Jollibee ‘Funko Pop’ goes formal in traditional barong for Philippine Independence Day

Photo: Strategic Works, Inc.
Photo: Strategic Works, Inc.

Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee is pretty much a national treasure, and so is the anthropomorphic bee mascot it’s named after — and the latter is once again getting the action figure treatment with an upcoming Funko Pop toy.

To mark Philippine Independence Day on Wednesday, June 12, Jollibee will release a new vinyl figurine of the character dressed in the traditional Philippine men’s attire the barong.

It will be launched at 10pm the night before Independence Day with a midnight countdown in six Jollibee stores nationwide, including those in E. Rodriguez, Quezon City; Dolores Junction in San Fernando, Pampanga; Molino Boulevard in Bacoor, Cavite; Matina Town Square in Davao City; Gen. Luna, Iloilo; and BGC Triangle Drive in Taguig City.

Based on the lineup of activities, it looks like the events will be just like the Jollibee birthday parties many Filipinos grew up attending, with Filipino party games and dance performances by mascots of Jollibee (wearing a barong) and the restaurant’s other characters. They’re open to the public so attendees can be one of the first to buy the toy.

The new Jollibee Funko Pop toy will be available in all Jollibee store nationwide from June 12 to 21. Note, though, that it will cost a lot more than the average Kiddie Meal: Customers will have to shell out PHP950 (US$18.26) to get one, along with a six-piece Chickenjoy Bucket through dine-in or takeout orders.

READ: Building Buzz: How nostalgia, Pinoy pride, and sweet spaghetti made Jollibee an industry giant

The first Jollibee Funko Pop toy was launched at AsiaPop Comicon in July last year, which saw collectors wait in long lines just to get their hands on one.

Jollibee is the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines and is known for its fried Chickenjoy, Filipino-style sweet spaghetti, and burgers. It has expanded to different parts of the world where it is visited by Pinoys looking for a taste of home. While it has become somewhat of a cultural icon, Jollibee has also been criticized for its labor practices as it reportedly has one of the highest numbers of “contractual” employees who do not receive employee benefits as required by law for other companies.

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