eCircles, R.I.P.
Jim and Badtz-Maru

For those who don't know, Badtz-Maru is a penguin with an attitude, created by Sanrio, the company that brought the world Hello Kitty. (Presumably Badtz-Maru and Hello Kitty are acquaintances, if not exactly friends.) While I was working at eCircles, my friend Marge Boots bought me a stuffed Badtz-Maru, explaining that I reminded her of him. Then other people started buying me Badtz-Maru stuff, until I had accumulated a rather impressive collection of Badtz-Maru merchandise at my desk. Among the items: a clock (from Marge); a pair of chopsticks, a ruler, and a pad of paper for sending notes to friends (all imported from Japan by Suki Lee); a set of ink stamps, a miniature bubble gum dispenser, and a yellow pen (from Erin Roberts); a purple pen (from Justin Lee); a small stuffed Badtz-Maru in a shark costume (from Chi-an Chou); a case for eyeglasses (from Scott Cheng); and a CD wallet (from Yumi Hosaka).

Eventually, I wound up buying a lot of Sanrio stuff for these friends and others in the office.

At any rate, now you can decide for yourself whether there really is a resemblance:

Jim Badtz-Maru
Jim in early 1999
(Photo by Brandon Hashimoto)
Still can't decide? Continue to Part 2.
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