It's Happy Bunny

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Happy Bunny is a character in a series of stickers, buttons, greeting cards, posters, and other merchandise sold at novelty shops across North America. Designed by artist and writer Jim Benton, "who People Magazine called the most visible cartoonist in America, [1] Happy Bunny is a small, smiling bunny, often varying in color, with an insulting slogan printed at its feet. [2]

Sticker Type of label with adhesive on one side

A sticker is a type of label: a piece of printed paper, plastic, vinyl, or other material with pressure sensitive adhesive on one side. They can be used for decoration or for functional purposes, depending on the situation.

Greeting card illustrated piece of card or high quality paper featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment

A greeting card is an illustrated piece of card stock or high quality paper featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment. Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or other holidays, such as Halloween, they are also sent to convey thanks or express other feelings. Greeting cards, usually packaged with an envelope, come in a variety of styles. There are both mass-produced as well as handmade versions that are distributed by hundreds of companies large and small. While typically inexpensive, more elaborate cards with die-cuts or glued-on decorations may be more expensive.

Poster any piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface

"A poster is a temporary promotion of an idea, product, or event put up in a public space for mass consumption." Typically, posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Posters are designed to be both eye-catching and informative. Posters may be used for many purposes. They are a frequent tool of advertisers, propagandists, protestors, and other groups trying to communicate a message. Posters also are used for reproductions of artwork, particularly famous works, and are generally low-cost compared to the original artwork. The modern poster, as we know it, however, dates back to the 1840s and 1850s when the printing industry perfected colour lithography and made mass production possible.

Products

Happy Bunny products are sold in many forms such as key chains, computer mouse pads, energy drinks, school supplies, clothing lines and many more. "Mr. Benton's intellectual properties ... have made him stand out in an industry dominated by big entertainment companies." [3] "Last year, the It's Happy Bunny brand nabbed the International Licensing Excellence Award for Best Art Brand Licensing of the Year, from the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA)." [4] "An anti-drug campaign featuring It's Happy Bunny was honored at the 2007 Austin ADDY Awards for advertising excellence in the category of public service." [5]

The appeal of the merchandise lies in the fact that most, if not all, of the slogans are apathetic and sometimes offensive and derogatory, and one commentator noted that "'It's Happy Bunny' has joined the "tasteless" category of merchandise ...". [6] The slogans include, among others, "You suck and that's sad", "Cute but psycho: things even out", "Hi, Loser", "It worries me how dumb you are", "Dear Santa, leave presents. Take Brother!", and "I am the dominant bunny in the world" . It's Happy Bunny also has a line of "medicine" to cure quite awkward (fictional) diseases such as the "I'm delusional" pills; they are actually mints or small candies, the word poison badly blocked out with crayon (with happy bunny holding a crayon) and written in crayon there is, "mints for a frend"(sic).

Apathy state of indifference or the suppression of emotions; lack of interest or enthusiasm

Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. Apathy is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, or physical life and the world.

In addition, Jim Benton has written It's Happy Bunny books including Life. Get One; Love Bites; What's Your Sign?; and The Good, The Bad, and the Bunny. These books are targeted towards teen audiences and are not intended to be children's books. An It's Happy Bunny Sudoku book has also been written by Jim Benton and Rafael Sirkis.

Sudoku logic number grid puzzle

Sudoku is a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 subgrids that compose the grid contain all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which for a well-posed puzzle has a single solution.

In 2006 the Partnership for a Drug-Free Texas commissioned Benton to create anti-recreational drug public service announcement messages featuring Happy Bunny. [7]

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Smiley Stylized representation of a smiling humanoid face

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Miffy a small female rabbit in a series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna

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Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. cartoon character

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Crayola American art supply manufacturer

Crayola LLC, formerly Binney & Smith, is an American handicraft company, specializing in artists' supplies. It is known for its brand Crayola and best known for its crayons. The company is based in Forks Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, USA. Since 1984, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Originally an industrial pigment supply company, Crayola soon shifted its focus to art products for home and school use, beginning with chalk, then crayons, followed later by colored pencils, markers, paints, modeling clay, and other related goods. All Crayola-branded products are marketed as nontoxic and safe for use by children. Most Crayola crayons are manufactured in the United States.

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Sanrio Co., Ltd. is a Japanese company that designs, licenses and produces products focusing on the kawaii (cute) segment of Japanese popular culture. Their products include stationery, school supplies, gifts and accessories that are sold worldwide and at specialty brand retail stores in Japan. Sanrio's best-known character is Hello Kitty, a little anthropomorphic cat girl, one of the most successful marketing brands in the world.

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Peter Rabbit fictional character in childrens books by Beatrix Potter

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Perodua company

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In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase.

Cornetto (ice cream)

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Aero (chocolate bar)

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Alpha Beta supermarket chain

Alpha Beta was a chain of supermarkets in the United States. Stores under this brand existed between 1917 and 1995. Former Alpha Beta stores have all been purchased by other grocery chains and rebranded.

Jim K. Benton is an American illustrator and writer. Licensed properties he has created include Dear Dumb Diary, Dog of Glee, Franny K. Stein, Just Jimmy, Just Plain Mean, Sweetypuss, The Misters, Meany Doodles, Vampy Doodles, Kissy Doodles, and the jOkObo project, but he is probably most known for his creation It's Happy Bunny.

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Licensing means renting or leasing of an intangible asset. It is a process of creating and managing contracts between the owner of a brand and a company or individual who wants to use the brand in association with a product, for an agreed period of time, within an agreed territory. Licensing is used by brand owners to extend a trademark or character onto products of a completely different nature.

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Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media

Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), was a segment and subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that engaged in merchandising of the Disney brand and Disney properties through licensing, retail, video games, digital applications and content divisions. The company was formed as a result of the merger between Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive.

References

  1. Press release for a licensing deal accessed October 7 2007
  2. Daniel J. Vargas There is a smile behind the fangs of It's Happy Bunny The San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 August 2004. Accessed 8 October 2007
  3. The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2007, cited on http://www.jimbenton.com/, accessed October 7, 2007
  4. Brand Channel interview accessed October 7 2007 Archived 2007-10-18 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Jim Benton website accessed October 7 2007
  6. Menstuff.org retrieved October 7 2007
  7. Leonor Garza, Cynthia. "Schools recruit rude rabbit to deter youths from drugs / Popular bunny's negative attitude may reach a wider audience, they say." Houston Chronicle . Friday October 20, 2006. B1 MetFront. He was also in 1998's Silent Dog and 2001's Happy Bunny that were drama and fantasy and not black comedy. Retrieved on September 6, 2014.