Monchhichi (モンチッチ Monchitchi?) is a line of Japanese stuffed toy monkeys from the Sekiguchi Corporation, first released in 1974. They were licensed by Mattel in the United States until 1985, and later distributed worldwide directly by Sekiguchi. Three television series were produced based on the characters: The Japanese anime series Monchhichi Twins (ふたごのモンチッチ Futago no Monchhichi?) in 1980, produced by Tokyo 12 Channel (Now TV Tokyo), the American cartoon series Monchhichis in 1983, produced by Hanna-Barbera productions, and Monchhichi (モンチッチ Monchhichi?) in 2005, by Kids Station.
The Monchhichi franchise is held by the Sekiguchi Corporation, a famous doll company, located in Tokyo, Japan. Monchhichi was created by Yoshiharu Washinoワシの良春 (わしの よしはる) on January 25, 1974, as an improvement to the already successful "Kuta Kuta Monkey" (くたくたモンキー (Exhausted monkey)). Sekiguchi claims they created these characters in order to inspire respect and love in the young (Japanese) children and adults, their name is derived from the words "Mon" which translates to "Mine" in French and "Chhichi" which closely resembles the sound a child's pacifier would produce according to Japanese phonetics, also the resulting word has a similar sound to the word "Monkey" in English.
The dolls were successful in Japan, and the animated TV series, Futago no Monchhichi (ふたごのモンチッチ, Monchhichi Twins) which ran in 1980, helped increase its popularity even further.
Exportation of the doll line started in 1975, towards West Germany and Austria. The following years would see the Monchhichi line marketed in all of Western Europe. The original name was changed to "Chicaboo" in the United Kingdom, to "Mon Cicci" in Italy, to "Kiki" in France and to "Bølle" in Denmark. The height of the Monchhichi dolls' popularity was in Germany during the 1980s, surpassing even the Japanese figure sales during this period.
The Monchhichi doll line reached the North American shores in 1980. Mattel bought the license for the toy line. The American cartoon series Monchhichis was produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1983 and aired on ABC (as part of The Monchhichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show) in an effort to promote the doll line. The line was dropped by Mattel due to poor sales in 1985, but was reintroduced during Monchhichi's 30 anniversary in 2004 by Sekiguchi. As of 2013, Monchhichi dolls are still available in the United States from retailers such as Target.
1980 anime series
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Jinsenji|
|Original run||February 4, 1980 – August 1, 1980|
Japanese voice cast
1983 American animated television series
Monchhichis is an American cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera. It premiered in the United States on ABC on September 10, 1983 as part of The Monchhichis/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show, replacing Pac-Man (which by then, had been given its own half-hour time slot) from the previous season.
Monchhichis were monkey-like creatures who lived in the forest land of Monchia at the very top of tall trees well above the clouds. The tribe's leader, Wizzar, was a magical wizard who could make up spells and potions to defeat their enemy, the evil Grumplins of Grumplor.
An episode of the show was featured in the Saturday Morning Cartoons: The '80s DVD boxed set released by Warner Home Video in 2010.
U.S. voice cast
- Moncho – Robert Morse
- Kyla – Laurel Page
- Tootoo – Ellen Gerstell
- Patchitt – Frank Welker
- Thumkii – Hank Saroyan
- Horrg – Sidney Miller
- Wizzar – Frank Nelson
- Snogs – Bob Arbogast
- Snorg - Fei Fei Liu
- Shreeker, Snitchitt, Gonker – Peter Cullen
- Yabbott, Fasit, Scumgor – Laurie Faso
- Official Monchhichi website (Japanese)
- Monchichi, the Twins (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Monchhichi at the Internet Movie Database