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Korean Characters Gaining Popularity

Posted June. 23, 2006 04:06,   


Some eighty leading Korean characters including Pucca, Mashimaro, Divo and Mix master were introduced at an international exhibition, “Licensing 2006 International,” which is being held in Jacob Convention Center, New York from June 20 to June 22. A total of 22 Korean companies participate in the exhibition.

Licensing 2006 International is the biggest exhibition in term of licensing of cultural contents such as character, animation, movies, and games. About 500 companies around the world take part in it every year. Licensing means making a royalty contract of cultural contents. During the exhibition, content providers consult customers who plan to do business using the content and make a contract.

The Korea Culture and Content Agency set up a Korean Pavilion to support these consultations and contracts. On June 21, content providers of popular characters such as Pucca, Maishimaro and Divo were overwhelmed by requests for consultation. Without prior appointment, one could not have a chance to consult with them.

The amount of investment Korean companies consulted with customers stood at 9.32 million dollars in 2002, and 35.34 million dollars in 2005. The figure is expected to grow further this year.

In Asia and Europe, the character, Pucca is already very popular. The character is expected to become well-known this year in the U.S. too, since an animated cartoon about Pucca produced by Disney is going to be broadcast in the U.S.

Shin Hang-woo, head of the U.S. office of the Korea Culture and Content Agency, said, “In the character licensing sector, which is dominated by the U.S., Europe and Japan, Korean companies are prominent. A lot of foreign companies show great interest in Korean characters.”

Jong sik Kong kong@donga.com