ICv2 reports that Dentsu, Japan's advertising/media powerhouse, is hoping to seek out licensees for its Mameshiba line of “bean-dog characters,” as in they're dogs shaped kinda like beans. Mame means bean, and a shiba inu is a Japanese dog breed.
Dentsu clearly hopes that Mameshiba could be the next Domo-kun, and they may even be right. The Mameshiba animations were a big hit in Japan, selling over $30 million USD in goods just last year.
That said, they seem to be looking for licensees more in the toys and fashion world than someone who'll license the actual animated shorts, which is a bit of a shame. Then again, maybe they'll just run it through Crunchyroll.
If you're curious about said shorts, the low-down is that there are more than 25 of these dog-bean characters-- all various types of bean, like Fava, Soy, etc –and in their short animations they offer extremely random trivia.
They ARE pretty cute. I could see myself buying a particularly clever t-shirt with one of these guys on him. Well, if I was going to buy a t-shirt at all. (Long story short, I virtually never wear t-shirts.)
How about you?