In the aisle 5000 section of the exhibition hall of San Diego Comic-Con 2012 sits a corner booth surrounded by a gaggle of mostly young Asian American teens (let’s keep it real, but at the same time do keep in mind that the keyword is “mostly”). I notice that particular crowd after being turned away from the Kid Robot booth, which was, by the way, a complete and utter lie. Golden Homer Buddha sold out upon first arrival? D’oh! Anyway, “What’s this crowd gathered for?” I wondered. It wasn’t for a famous comic artist, limited run designer toys, or a “Game of Thrones” appearance. It was for merch being sold by a lil’ YouTube trio called “Wong Fu Productions.” Ever heard of ‘em? Awkward Animals, their line of saccharinely cute plush animals was selling like Stan Lee‘s personally licked hot cakes, and this wasn’t VidCon, mind you. Everyone who passed by the booth managed to pick up the Awkward Octopus plush to “aww” at its soft rotundity, and that’s part of the universal appeal and success of their merchandise line: it’s just too damn cute to pass up. I chatted with Wesley Chan, Ted Fu and Philip Wang of Wong Fu Productions at their booth about YouTube, Comic-Con, and of course, their merch.
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