan’s biggest stars is about to take the stage.

Funassyi is electrifying mostly adult crowd in a Tokyo festival featuring famous Japanese mascots.

“I love him,” Konomi Ueno said.

While many mascots are calm and quiet, this juicy pear is wacky and wild. One of the only mascot who actually talks

And his success is self made.

Funassyi tried out and was rejected as the official mascot of his hometown. So unlike other famous mascots like the iconic Koumamonn, Funassyi did it alone at his own expense with no corporate or government sponsor.

“I see him working hard to promote his hometown. I want help him,” Mika Asano said. She estimates she’s spent one thousand U.S. dollars on Funassyi merchandise.

Handbags, hats, and huggable toys all equate to hefty sales.

Mascots are moneymaking machines credited with making billions of U.S. dollars in Japan alone.

The most popular are being tested internationally. Today’s mascots sensations could be tomorrow’s global brand.

Think Godzilla, Pokémon, Hello Kitty and just maybe this dancing pear.

A star so big, his people protect him from the press.

After hours of waiting and some fun with other mascots, Funassyi finally grants our request.

And like a true pro he always stay in character

Do you do it for the fame? For the money? Why do you do this?

“I do this because it makes everyone happy,” Funyassi says.

Funyassi is winning hearts, and opening wallets, all over Japan.

And perhaps someday, the world.

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