Ocha-Ken, also known as Tea Puppies or Tea Dogs, are small, cute, colourful dogs. They are intended to bring relaxation to people in various ways aswell as being used simply to market some Japanese products.
400,000 of these toy dogs, released by Sega Toys, sold in their first year alone! They originally came in two sizes, and became immediately popular among younger children, but also among adults. The trendy toys have various features such as the droopy eyes, making them look relaxed, aswell as some of the toys being scented with the relaxing aroma of tea!
Continuing along the road of popularity, Ocha-Ken became a 26 episode animated series aimed at young children. The episodes (which can be downloaded on this website
) measure around three and a half minutes each, telling short stories and ending with a piece of "wisdom".
The Relaxing Attributes
Aswell as the droopy eyes and tea-scented toys, the animated series is a further attempt at getting people to try and relax a little more. The stories contained within give tips on how to live a little happier and carefree, which is much needed even for children in Japanese society today due to hectic and busy lifestyles. This is one of the reasons that the toys initially sold so well.
Other Products - Marketing
Bottles of tea that come with a small toy, and tea puppy shaped biscuits are among some of the various consumable products featuring these small characters. The group of distinct looking puppies and also kittens has created some great marketing opportunities to sell various products.