Ayupan is a cartoon character modeled after Ayu and allegedly designed by her as well. She was first issued in 2002 to correspond with her namesake’s two major national tours. Ayupan starred in concert videos and was available for purchase in plastic form. Since her inception, she has starred in her own television mini-series (Sukini sasete! Ayupan Fushigi no Tobira) and graced a vast line of products ranging from handbags to stationary. Although once available through the now-defunct ayupan.com, these products are now sold exclusively during her live tours and New Year COUNTDOWN performances.
Usually when fans discuss Ayupan, they’re talking about the plastic figurines. These are currently sold at Mu-Mo Shop, tour venues, and–more recently–Yesasia.com to correspond with her live performances. Ayupan figures are fairly small and distributed at random in small pouches so you never know which design you’ll get.
Funnily enough, all of the Ayupan designs until the & single were frowning. Although some frowning figures are still distributed, there’s now a fair number of smiling Ayupans, as well as some modeled after her dogs. Ayupan has been featured in a select few tie-ins for products her namesake promotes, such as MORIGANA Hi-Chew, Mister Donut, and most recently Sanrio.