In Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken isn’t just popular, it’s an institution. It’s even a holiday tradition. Eating KFC on Christmas has been widely practiced since the mid-1970s. With 1200 locations across the country, Japan is KFC’s third-largest market after China and the US.
Standing outside near the entrance of each one of those outlets, welcoming customers with open arms and a smile, is a life-size statue of Colonel Sanders. And, thanks to Kotaku, we just learned that those statues of The Colonel are dressed in all sorts of different costumes all the time - for specific holidays, for seasonal celebrations, media promotions, and sometimes just for the fun of it.
The photos you see here represent a very small sampling of the costumed Colonel Sanders statues that have been spotted around Japan. Head over to Kotaku to view many more.
Everyone remembers Burger King’s awesome Pokemon promotion, but no one ever talks about Pokemon’s earliest fast food venture with KFC.
I’m just as guilty as the majority, even though my first piece of Pokemon merchandise came from this outing. KFC ran a small promotion right before Poke’mania swept the U.S. It was nowhere near the scale of Burger King’s epic promotion with cards, toys, the illustrious golden collector’s cards and “trading” nights, but it was still a fair run with a couple of commercials and decent toys.
Being born in Kentucky, it’s standard here that you talk of Col. Sanders with the same weight as discussing the pope or the president. He introduced us to the best fried chicken you could buy at a fair price and he helped plant the seeds of a lifelong fandom in us, right before it’s peak.
Burger King drove it home at it’s height, but KFC deserves acknowledgement for kickstarting the craze in the south-east part of the U.S
The first Pokemon toy I ever got was the Seel beanbag doll offered from KFC. I kept it for years but frequent moves and my forgetful nature forced me to abandon it somewhere unknown. That Seel doll piqued my interest and led me to discover the anime series and further down the road the card game, the video game and so on. So in a lot of way, I have Col. Sanders to thank for my Poke’fandom
In hindsight, what surprises me now is the choice in Pokemon given toys. Vulpix, Dratini, Seel and Zubat were chosen above the starting 3, Pikachu and every other Pokemon that springs to mind when you think of the series. Pikachu is featured front and center in the commercial but somehow missed out on getting the toy treatment. My guess is that Nintendo wasn’t sure on who they wanted as the “face’ of the series just yet and hung up a poster with all 150 Pokemon and threw darts.
I wrote way more than I wanted to today about KFC and Pokemon so i’m wrapping this up here.