The author is knowledgeable about Sekiguchi Monchhichi plush dolls and the ins and outs of finding and collecting them.
What Is Monchhichi? Where Can I Buy a Monchhichi Doll?
Sekiguchi Monchhichi dolls, also called Futagonomonchhichi, Bebechhichi, or Chic-a-boo, are Japanese collectible monkey plush toys. Monchhichi is a cute toy with a plush, soft body and hard plastic head and paws. They come as monkeys or other animals with human baby features and suckable thumbs.
This is my Monchhichi collector's guide—the toys we all remember and cute monkeys that most of us still adore and collect even though we are now old enough to start building a collection for our own children.
A Brief History of Monchhichi Dolls
The original Monchhichi toys were created in Japan and made by Sekiguchi Corporation. Their father was Koichi Sekiguchi, the owner of Sekiguchi Corporation, who created them on January 25, 1974.
After their inception, the obsession with these cute, irreplaceable friends began and spread slowly but surely all over the world. They became so popular that several successful TV series were released based on these characters—first, in 1980, the Japanese anime series Monchhichi Twins—Futago no Monchhichi; later on, in 1983, the American cartoon Monchhichis.
I'll try to give useful hints to any new or more experienced collector about how to discern the real Monchhichis made by Sekiguchi company from the "fake ones," as well as differentiate the vintage Monchhichi monkey from the modern versions.
All photos of Monchhichis are of those who are or were in my collection unless stated otherwise and given link credit.
How to Tell If Your Monchhichi Is From 1974
Let's start with the oldest Monchhichi version made in 1974. All the information below is valid for both girl and boy Monchhichi doll monkeys.
As far as I am aware, the Sekiguchi Company in the early days was producing only 8" tall Monchhichi plush toys. Their bodies are soft, stuffed with cotton, and the belly area is filled with small plastic pellets. Their fur is always matte dark brown and is not shiny, unlike some modern Sekiguchi Monchhichis. They have a long tail about the size of your forefinger.
Their face, hands, and feet are made of quality soft plastic. They are not hard to the touch like the unoriginal versions. The left hand is opened and flat with four fingers; the right hand is always holding a bottle/dummy to suck on, which always fits and stays in the mouth perfectly. The feet are plain without any marks and have four toes.
Note: A significant feature of 1974 Monchhichis is their blue eyes. Newer Monchhichis always have brown eyes.
There are five freckles under each eye and three between the eyes. Another sign of a quality and genuine Sekiguchi Monchhichi is the fine shading around its face. Due to the age, both of these features often fade.
1974 Sekiguchi Monchhichi Tag
Above are pictures of both sides of the original vintage 1974 Sekiguchi Chic-a-boo tag.
They are made of quality fabric with a silk feel. The writing on them is always a light grass-green color—not black as they are on the newer Monchhichi dolls. On one side, it will always say "Sekiguchi 1974," and on the reverse side, it will say the original name, "Futagonomonchhichi," and "made in Japan." The position of the tag is always on the back, as seen in the first picture in the gallery above.
Remember these distinguishing characteristics, as all the newer versions will have a slightly different tag, and you can easily recognize the oldest pieces by their tags.
Vintage Sekiguchi Mattel Monchhichi 1980
In 1980, the American company Mattel bought the license of Sekiguchi to be able to create these cute plush toys. After that, the global market was flooded with Monchhichis. Chic-a-boo Monchhichis were still sold just with a bib (yellow, pink, or light blue color); all other pieces of clothing were sold separately.
They have not changed greatly from the 1974 vintage monkeys, but by carefully studying them, you can spot some changes in the design or the way they were produced/made.
The body and face shape, as well as materials used, are the same. If you look carefully, you can see that the fur on Mattel's Sekiguchi dolls is more loose-fitting on the head. I am not certain, but based on what I can see, I assume they must have used a more "square" pattern for the fur on the head.
The second slight difference is the color of the suckable dummy. The bottom ring of the vintage 1974 dummy is a light peachy pink color, whereas the vintage Mattel 1980 dummy's bottom ring has a more vibrant pink color.
But above all, the tag changed, and cute Monchhichi toys had a "Monchhichi" stamp on their left feet.
