Discover the story of the Japanese man who turned heads by spending $14,000 to transform into a collie. Despite the buzz, he's not aiming to live as a dog – he enjoys wearing the hyper-realistic costume. He's grateful for his family's acceptance and sets the record straight about his unusual choice.
Japanese Man Who Spent $14K To Become A Collie Says His Family Accepts It
“My desire to be an animal is like a desire to transform…a desire to be something that I am not,” Toco told The New York Post, adding that he wears the costume maybe once a week, mostly at home.
Wannabe Lassie unexpectedly became an international sensation. His video, strolling around Tokyo in a $14,000 dog suit, interacting with both humans and real pups, caught everyone's eye.
He confessed to being surprised by the overwhelming response to his unique dog-like endeavors.
Interestingly, his family didn't oppose his unconventional hobby, showing they were totally cool with it.
Apart from his viral video, his YouTube channel "I Want To Be an Animal" has attracted a remarkable 19.5 million views.
On this platform, he offers glimpses of his dog-inspired escapades, such as indulging in faux dog treats, playfully entering a wire cage, and even performing rollovers.
As for his earnings, Toco remains tight-lipped about the figures generated from his YouTube endeavors, but his subscriber count has soared to an impressive 51,000.
The astonishingly realistic outfit, a true showstopper, came with a hefty price tag of 2 million yen (equivalent to $14,099).
Crafted by Zeppet, a company renowned for producing costumes for television commercials and shows, it underscores the dedication and precision behind his transformation into the four-legged world.
Crafting the ultimate suit was no small feat, demanding 40 days of meticulous effort and undergoing numerous revisions before reaching perfection.
However, even as the final version impressed many, discerning American Kennel Club judges playfully pointed out that the impersonations could still fetch room for improvement.
Undeterred by online trolls who ridiculed his canine cosplay, the part-time herding dog stood his ground, refusing to let their negativity make him retreat with his tail between his legs.
“I’m just sad that people can think that,” Toco said. “I love animals and enjoy play-acting like a collie.”
He added, “This is my hobby, so I will carry on. It makes me happy and other people happy, too.”
“A collie should look regal, and I don’t know that he does,” Jeffrey Presley told the tabloid.
Presley also panned Toco for having a “heavy head,” because it’s too wide.
A collie also “should have an expression of real intelligence,” Presley said.
Another AKC judge was even more blunt.
“He’s overweight,” Erin Blaisure ruled. “I can tell that he’s not just all coat.”
And while he’s at it, Toco could use a nail clipping.
“They’re quite a bit long and he has this odd way of rotating his front paws,” Blaisure said.
Then there are the people on social media who actually do think Toco has gone “loco.”
One commenter on the Japanese version of X (formerly Twitter) said the man in the collie costume needs therapy.
“You cannot convince me this isn’t some weird sex thing,” another person wrote.
“I’m just sad that people can think that,” Toco responded. “This is my hobby, so I will carry on.”
But Toco wants to clear up any misunderstanding. He says he doesn’t really want to live a dog’s life all the time.
“My desire to be an animal is like a desire to transform…a desire to be something that I am not,” he said.