Human Interest

Toco, the Japanese man who transforms into a dog

Edurne Morillo, Yoko Kaneko y María Roldán

Tokyo, Aug 21 (EFE).- A Japanese man, who goes by the name Toco, has spent over $13,000 to fulfill his dream: turning into a Collie with a hyperrealist dog-suit that he wears all over Tokyo, startling pedestrians and other dogs in his wake.

“Since I was a kid, I have wanted a makeover. When I am wearing my suit, I feel happy because my dream turns into reality,” Toco told EFE in an interview while wearing the costume of a long-haired Collie, a large breed that can attain heights of up to 66 centimeters.

When Taco heads out on the streets, something which he does only on special occasions to protect his privacy and avoid attracting large crowds, people often stop him to take photos or caress him, either because they recognize him from his social media videos or if they confuse him for a real dog.

Toco began his transformation two years ago when he tasked the company Zeppet, which creates realistic costumes and models for films, with making him a tailor-made costume, a process that took around 40 days and ended with a suit that weighs around four kilos and makes him appear like a dog.

On YouTube, Toco (@I_want_to_be_an_animal) has already gathered 54,000 subscribers, while he has over 245,000 followers on TikTok (@toco_eevee) where some of his videos have over two million views and thousands of comments, some of which are positive while others ask him if he is a human or a stuffed toy.

“I receive all kind of messages. Among the positive messages, some tell me they want to do the same thing, which has made me realize that there are other people like me,” said Toco, adding that others have told him that he was sick or he should have spent the money on something else, comments that he tries to ignore.

He is conscious that his behavior is considered “abnormal,” but this has not stopped him from fulfilling his dream.

“There is some abnormality inside me, as this idea occurred to me, and that is why I had decided to hide it until now, but at the end of the day, these are my convictions.”

Although Toco does not want to reveal too many details about his costume, nor about his personal life beyond the hobby, he explains that it cost him around 2 million yen ($13,700), an amount that he managed to save over a long period of time.

He does not rule out getting other dog-suits made in the future.

Although Collie is his favorite kind of dog, he also likes other breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky and the Golden Retriever, all medium to large-sized dogs that he could easily emulate. He also likes other animals such as cats and foxes.

“My videos unexpectedly triggered a massive response. Although my dream has already been fulfilled, it is a shame if I do not do any activity in the suit, therefore I end up making videos and having fun,” the man explained.

Although some people close to him know his hobby, he prefers to stay anonymous to avoid possible attacks.

Despite this, he frequently shares videos of some of his adventures on social media, such as his first walk in public or when he goes out in a leash.

“Of course my family knows about it, but I have told very few friends, just three or four people. Although they were surprised, the reaction has been positive,” Toco added.

He cannot tell when he will carry out his next adventure as a dog, but the canine-man believes he can help those who share his dream – but do not dare to fulfill it – to be “happy and have fun.” EFE


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