1980 Mattel Sekiguchi Monchhichi Tags
Above are photos of the front and back of the vintage Sekiguchi Mattel Monchhichi tag and the Monchhichi signature on the left foot.
These tags contain much more information compared to the 1974 tags. The material has changed—they are made of almost the same (rubbery) fabric as the tags on new, modern Monchhichis. The writing on it is imprinted with black paint.
Note: The tag says Sekiguchi 1974, but actually, it was made later, after 1980. If I didn't have one in the original box, I wouldn't know that.
Vintage 5" and 18" Sekiguchi Monchhichi Dolls
The 5" mini and 18" huge Sekiguchi Monchhichi dolls are sweet and rare to find nowadays. I am not sure if they have been produced since 1974, but the material and their tags are almost identical to vintage 1974 Sekiguchi monkeys.
The Sekiguchi Company produced both girl and boy 5" toys. The small Chic-a-boo girls always have pink and white bows stitched on the top of the heads. The vintage 8" monkey girls have cute tufts of fur on the top of their head.
Note: The 8" Monchhichis always have brown eyes, and unlike the traditional-sized dolls, both thumbs are suckable, and there is no dummy.
These small 5" Monchhichis were later manufactured under the license of Sekiguchi by Chad Valley in Great Britain. They were known as Chic-a-boo babies.
Vintage 18" Sekiguchi Monchhichis are also hard to find nowadays. Maybe it is because they were expensive to buy; therefore, not many children owned them back then. They were produced as girl and boy variations too.
Note: Vintage pieces always have blue eyes, and as with the 5" Monchhichi babies, both thumbs are suckable, and there is no dummy.
Monchhichi Clothes and Accessories
There are some very cute and hard-to-find items of clothing for these adorable Monchhichi plush toys. It is rare to find vintage pieces of clothing to buy nowadays. As I said earlier, vintage Monchhichi dolls were sold just with a bib; you had to buy the clothing separately. Therefore, finding a vintage clothed Monchhichi baby is an opportunity all true collectors should take advantage of as the clothing can sometimes almost double the toy's price.
What is even rarer is to find vintage Monchhichi accessories. I am not sure if Sekiguchi Company produced some in 1974, but from the 1980s, Mattel Company introduced accessories like a hammock, sleeping set, chair, rocking chair, and rocking horse. They were very cute additions to sweet Monchhichi collections.
Other Things to Consider When Collecting and Buying Monchhichi Toys
If you are an experienced collector, you probably already know the points I'm about to discuss. If you are new to Monchhichi collecting, please read on for some useful advice.
- Make sure to ask specific questions and check pictures and descriptions carefully before you buy. If the photos of items for sale are blurry or low quality, the seller likely has something to hide, and your Monchhichi baby might have some serious flaws.
- It's always a good idea to check sellers' feedback carefully. In general, sellers with a good rating will be honest with what they say in the listings, especially when it comes to pre-owned played toys.
- Make sure the photos you see are of the actual item on sale.
- Once you have your collectible doll, please take good care of it, and do not leave it in direct sunlight. Sunlight is one of the leading causes of vintage toys being in poor condition.
- Please do not ever wash your Monchhichi in the washing machine. A nice, gentle hand wash will do nicely, and you will protect the shine and fluffiness of the fur.
- Do not worry if the vintage toy you want to buy has scratched-off paint from the nose. Most of them do, but it is easy to fix with some paint or a felt pen. Usually, good sellers will leave that option up to collectors.
- Check carefully to see if these adorable monkey toys have all their fingers and toes—they were always so cute that children often chewed on them.
Following my advice will help you buy the Monchhichi you want and bring you many hours of enjoyment and fun!
- Japanese Sekiguchi Online Store
Find the rarest new pieces for sale.
- Monchhichi Channel on YouTube
Watch cute videos of Monchhichis on a Japanese YouTube channel.
Hello on June 24, 2019:
My name is Anna and I believe I have an original Monchhichi from 1974. I would love to find a new home for her. And I wonder if you know what she is worth. And if you know someone whom might be interested in buying her.
MonkeyLover on August 26, 2018:
I just found my old toy that I thought for all these years was a Monchichi. Sadly, it no longer has clothes, or a label, but it does have 5 freckles on each cheek. It actually looks like a bear, with a short tail and dark brown fur. It has closed eyes with green eyelids, and a black nose. The plastic parts are only the face and hands, with a thumb to suck. It’s legs/feet are filled with beans and are covered in fu - not plastic feet. Any ideas what this could actually be? Did Monchichi have a bear friend?
