Onitsuka Tiger and Astro Boy team up for new collection and Shanghai pop-up

Japanese sportswear label Onitsuka Tiger has partnered with Japanese manga and anime IP Astro Boy for a co-branded collection, as well as a pop-up space in Shanghai. The move comes to celebrate their joint 75th anniversary as both were created in 1949. The collection and the space launched on 12 January.

The co-branded collection contains 43 items including shirts, tracksuits, hoodies and shoes, as well as accessories like bags and hats. All contain Astro Boy-inspired graphics in the character’s signature black, white and red colour combination. The collection is currently available both online and at 4 offline locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

At Onitsuka’s Shanghai flagship at Central Plaza, a collaborated pop-up space has been established. Themed after Astro Boy’s iconic red, the shop features a life-sized Astro Boy statue, with figurines strewn across the location.  A dedicated photo spot has also been created in the mall for social media “check-in” purposes. The pop-up space will remain open until the end of January. 

Onitsuka Tiger was founded in 1949 and is well known for its iconic Mexico 66 sneaker. It has been part of the Asics Corporation since 1977. It is also known for its early partnership with Nike in the 1960s.

Astro Boy is a classic manga and anime character created by Osamu Tezuka in 1949. An android boy, Astro Boy can feel human emotions. Astro Boy’s 1980 animated series was one of the earliest Japanese anime to be shown on Chinese television. Astro Boy, known better in China by its Japanese name, Atom, was one of the best-known and best-loved cartoon characters for generations of Chinese audiences.

Astro Boy has also enjoyed a recent revival due to the Netflix anime series Pluto, which is a darker reimagination of the manga. Because of the country of origin fit between the two parties, it is common for Japanese brands to collaborate with manga and anime IPs. With millennials’ spending power growing, nostalgic IPs from their childhood can often channel success.


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