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Cat-Aholics, Tail Therapy and an Opportunity for the Toy Industry
Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert Richard Gottlieb -- Toy Industry Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Friday, July 22, 2022


Jun CAI (Patrick) is the Global Marketing Manager of Hape. He leads the company’s marketing operation, including communications, research and analysis, public relation, and international marketing. Before his role at Hape, Jun’s career path is reflected in his exploration of the Hobby and Toy sector from upstream to downstream. Along the way, he has been fortunate to have found his passion for branding, strategy, and market insight.

After finishing high school in China, Jun studied Business oversea for four years and graduated from the State University of New York in 2012. Later, he obtained a Masters of Science degree in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Management from the University of Nottingham.

Jun has studied and worked under international settings for over ten years, and he enjoys meeting with people from different cultures.

People say Generation Z is hard to predict –it’s true. As the aboriginal generation of the internet, Gen Z has had quick and easy access to information and knowledge, which was hard to obtain before the Internet era. As a result, any trend they embrace spreads with greater momentum.

For example, in recent years, the popularity of felines has surged dramatically in Asian countries like China and Japan, and that has brought business opportunities. Never a company to miss out on a new opportunity, Starbucks launched a coffee mug with a cat paw shape in the spring of 2019. That paw-shaped mug quickly became the hottest trend in China. The“official” retail price of 199 RMB (30 USD) was already considered pricy. Yet the scalpers quickly boosted the number 4-5 times higher, and the mug was still almost impossible to get. All of this is a testimony to cat-lovers whose unstoppable passion provokes them to pay any price for it.

Although people who are allergy sufferers and apartment dwellers cannot own a cat, “Cat-aholics always find a way. They visit cat cafes, engage in “cloud petting” (think of “cloud computing”), or purchase a toy cat.

Qoobo is a Japanese toy brand that launched a toy with a fascinating concept called “tail therapy.” Qoobo is essentially a robotic cushion with a life-like cat tail. It interacts with people by reacting to stroking, patting, and rubbing, such that its wagging tail would comfort the owner just like a real cat does.

Aside from its proposed medical effectiveness, the toy offers a kind of therapy involving a lot of emotions and subjective feelings. It’s is a great marketing concept because it easily seduces Cat-Aholics with the message: “You are sick, so come and get the treatment with a swinging tail that gently sweeps over your skin.” This sounds very Gen Z and otaku-like (it is from Japan anyway). Yet, it offers an interesting angle to players in the toy industry because this area is still blue sea – a place filled with different human emotional needs waiting to be resonated.

Richard Gottlieb

Global Toy Experts / Global Toy News

646 675 3019



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Dateline: New York, NY United States
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