It's something of a dark secret that, during the 80s, children were given toys that sucked their (gasp!) thumbs! Yes, monchicis and their predecessors, the chickaboos, were renowned for their thumb-sucking prowess when, today, in an era when parents are meant to stop children from sucking anything - whether it be dummies, lollies or thumbs, they'd be cursed...
How anyone could ever contemplate cursing such a cute, furry little thing is beyond me. Looking even more cuter with thumb in mouth, monchichis resembled something in between a monkey and a chipmunk - though wearing a T-shirt! Awww!
The Japanese originally spawned the monchichi toy in the mid-70s, and when Hanna Barbara got its mitts on the idea in 1980 and joined up with Mattel, the monchichi's popularity rocketed. With the previous success of The Smurfs, Hanna Barbara knew it was onto a good thing, so there was also a cartoon to accompany the toy.
The cartoon series gave kids a bit of context behind their latest cuddly friends: monchichis, which came from the land of Monchia, lived high in the trees in an attempt to steer clear of the grumplins of Grumplor. Helped by wizard in residence, Wizzor, the monchichis (which consisted of Moncho, Tootoo, Parchitt, Kyla and thumkii) used various spells and potions to stay safe from the enemy.
Despite the cartoon series being shelved after one run, the shelves of monchichis were left barren by little girls on their quest for the latest toy.