Idle Idol + Fuzz & Fur

idle idol header

Idle Idol +
Fuzz & Fur

The idea

Our obsession with characters began in English fairgrounds and at seaside piers. We were fascinated by the strange fibre glass characters that sat outside charity shops and fast food restaurants. We began documenting the mascots we came across and uploading our photos to a flickr group we created. When Ed moved to Tokyo he discovered an abundance of new and absurd characters. We quickly realised this niche deserved a book detailing this fascinating subject.

Idle Idol

The Japanese have a long-standing infatuation with characters cast as three-dimensional objects that represent products, companies, civic organizations, towns and just about anything else you can imagine. Idle Idol: The Japanese Mascot examines this fascinating cultural history, documenting the evolution of these character statues ubiquitous throughout the country today.

The book

The book came out in 2010 and was published by Mark Batty Publisher. We researched and designed the book as well as photographing the majority of the mascots that appear. The book contains over 100 mascots, it begins with a short introduction detailing the history. The mascots are organised into eight chapters beginning with hero, then legend, spokesperson, TV star, entertainer, chef, doctor and finishing with meeter and greeter.

Joe Yabuki

Advertising & Press

At the same time the book was being designed we also created a website which launched just before the book was published. To coincide with the book launch we created a facebook app, launched a competition on the website, wrote articles for blogs, marketed the book to magazines such as Wired and gave talks including one with Pecha Kucha.

The Daily Yomiuri mascot articlebusiness cardsWired magazineIdle Idol website

Fuzz & Fur

Our second book Fuzz and Fur delves into the world of kigurumi or fur suit mascots. The adoration of mythical creatures and popular anime characters is nothing new in Japan, but kigurumi, is a growing pastime and successful marketing tool. An oversized daikon radish, a skiing egg, a bear with an apple for a head, an erupting volcano – these furry mascots wander the streets of Japan, and populate the pages of Fuzz & Fur.

The book

Profiling over 100 kigurumi with photographs and text that explains the mascots’ origins, as well as their likes and dislikes, Fuzz & Fur is the definitive compendium of this fascinating subculture, and the perfect companion to Idle Idol.


Advertising & Press

Fuzz and fur launched with a lot of interest particularly with museums. The Tate modern book shop stocked it and the Children's Museum of Manhattan created an exhibition inspired by it and used many of our photos.

Fuzz and Fur postcard
The Japan times mascot article
Fuzz & Fur website