Some things naturally go together like cookies and milk, French fries and ketchup. So when Jamie Noguchi of Rockville wanted to make a new plush toy he naturally combined the likeness of a bovine and a canine.
Puppy Cow was born.
Strange? Yes. Backed by 132 people to the tune of nearly $5,000 in seed money through a website for entrepreneurs? Also, yes.
Noguchi is a Web site designer by trade currently working on a contract with NASA. But when he isn’t designing new interactive Web features about the space shuttle, he’s drawing anime cartoons and of course, working to bring Puppy Cow to the masses.
What is it? Well, it is a combo of a dog bearing a half pained, half confused expression. On his belly—a cow udder. He has hooves for paws.
“I like the idea of mixing cute and disturbing together,” Noguchi said of his concept. “I get either one of two responses. They think it’s cute or they are terrified by it."
Puppy Cow started as a sketch drawing while Noguchi was attending an anime webcomic convention. Encouraged by those who saw it, he created an account on Kickstarter.com to try to get funding to have it made.
is a Web-based funding tool for entrepreneurs who believe they have a good idea but don’t have the money to launch it. The inventor sets a funding goal and strangers pledge against that goal until the amount of money needed is met. In return the inventor offers backers tangible rewards. In Noguchi’s case he offers his backers anything from digital sketches of Puppy Cow to an 8-by-10 acrylic painting of the odd character.
With his funding in hand, Noguchi was able to have Puppy Cow made into a plush toy with faux leather udders. He’s selling them for $15 through www.monstercutie.com or at anime conventions. The animal even has its own theme song that ends with the Puppy Cow call: two barks and one moo.
It’s a dash of Old McDonald meets Old Yeller. Noguchi admits the concept is a bit confusing.
“My 3-year-old nephew likes it but there is that potential for confusion,” Noguchi said.
So far Noguchi has sold about 50 of his Puppy Cow plush toys. He is working with a Los Angeles-based distributor to try to get the product into small toy stores that sell urban art.
If all goes well, Noguchi has another concept ready to go.
Pus Puss waits in the wings.
Of course, a combo of an octopus and a cat. Coming to a store near you?