The plush PACHI was officially unveiled today at Toronto’s iconic CN Tower by wheelchair basketball player Tyler Miller, a Paralympic gold medallist and Parapan Am medallist, and Rosie MacLennan, an Olympic, Pan Am and world champion trampolinist.
The plush licensee is Northern Gifts of Burnaby, BC, a 25-year-old company best known for producing the phenomenally successful plush mascots for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
In addition to the official online store, CN Tower Gift Shop and other retail locations, PACHI will be available for purchase at 10 pop-up stores at select Loblaws® and Real Canadian Superstore® locations in Ontario for the next three weekends, starting this Saturday, December 7. For a list of participating locations, please see below.
“Since PACHI was introduced to the world five months ago, he’s visited more than 12,000 children at schools throughout southern Ontario and made over 200 appearances,” said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
“He’s been treated like a rock star and now his fans can take PACHI home with them,” he added. “Plush mascots are always highly desirable collectables from Games and we expect PACHI to sell out in this first limited run in time for the holidays.”
The plush toy, which retails for $24.99 at TORONTO2015.org, replicates PACHI perfectly in miniature form, from his 41 soft colourful quills to his yellow baseball cap and friendly smile. The PACHI plush is available in a standing (28 centimetres) or sitting (22 centimetres) form.
The first plush mascots for sale were placed on store shelves at the CN Tower today by the athletes and local children. Both Miller and MacLennan also helped unveil the mascot on July 17 at CBC Kids’ Days.
The young creators behind the mascot – Fiona Hong, Michelle Ing, Paige Kunihiro and Jenny Lee – will be presented with their mascots in their hometown of Markham, Ontario, on Saturday, December 7.
The teenagers created the colourful porcupine as part of a Grade 8 class project at Buttonville Public School. PACHI was then selected from the more than 4,000 entries submitted by groups of young Canadians, and was also the favourite in an online voting contest that received more than 33,000 votes.
Other TORONTO 2015 Games apparel and souvenirs are also now available at TORONTO2015.org and select retailers in southern Ontario. The products, which include T-shirts, mugs and ball caps, range in price from $6.99 to $89.99. More products will be added in the coming months. The official online store at TORONTO2015.org is available in French and English.