Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Finally! As I already hinted in the last post; the mystery Winky Doll has a name thanks to the web searching skills of colleague José. May I introduce you to... 'Dakko-chan'!

Dakko-chan (literally: 'embraceable') first saw the light of day in Japan. The inflatable character became an instant craze in the early 1960's when a teenage girl clenched the 12" winky doll to her arm while she was strolling around the popular shopping district Ginza, in Tokyo. Dakko-chan, available in a girl (hair bow) and a boy (no bow) version, was designed to be a small kids toy but became immensely popular amongst teenagers and young mothers. In two months 300,000 pieces were sold and in no-time the demand outran the production of 7000 pieces a day. Customers formed long queues at the stores in order to get their hands on a 50¢ Dakko-chan.

Dakko-chan was invented by Yoshihiro Suda, for Japan's toymaking Tsukudaya Company. The stereotype ethnic design of the character was explained by Japanese intellectuals as the rising popularity of jazz music in Japan of that time. Novelist Tensei Kawano stated (quote): "We of the younger generation are outcasts from politics and society. In a way we are like negroes, who have a long record of oppression and misunderstanding, and we feel akin to them."


  1. Wow that is really insulting.

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  4. "I think your article is great."

    Well, thank Time Magazine, 1960. Most of what's written here was taken, word for word, from that article, which you can easily Google.

    Stealing somebody else's creativity is what blogs are all about.

  5. So, where can I buy one?

  6. Thanks i had one when i was five also known by another name as "hug-a-bug" which i loved as a child

    1. yes, I had one too. Definitely we called it a Hug -a- Bug.
      Maybe the name was an attempt to neutralize it's offensive appearance.

  7. Wow what a nostalgic trip surfing your blog. First matchboxes from 1970 now this little guy. I still have him from when i was little 3 or 5 year old. Somewhere in the attic. Inflatable, but with the tiny hole which need to be repaired. I newer know the story and origin of that toy. Wonders of the internet...

  8. Edit: comments that were links to Viagra websites were deleted. These are computer written texts.

  9. There is a shop full of Winky dolls in Brussels. Took me back to the early 1960s!! @Anglusndola on Twitter for photo