I think I'm in love. A few weeks before my recent vacation in Nags Head, I paid a visit to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Little Tokyo once again and came away with this amazing bag of fiery potato snacks. The snacks themselves, while definitely hotter than your average spicy potato snack, just don't taste that good at all. If you vomited into a deep fryer, shaped it into a ring and added some habanero seasoning and staleness to it, you'd have this particular Tohato snack in a nutshell. But who cares about flavor when you have a mascot like THAT!? If you can find a pepper with a more diabolical face, then I'd love to see it. Just look into those cold eyes and you'll find nothing there but a yearning for murder. I'm dead serious when I say that the Tohato pepper ranks right up there with Domo-Kun when it comes to awesomely twisted Japanese characters. If the two of them were to battle, I'd probably have a heart attack in my face from witnessing such a historic spectacle.
Now I've stated before that I don't speak a word of Japanese, but after doing some research, I've learned that there's a lot more to Tohato than just this one bag of chips with a sinister pepper wearing a Mexican wrestling mask...
I could be wrong, but I believe Tohato is on a quest for world domination. Just one look at the official web site and you'll see that menacing pepper plastered all over the page. But if you explore deeper into the site, you'll see some truly frightening photos such as this:
It's been two days since I visited the Tohato site and saw images like that and I haven't slept since. I'm deathly afraid to close my eyes, for whenever I do, all I see is IT. I apologize if this blog post causes insomnia for the rest of you, but it's better you find out about it from me rather than from the pepper itself when it headbutts your front door down and rubs its inherently spicy evil directly into your ocular cavity. Even DEATH is afraid of the pepper... LOOK!
Yes indeed, the Tohato company isn't just limiting themselves to a global conquest, they're going for all-out intergalactic domination by fighting Death (or General Grievous as some have suggested) in outer space! You can play this simple flash game on the site where you fly your pepper-powered space craft which shoots snacks at the marauding peppers. If you last long enough, you'll get to battle Death, who spits out bullets and more peppers. Don't ask me, I didn't write the game so I'm not going to pretend to understand it. They also have some wallpapers 'n what not if you would like to decorate your computer with the evil of Tohato in hopes that they will spare you in the future.
Now I've searched all over online, but I can't find any place that sells some of the other nifty Tohato pepper mascot products such as this toy:
If any of you know where I can buy it, by all means tell me. Not even eBay has come to my rescue in this case. I just need to have more of the Tohato mascot in my life. For chrissakes, just listen to some of these names for their snacks:
-Tyrant Habanero Burning Hell Hot
-Tohato Habanero Talking Turban Terrorist Pepper
-Satan Jorquia Bazooka Deadly Hot
Impeccable right? Well, their marketing campaigns are nothing short of incredible either. Take a look:
Even more impressive was their viral marketing campaign for their two newest snacks by setting them against each other in "The World's Worst War" where you could choose an evil army to battle with on your cell phone.
Pyramid schemes... epic "ha-ba-nero" songs... and above all things, who wouldn't want to battle in lands such as "Sweet Sucker's Execution Hall" or "Ouch, the City of Anal Torture" anyway?
Man... I really need to pay Japan a visit someday.
MilesMayhem on 06/03/2008 8:35 pm
death looks a lot like General Grievous
Dungeonbrownies on 06/03/2008 9:10 pm
an excellent campaign, I saw it a while back and almost bought a bag, but did see it in the online news,,,
Ferrit on 06/03/2008 9:18 pm
I will not be carving pumpkins for Halloween this year, I will be carving giant red peppers. Children will cry, and my neighbors will finally fear me.
LadyMage on 06/03/2008 9:30 pm
whoa, I'll stick it dr steel's army thanks
being a toy soilder just seems safer
Black Zarak (Guest) on 06/03/2008 9:53 pm
Yeah, that's totally General Grievous the hell pepper is fighting.
Steve (Guest) on 06/03/2008 11:27 pm
Holy shit habanero war is epic, also I bet there's an evil-er message in that music video when played backwards...
Silver (Guest) on 06/03/2008 11:49 pm
Now is time for you, -Rog-, to start creating some spiffy Pickle Snacks with some convincing mascot and show that bastard Tohato who rules this hemisphere, because I am quite concerned about our safety.
Ever since Domo-Kun's Angry Smashfest, somehow I was expecting Domo-Kun to show around one of these days and rip my head off with one sharp bite, but now another threat of the same magnitude can be seen not so far away...
Will this mean that the I-Mockery Gang will be turned into mindless Habaneros wearing masks like those of Octagon or Blue Demon? Is Protoclown's personal comic gallery aware of the dangers of a potential invasion of Tohato paperback media being released not on a monthly or weekly, but a DAILY basis? Stay tuned...
Terrible-D on 06/04/2008 12:05 am
I have got to visit Japan someday.
Doctor_Who on 06/04/2008 12:39 am
If ever there was any doubt in my mind that the Japanese are completely insane, that commercial dispelled it.
