Design icon ‘Micachu’ – Johan Bruninx

  • Words

    Christophe De Schauvre

Every other week, together with Sjiek / Het Belang Van Limburg, we present a Limburg design icon, or one that is well on its way to becoming one. This week it is “Micachu”, the love baby of Mickey Mouse and Pickachu, of Johan Bruninx.

Is that design?
Absolutely. Think of it as a remix. Micachu, as this sculpture is called, mixes two existing and world-famous animation figures. Mickey Mouse’s body with the head of Pickachu, one of the most famous Pokémons on it.

What makes this special?
The symbolism. Both Pickachu and Mickey Mouse are consumption symbols of the twentieth century. The mouse got huge here from America, while the ruddy yellow rabbit-eared hamster became a world icon from Japan.

Who comes up with such a thing?
Designer Johan Bruninx. This idiosyncratic Hasselt-based designer studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and is a pro in this kind of remixing. For example, he turned a toy Godzilla into a tin candlestick. Although he is much more than a doctor Frankenstein who makes all kinds of strange creatures with toys.

And can I buy that?
This sculpture from 2009 is unique. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other versions out there. There are plaster casts, as well as pewter and flocked versions. The latter is a type of substance that you also find on the inside of cars. Prices can be requested from the designer (

Our verdict?
A Bruninx is a good investment in happiness in life. His remixes always show a lot of (making) fun. A bit like a hip DJ who has mixed recognizable pictures together, making you spontaneously dance. With a Bruninx design, your heart sometimes dares to jump.