Dentsu is planning to launch the Mameshiba bean-dog characters in the U.S. this year, and is actively seeking licensees.  The Mameshiba characters originated as interstitial animations created by Dentsu, and became a licensing hit in Japan, where over $30 million worth of products were sold last year.  Now there are over 250 products from over 20 licensees, and Dentsu expects sales to top $50 million in Japan this year.


The Mameshiba anime shorts feature over 25 puppy-faced bean characters that offer offbeat trivia.  For example, “in French, dandelions are called pissenlit, which means urinate in bed.”  Or:  "Did you know that the color of a hippo's sweat is pink?"


Characters include Fava Bean, Tiger Bean, Red Ban, Soybean, Peanut, Lentil, etc. 


Some contrast Mameshiba with Domo, a more male-skewing character which has also been promoted with animated shorts (see “Domo To Air on Nick”).  Dark Horse has produced a line of Domo merchandise (see “Dark Horse Readies Domo Merchandise”), and Target ran a very successful Domo promotion late last year with merchandise from a range of licensees.  Tokyopop has now announced that it will produce a Domo manga (see “Tokyopop to Produce Domo Manga”). 


Dentsu is looking for licensees in the plush, toy, fashion, accessory, and collectible categories.