I need to go there, just to witness the madness firsthand. And so I can tell my grandchildren someday: "I was there. The day the hellpepper army ate all of the schoolgirls in sailor outfits, and did terrible things to Hello Kitty with tentacles, I WAS THERE."
homor on 06/04/2008 1:05 am
this isn't epic, this is something sharp and scary of a marketing campaign.
its a fucking extreme marketing campaign.
bountyhunterseven on 06/04/2008 1:17 am
this kinda puts me in the frame of mind of bill murry's promo in SCROOGED!
i need this snacks as if my life depended on it!!
send me some!! before i DIE!!
OxBlood on 06/04/2008 2:04 am
I just love snacks with ridiculus names, this one rules them all I´d say.
except maybe for "Jalsa´s Graveblast Potato Chips Omega plus", the Ultimate Destruction-flavored ones
Drunken_Lemur408 on 06/04/2008 5:36 am
That Habenero laugh will haunt my dreams eternally!
Trike123 (Guest) on 06/04/2008 6:59 am
Agreed about Dr. Steel. Toy Soldiers Unite!
Also, is the company name pronounced To-Hate-O?
Icculus on 06/04/2008 8:47 am
I knew something has been missing from the boudoir. My girlfriend already has the whip and leather corset...I need to get her a pepper of death mask.
Silver on 06/04/2008 8:52 am
Trike123: Holy sparks. Now that's an explanation for that snack's mascot that makes some sense to me. The luchador persona, the online wars, the devoted fans... Think about some unholy level of madness in such a spicy character!
BakaGaijin on 06/04/2008 10:04 am
The last wallpaper on the site is the best, with all the silhouettes of people burning in the fires of Hell, reaching up to the mighty pepper as if to worship their spicy red evil god. It's now my wallpaper at work.
On another note, come check out my blog RoG, et al. I'm not making any money off of it. I'm doing a "Supersize Me" type of project where I watch a different Godzilla movie every day in June. I'm only 4 days in and I'm already getting a little wacky from it. Hope you guys don't mind the self promotion, but at 3 hits a day, I need all the plugs I can get. Check it out here:
Colonel Flagg on 06/04/2008 10:48 am
Does anyone else think the Tohato mascot on the first page looks like Pennywise the clown? (Rog may have made an intentional reference to this in the editorial.) Also, I get flashbacks from the movie "The Wall" looking at the Tohato "fortress" and the marching "Tohato youth". (We don't need no Ed-U-Kay-Shun...)
The Japanese are seriously a few fries short of a happy meal.
mysundaeismud (Guest) on 06/04/2008 11:28 am
Strangely, the pepper from hell looks a lot like it was from soviet russia. what do you think Rog?
Fast Eddy (Guest) on 06/04/2008 12:06 pm
Whoa, these are the coolest products i've ever witnessed, shame the chips taste like ass.
Fear N Loathing on 06/04/2008 1:11 pm
...open the skull of your average Japanese and you can look in and see the snakes and rats swirling around in their cortex. Truly a twisted psyche.
Hurr (Guest) on 06/04/2008 3:01 pm
i heard it was banned in 30 countries!
BurntToShreds on 06/04/2008 4:00 pm
Gotdamn, This just makes me want a Japanese cell phone even more. Curse them and their subtle ways of continuing their isolation from the rest of the world.
Burn on 06/04/2008 5:15 pm
I'm sure they taste horrible, but I would love to play the game ^_^
Commanderraf on 06/04/2008 5:22 pm
Ah... this chips are nothing. Here in Mexico, it seems that the national sport -besides whinning- is adding Chlli to everything. And when I say everything, I MEAN everything. Ice cream? Yes. Pizza? Yup. Chocolates? Done. Imagine anything edible, and some Mexican somewhere has added chilli powder to it and sold it to other Mexicans, making profit in the way..
Silver on 06/04/2008 7:31 pm
Commanderraf: Definitivamente men, nos gusta ponerle chile a todo. Esta cañón el asunto.
Hanglyman on 06/05/2008 3:34 am
Wow, you were hiding a lot behind that (more...) link. I was expecting a "look at this crazy jack-o-lantern-faced Mexican wrestler pepper bag I found in a dollar store" type thing, and instead it's like a dimensional window into a whole other universe where that thing is the supreme ruler of mankind. Wacky, stylish Japanese marketing, or a frightening vision of a possible future in which we're all drafted into the evil pepper armies?
Ronin S on 06/05/2008 7:20 am
Ah, gotta love that Japanese marketing. I always keep wondering why we don't have commercials or game shows like that around here.
Oh, and RoG, if you ever visit Japan, please take me with you.
-RoG- on 06/05/2008 12:40 pm
MilesMayhem, definitely, good call on that one.
LadyMage, safer for your rectum at the very least.
Silver, yeah maybe I will make some pickle snacks. It's becoming clear to me that a snack product doesn't have to taste good in order to be a raging success... it just needs to look cool. Well, it needs to look cool, or in this case, downright horrifying.
