The following is an excerpt taken from Klive Norem’s NetGuide, Attraction Historia: Inside the Hidden World of Theme Parks.

With his cartoonish features, trademark smile and mischievous wink, it’s easy to see why Hanu the Monkey has become the ‘face’ of Fantasy Funland. But the character’s popularity—and history—extend far beyond the park. Initial Hanu mania started over fifty years ago, when Telco Toys released the original Hanu doll. The product was an instant hit, resulting in a consumer craze that propelled Telco from an independent toy company to industry titan overnight. Demand for the Hanu dolls were so high that retailers struggled to maintain a consistent inventory, leading scalpers to sell the toy for astronomical prices on the Net (with some desperate consumers paying nearly ten times original retail price).

A series of creative advertising campaigns played up the cute, but impish, antics of the irresistible Hanu, usually in the form of animated shorts. The public couldn’t get enough of the character and Hanu became a marketing phenomenon, beloved by both children and adults the world over. The popularity of a long-running cartoon series, several animated films, and a variety of merchandising tie-ins have since cemented Hanu as an enduring brand.

Over the last five decades, Hanu has gone through numerous changes. The original Hanu doll was somewhat more stylish, sporting a fez hat, baggy vest, and a pair of cymbals. These features were eventually dropped after the notorious series of murders by the infamous Clockwork Slasher, who left a Hanu doll at each crime scene. Telco responded by revamping Hanu’s appearance in an effort to distance their popular toy from the grisly murders.

Last year, with the bankruptcy of Telco Toys, Fantasy Funland purchased the licensing rights for Hanu to be used as the official park mascot. It was a costly investment, the details of which were covered by numerous media outlets. With rumors of waning park goers and a slump in annual profits, it remains to be seen if Hanu will give new life to Fantasy Funland.

Danger Zone One. Story by Midnight. Art by Salaiix.