Postwar South America became somewhat notorious as a haven for Germans fleeing the defeat of the Third Reich in World War II, but some Teutonic types had already made it big in Argentina before the Nazis…and kangaroos had something to do with it, albeit an extremely minor role.
Kangaroos served as an advertising figure for Sarrasani, a world-famous German circus between the wars. Sarrasani was formed in the German city of Dresden in 1901 by Hans Stosch, a clown with the stage name Giovanni Sarrasani. The circus was best-known for its elephants, but also employed lots of “exotic” peoples such as Japanese, Javanese and Sioux Native Americans, as well as the then rarely seen marsupials.
The circus boomed throughout the 1920s, when Sarrasani also wrote pulp fiction cowboy stories. Stosch’s son, also Hans, ran the circus until his death in the early 1940s and was succeeded by his widow. The Sarrasani circus was destroyed by the Bombing of Dresden in 1945.
Trude Stosch-Sarrasani re-established the circus in Argentina in the 1940s, even calling it the Argentinean National Circus to appease nationalist Peronistas at one stage.
The circus returned to Germany following German reunification in 1990 and continues to operate.
Kangaroo Boxing Club was a pub in the Columbia Heights district of Washington D.C.
Apparently, it specialized in showing gridiron games and barbecues.
The pub shut its doors several years ago, and is now an upmarket bistro.
The pub operated from 2012-2016.
Kangaeroo.com made the silly mistake of buying a GoPro camera.
The camera itself worked initially, but it had a smart remote, which was embedded in a selfie stick. The smart remote didn’t work from the outset.
Kangaeroo.com contacted the company’s Japanese support page, selecting the English option for support. This was in May 2018 and it started a yearlong nightmare.
Following GoPro’s instructions, the remote and selfie stick were sent for repairs. Only the remote was sent back. This one didn’t work, either. GoPro, meanwhile, could not be contacted.
Kangaeroo.com sent the useless camera and parts to the Japanese agent, telling them their product was a piece of shit that didn’t work.
Months later, the package had been returned, again without the selfie stick and also containing a remote control that doesn’t work.
The upshot is a camera used once in 9 months, now unusable, a useless remote control and a selfie stick the company refuses to replace.
GoPro’s fall from a global success story to a disastrous failure has become a textbook case in how not to operate a business. Kangaeroo.com got a firsthand experience of it.
A long, long time ago, in a Straya far, far away, Australia briefly exported cigarettes to Japan.
It wasn’t that long ago, actually.
But for several months in 1994, Winfield cigarettes, one of Australia’s most famous brands (it marketed itself as “Australia’s No. 1 brand” in Japan, but it was actually only the second-biggest seller Down Under, behind Peter Jackson), was an unlikely competitor of mostly British and American Big Tobacco companies to tap into what was still then a thriving Japanese smokers’ market largely unregulated at the time.
Winfield was on a downturn at the time in its home country.
Cigarette advertising had been banned from TV and print media decades earlier, but by the mid-1990s in Australia had also been outlawed from outdoor displays and sporting events that tobacco company sponsorship had largely kept afloat.
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, probably the most-loved Australian children’s TV program in history, has turned 50 years old.
The first episodes screened in Australia in February 1968 and the show remains popular to this day, though only three series comprising 91 episodes were made.
The show premiered outside of Australia. Its run in Japan had effectively ended before Skippy showed in Australia, mainly because the series was made in color, which did not arrive in Australia until 1975.
Skippy told the story of a grey kangaroo and her best friend, a young boy named Sonny Hammond, played by Garry Pankhurst in his only role of significance in an acting career that had finished by his teens. Pankhurst grew up to work in the hospitality business and eventually ended up exporting kangaroo meat for consumption in Asian countries.
Sonny’s father, Matt, was the head ranger at the (fictional) Waratah National Park, as depicted by Ed Devereaux.
Other cast regulars included Sonny’s brother, Mark, portrayed by Ken James, the park pilot, Jerry King, played by Tony Bonner, and park receptionist, Clancy, performed by Liza Goddard.
Skippy was the marsupial equivalent to the likes of Lassie, Flipper and Rin Tin Tin, to name a few animal sleuths, solving all sorts of problems and achieving all manner of feats worthy of a superhero.
The series was one of Australia’s most heavily exported TV programs. It was broadcast in at least 128 countries. Among its versions are Skippy in Norwegian and Finnish, the French, Skippy le kangourou, the Spanish, Skippy el Canguro, Dutch, Skippy de Boskangoeroe, the Russian, Скиппи (телесериал), German, Skippy, das Buschkänguruh, Persianاسکیپی, Italian, Skippy il canguro and of course, Japan, where it was known as カンガルー・スキッピー(kangaruu sukippii).
In Japan, Skippy ran on the NTV network. The show started running in 1966 in a dubbed version, with re-runs playing in an early morning slot into the 1970s.
Skippy was mildly popular. The theme song, 森のスキッピー(Mori no Sukippii) was sung by School Mates, a large group of talented young kids belonging to the Tokyo Music Academy.
The Tokyo Music Academy has schools throughout Japan.
It is closely tied to Watanabe Productions, one of Japan’s biggest talent agencies.
Incredibly, School Mates continues performing to this day, albeit with a complete change of membership.
Moreover, a popular folk band at the time, The Riginnies, also released a song based on the show, called Skippy.
In addition to the TV series, in 1969 there was also the release of a feature-length film called Skippy and the Intruders. See the movie here.
Skippy’s iconic theme also proved to be a winner for transplanted Pom, Eric Jupp, who wrote and performed it. On the back of the successful son, Jupp released a series of Skippy-themed singles, including the main theme.
Skippy remained an integral part of the Australian TV landscape long after its original run.
In 1992, an updated version of the show ran, called The Adventures of Skippy.
In this show, Andrew Clarke played a grown Sonny Hammond, himself now a park ranger, but who retained strong ties to Skippy.
Even this series had a Japanese angle, as you can find out by watching the show below.
And, just as a bonus, here’s the French version of the show’s opening titles.
Skippy – générique en français