Drunken_Lemur408, yeah that laugh just makes it all the more evil. Why do you think I haven't been able to shut my eyes?
BakaGaijin, cool, I'll check it out when I have a chance. Good luck on your quest to watch all of the Godzilla flicks!
mysundaeismud, they have a variety of looks for the pepper. My favorite is the one where he's wearing a big green sombrero.
Commanderraf, did you say ice cream?
WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
Did any of you watch those little flash videos on the page where the free desktop wallpapers are? Watch them all and you'll see just how twisted the pepper really is as he shoots people who try to interview him! (I believe it was the sixth one). You can watch him headbutt a cactus too!
Big daddy Z (Guest) on 06/05/2008 1:02 pm
Japan - creating 93% of the world's weird shit.
Bacon (Guest) on 06/05/2008 1:04 pm
did you made the video about the campaign? it's very well done.
clrs on 06/05/2008 1:46 pm
This raises the question: Does El Serpento eat Tohato or does Tohato eat El Serpento?
-RoG- on 06/05/2008 2:14 pm
Bacon, nope, those videos were made for Tohato by some ad company.
clrs, well, since they're both clearly evil, I'm pretty sure the Tohato pepper would team up with El Serpento. But let's be completely realistic here, El Serpento can hold his breath for 45 seconds and lives on a healthy diet of kelp... he's clearly tougher than any other being on the planet. I'm not taking anything away from the Tohato pepper though, because it can perform impressive feats such as this:
elementalblazer on 06/05/2008 2:45 pm
MAybe it's because I'm hispanic or because my mexican friend made me eat those gos awful spicy candies but man that demonic pepper looks delicious
Silver on 06/05/2008 11:17 pm
I'm pretty sure that El Serpento is capable of kicking that sadistic pepper's ass.
greenimp on 06/06/2008 4:16 am
dear god... they even enslaved humans to use as troops, i have never wanted anything as much as i want one of those evil peppers
davrone (Guest) on 06/06/2008 12:17 pm
I will follow the hell pepper to hell!
Paris Hellton (Guest) on 06/06/2008 12:23 pm
Supernova Juice Journal » Ramblings » Ouch, the City of Anal Torture (Guest) on 06/06/2008 1:38 pm
[...] Mascots do not get any wierder than the above. This entry was posted on Friday, June 6th, 2008 at 10:38 am and is filed under Ramblings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]
BadgersAteMyFaCE (Guest) on 06/06/2008 4:56 pm
I saw a toahto keychain in that listing. Would that be something you're looking for?
Badgers ate my FaCe on 06/06/2008 4:58 pm
Ack forgot to log in. hope that link helps you rog.
Creepiest Food Mascot | Candy Kirby (Guest) on 06/06/2008 6:16 pm
[...] The Tohato Pepper for spicy Japanese potato [...]
J_B_88 (Guest) on 06/07/2008 12:38 am
Hey -RoG-, where exactly did you find the snacks at? I went to the marketplace and looked all over the snack section, but found nothing. I DID however, walk away with some green tea-flavored kit-kat bars though.
Yes, they were awesome.
Dungeonbrownies on 06/07/2008 1:26 am
its a shame when you realize that most of the japanese cracker and chip based foods taste awful. they got the candy down though, i can tell you that...
l33tninj4 on 06/07/2008 1:48 am
Watch next time a kid kills a cop he wont say Grand
Theft Auto made him do it but the Tohato pepper made
them do it. lol
Melissa (Guest) on 06/07/2008 2:10 am
Last month I left Japan after 4 years. Looks like I might have left a tad early... ;) Most of the writing in the pictures is too small to make out, but on the mascot product, the larger writing in white on the right is legible. More or less, "If you luck is bad, Bou-kun (Tyrant) Habanero will mess you up."
With higher res images, I could get all the rest of it.
-RoG- on 06/07/2008 8:56 pm
J_B_88, I found them in the snack section with all the other chips and what have you. It's definitely possible they sold out of them though and haven't gotten anymore in stock yet. Remember the Capsela drinks I wrote about a while back? I haven't seen those for sale at Mitsuwa in quite some time now... so it's not surprising you didn't see the Tohato chips there either. Keep checkin' back I guess.
0dd1 on 06/08/2008 1:14 am
This pepper (judging by the pictures you posted) seems like a certain dictator from Germany that tried to take over the world and killed millions of people in the 1930s through the early 40s.
I'm not saying who, but you can prob'ly guess who I'm talking about.
In a quite related comment, damn--that pepper DOES look evil. It would probably even strike fear into the hearts of a supercreature made up of the combined traits of Chuck Norris, Bob Saget, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Tom Sawyer O_o
I mean just look at it!!!
TTwoo (Guest) on 06/18/2008 5:39 am
Wow. This is pretty over-the-top advertising, specially considering they supposedly don't taste that good. But I guess that's how come it sells.
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