Pleasant Goat (also known as Happy Goat) is everywhere. On little ride-on toys in front of the convenience stores and on bouncy castles like this one in front of the Walmart. He's on clothes, shoes, strollers, snacks, pencil cases, hats -- I'll bet that you could not walk a single block in downtown Zibo without finding a representation of Pleasant Goat somewhere.
Remarkably, considering his complete saturation of the kids' market here, Pleasant Goat has only been around since July of 2005. In contrast, Hello Kitty debuted in the mid-seventies. According to current parlance, we should start saying "the iconic Hello Kitty," I believe.
Pleasant Goat is the creation of a Canadian-trained animator,Huang Weiming, who seems like a perfectly decent guy. It must really be an amazing feeling to know that a quick little doodle that you drew has become a character beloved by millions of children.
While I'm merely wary of Pleasant Goat, turns out that the Chinese leadership might actually feel threatened, as they do when anything becomes uncontrollably popular with the public. They have attacked the cartoon series, calling it excessively violent: "Big Big Wolf had been physically assaulted with a frying pan on at least 9,544 occasions, the government news agency Xinhua reported... [while] Pleasant Goat had been boiled alive in water 839 times and received no fewer than 1,755 electric shocks."
*coulrophobia == fear of clowns