Trish on December 14, 2017:
Hi I just bought a blue eyed monchhichi no marks on feet, pacifier the tag on the back has green writing stating original compan name but no 1974 on the otherside is also sekughini name but above it is a picture of a crowned doll . I have not seen such a tag before and am trying to work out the age. It comes from people in japan.
jeff on October 31, 2017:
how can you tell if a toho monchichi is fake or real?
jeff on October 31, 2017:
how about the toho monchichi? what year are those made and where can I buy one
hard to find one on sale
saskya on February 06, 2017:
i am looking for a Blue regular size monchichi does anyone know where i can buy it from, i can't seem to find one, and i am in desperate need of finding one as soon as possible, can anyone help me please?
Dianne on December 11, 2016:
Please help! I remember having a tiny brown one that would clip on to things and had a jingle bell at the end of its tail. Could my memory be wrong? I have searched and searched and never saw it again. It would mean the world to me to find one
Nettie on November 30, 2016:
What about the Happy Monchhichi boy doll puppet? I have one still in the original box! He is 12 inches (30.5 cm) tall. I can give all specifics on it and such if needed. Just wondering how much these sell for now?
jackie johnston on November 12, 2016:
I am searching for a white plush monkey plastic face hands and feet blinking eyes. (Early 80s) It can suck fingers and toes has a tail. When originally bought from Woolco (part of the Woolworths chain) it was wearing a little dress and was housed in a dome shaped see through box. Can any one help ? Thanks
Zuzana on September 23, 2016:
I read your article and it is really interesting :-) I also collect monchichi toys, original and also unoriginal versions... I am searching for more information about limited adition from ´79, called NYAMY. How can I recognize the real NYAMI? Is it only a 3D print on the foot?
Zoodle poodle on June 17, 2016:
Adorable definitely worth some money for a vintage moncchichi. Learnt the difference between old and new. Got one that doesn't have a tag how do I tell whether it's old or new and no stamp on foot. Still as cute as anything such found mine from when I was a kid in the attic. ADORABLE :) :) :)
Jessica Schmitt82 on March 14, 2016:
I read your post and I think you did a great job! Now, I'm confused cause I have one but it's not mentioned at all and I haven't seen any like it. I got it mid 80's it's white with I guess bunny ears, no tail, green eyes, 6 freckles under the eyes, brown nose, both thumbs can go in the mouth one is open hand the other is almost fist like. Unfortunately there is no tag on it. How do I tell if it's real, rare,or fake?
AKINA on February 11, 2016:
Mine has no label not sure if it's been.cut off....it's got blue eyes no stamp on foot thxs....
Aquina on October 24, 2015:
We have one as a blue bunny. No removeable clothes. Same company??
Veronica on June 06, 2015:
Mine has blue eyes which makes me think 1974. But also has the foot stamped which is 1980. Have you ever seen both features before 1980?
Jen on April 14, 2015:
Hey great article! Just a quick couple questions. I have a monchhichi boy doll with blue eyes, no nose freckles/footstamp. It was made by jolly plush toy company. Ring any bells? Fake /real? Date? Thx. Jenstar5505@gmail.come
Tiffany on January 29, 2015:
Is that yellow bear looking one in the second last pic a real Monchichi? I found this and a blue raccoon one in a thrift shop but there are no tags or foot stamps.
beautysmoothie on January 05, 2015:
Is there anyone who knows more about the stuff they hold, or is it random, i have some with a pacifier/babybottle, and some with bananas, and even some with bare hands... Can it be used to date them, when tags are cut?
