I have seen them for years, I even had one as a child (and so did my sister) but I always wondered What is a Monchhichi? Obviously, they are a stuffed animal… but where did they come from? And how did they become so popular?
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What is a Monchhichi?
A Monchhichi is a “sweet little monkey” with a funny name that comes from combining the word Mon “mine” in French and “Chhichi” which is the Japanese onomatopoeic sound for the noise a pacifier makes when a child sucks on it. These animal babies were developed in Japan by Mr Sekiguchi of the Sekiguchi company after he visited Germany. The story goes, he saw some similar doll babies in German Toy Stores, and brought the idea home, where it was combined with a beloved Monkey Doll that was very popular in Japan. These little “Love Monkeys” were created to inspire love and respect between old and young in Japan.
Monchhichi in Germany
Before long, the dolls were exported to Germany and Austria, where their popularity took off. And when the Monchhichi Boutique opened in 1978… providing hundreds of different styles of clothing, collectors went crazy! More Monchhichi dolls were sold in Germany than in Japan! The merchandise line took off as well, T-shirts, games, school bags, bedding and furniture were snapped up by collectors and Monchhichi lovers all over
In 1974, the first Monchhichi twins were born. They were designed to be soft and cuddly, but with plastic feet and hands with a thumb that fits just perfectly into the mouth. Each wore a bib that said Monchhichi. The first major design change came in 1980, when a pacifier was placed in hand to suck, instead of a thumb.
In the United States, the Little Monkeys were a little slow to take off. Mattel picked up the line in 1980, and Hanna- Barbera even produced a tie-in cartoon to help promote them, but by 1985, Mattel stopped production because of lack of sales. They did, however, reintroduce the toy in 2004 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary.
How to Recognize Vintage Monchhichis
The most obvious trait to the early Monchhichis is the eyes… from 1974 until 1985, they all have blue eyes. After this, the eyes were painted brown.
The earliest Sekiguchi Monchhichis were around 8 inches tall, made with a matt dark brown fur, and had a tail about 3-4 inches long. Their plastic parts are soft, not hard. And they have 5 freckles under each eye… with 3 more across the bridge of the nose.
The first Monchhichis did not have pacifiers, they sucked their thumb. After 1980, a permanent pacifier was added.
Another obvious way to identify modern Monchhichis… look at the foot. The modern ones have the signature embossed in it.
Retro Toy monkey. Toy from USSR era. monkey. Monchhichi. JapanMattel Sekiguchi Monchhichi Plush Doll 7.5″ 1974 Girl No Bowset of two tiny fluff Sekiguchi Monchhichi kiki vintage 13 cmVintage 1970s Sekiguchi MONCHHICHI Original Thumb Sucking Boy In Yellow Bib!!!Made In Japan!!Big Vintage Monchhichi by Sekiguchi Japan 1974 | 17″ – 44 cm | Big Japanese Monchichi Cute thumbsucking Girl Monkey PlushToy Doll with dress
Did you have a Monchhichi??
Since 2016 was the Year of the Monkey, I wonder if they will be making a huge comeback?
Monchhichi Girl – Purple BibBebichhichi: Original Sekiguchi 5Original Sekiguchi 5.5Original Sekiguchi 5.5Sekiguchi Monchhichi Premium Standard Beige Girl Twin TailMonchhichi Cat Bebichhichi Tiger Cat PlushLovely Monchhichi Wedding Anniversary Decoration Toy
Don’t forget to dress your Monchhichi!
Clothing for MONCHICHI Gr. 20 Twins Animal Print & Rosé doll clothesPucksack + nightgown for MONCHICHI Gr. 20Nightgown set for MONCHICHI gr. 20 Kiwi PinkDressset 4-TG. For MONCHICHI Gr. 20 Hoodie PinkOriginal Boutique Monchhichi SUN BATHER Clothes in Box
Oh, how I remember this Commercial…I will have the song stuck in my head all day…
Today, over 40 years after they were introduced in Germany, Monchhichi’s are still popular among collectors and fans in Germany. (My cousin still has one in her car). Fansites are devoted to Collecting Monchhichis, Customized Monchhichis, Monchhichi Artwork, and even designer Monchhichis!
Loads of accessories and collectibles are on the market, so now, a whole new generation are being introduced to these sweet little monkeys.
Monchhichis Vintage Set of 2″ Music Band Figures1974 Monchhichi Sekiguchi Puzzle COMPLETE Jigsaw 70s Kids Games Retro Collectible CuteVintage Monchhichi monkey handkerchief Free Shipping 1994 Sanrio monchhichi monkey Made in Japan no.55Monchhichi Vintage Paper Doll BookThe Monkey Jumbo Pencil From Japan.80s Vintage Monchhichi Doll Wedding Ring Pillow Ring Cushion Stuffed Animal
You can even get sweet little collectible Monchhichi Figurines! Who collected these?
Seven Vintage 1979 Sekiguchi Monchhichi Figurines ~ Made In Hong KongMONCHHICHI PVC FIGURE Lot of 4 Figurines 1979 Vintage Airplane Baseball Tennis 2″ tall Collectible Figures SekiguchiPICK YOUR OWN Vintage 1981 Monchhichi Mini Figurine Collectibles
What is a Monchhichi? It’s A LOVE MONKEY!
Big-headed Monchhichi Plush Doll Keychain M size (Boy)
from: Strapya Inc.