PlumberJorge on October 09, 2013:
I watched this on TV when I was a kid. I could still remember the opening theme.
anonymous on September 02, 2013:
Hi, I am looking for a specific monchichi. It is light brown and has a white undie with red hearts on it. It has the monchichi label on the undie
anonymous on August 20, 2013:
anonymous on August 10, 2013:
I have 8 small figurines are any of the figurines more valuable than others? There doesn't seem to be a market for them on eBay
hungry-deer (author) on August 07, 2013:
@anonymous: Hello Anita, depending on their condition you can ask from 50 to 60 euro for the couple. In mint condition, maybe even more. Good luck selling ;-)
anonymous on August 07, 2013:
Hi everybody, I've got a question....I own (used)grandmom & granddad (1974) ...but I want to sell them...what can I ask for them???? I'm living in Holland thanx Anita
anonymous on June 02, 2013:
@anonymous: Thx for your useful information. I hope you can put more informations about monchichi of TOHO, such as :size, when & where made, tips for collection. Cheers.
hungry-deer (author) on June 02, 2013:
@anonymous: Hello Stanley, There was more types and brands of monchichis with open - close eyes. This article is mainly about the first brand to make and "invent them" - Sekiguchi, but i shall add here more soon. It definitely IS collectable, and open close eyes tend to be worth more.
anonymous on June 01, 2013:
I cannot see my Monchichi from your article. His eyes can open & close. It was made in Japan by TOHO.Brought it for 28 years from Great Department store. I don't think it is flake. Is it collectable ?
anonymous on May 18, 2013:
I have a monchhichi coin bank. It is yellow with the blue M. I have seen similar ones on Google but none like mine. Mine is a monchhichi monkey but with red curly barbie like hair- not fur like the ones I have seen. Does anyone know anything about it?
frances lm on May 03, 2013:
I didn't know about these before but now I know an awful lot! Very nice detailed lens
hungry-deer (author) on April 04, 2013:
@Mishael A Witty: Hello, if they are in good condition, you may be able to get for them two together about 5-6 gbp. But they do not sell well in general. So it is up to you :) Collectors prices can go both up or down over time. Best wishes!
Mishael A Witty on April 03, 2013:
Any idea how much the little two-inch plastic figurines are worth? I've got two from 1979. Just curious. I'm wondering if I should let my little girl play with them or keep them as collector's items.
pigwear on February 24, 2013:
Cool lens. One of my pet names for my wife is Monchhichi.
anonymous on February 07, 2013:
Very cute, just sweet. Nice lens, welcome to Squidoo. :D
KyraB on February 07, 2013:
What Cute and funny toys. i had never heard of them until today thank you for showing me something new. It was fun to read about them and see all the pictures of them!
Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on February 02, 2013:
Adorable collector's dolls
anonymous on February 02, 2013:
it's kinda cute, but scary, but CUTE!
malenk lm on February 01, 2013:
nice lens, I should make the photos of my lens bigger too, they are much nicer to look at.
hungry-deer (author) on January 31, 2013:
@Toy-Tester: :-D God bless Packrats! If there were none, we would not have these. Thank you
Toy-Tester on January 31, 2013:
Just love these little guys and girls... thanks for the great info on the vintage toys. Now to see if my packrat mom still has ours...:O
Takkhis on January 31, 2013:
Too much cute toys!
anitabreeze on January 28, 2013:
These are so cute!
SteveKaye on January 28, 2013:
Welcome to Squidoo and congratulations on making such a fantastic first lens. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.
WriterJanis2 on January 26, 2013:
Never knew of these. Thanks for the introduction.
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 26, 2013:
GramaBarb from Vancouver on January 26, 2013:
Thanks for introducing me to this adorable toy. I never met Monchhichi before.
dingbat1932 on January 26, 2013:
Cute! cute! cute! nicely laid out lens
anonymous on January 25, 2013:
I had forgotten all about these toys. Thanks for the memory boost!
mwa-haaha-1 on January 23, 2013:
Sekiguchi Kitten is cutest plush toy Great page!!!!
Delia on January 21, 2013:
How cute are these! I remember them in the '70s and think I might still have one from the kids.
anonymous on January 16, 2013:
Thank you for adding the colouring pages, i have just saved one to my computer and then printed it off and now i am carefully trying to make a picture worthy of being awarded on this great lens.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on January 14, 2013:
The monchichis are indeed quite cute.
anonymous on January 10, 2013:
Monchichi are the cutest plush toys ever made.
anonymous on January 10, 2013:
Great page, very informative and wil certainly help me greatly when buying these super cute plush dolls.
anonymous on January 10, 2013:
Hi, this is an amazing lens, please keep it up, im excited to learn more about my most favorite toy :)