Entertainment And News

Man Who Paid $15,000 To Transform Into A Dog Worries His Friends Will Think It's 'Weird' If They Find Out

Photo: (I want to be an animal)/YouTube
Screenshots of Japanese YouTuber's collie costume

Many of us have secret habits and hobbies we prefer to keep to ourselves. "Guilty pleasures" are what makes life worth living, after all.

But one guy in Japan named Toco takes his secret passion to a howl—er, sorry, whole—new level unlike any you've likely seen before. 

Toco paid $15,000 for a life-like dog costume and likes to dress up as a collie.

Now of course we've all heard of "furries," the community of people who like to dress up in costume as anthropomorphized animals.

But this is far more than mere cosplay—and it's anything but anthropomorphized, because Toco's costume is so real you almost can't believe he's human at all.

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Despite all the money and effort, Toco keeps his collie costume hidden from family and friends because he's afraid they'll think he's "weird."

Toco told The Daily Mail his costume idea derived from "a desire to transform," and transform he did.

His costume is hyper-realistic—so much so that at first glance, you might not realize it's a costume at all.

As he shows off on his YouTube channel, I Want To Be An Animal, when he's in costume Toco does everything a regular dog would do—play fetch, eat out of a dog bowl, even doing tricks.

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But even after racking up some 13,000 YouTube followers and millions of views on his videos, Toco is not likely to ever reveal his true face or identity.

As he told The Daily Mail, "I don't want my hobbies to be known, especially by the people I work with."

He went on to say that their judgment is what keeps him anonymous. "They think it's weird that I want to be a dog... I can't show my real face."

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Toco's $15,000 costume was professionally made and took 40 days to construct.

To get his costume just right, Toco went to costume company Zeppet, which makes costumes for professional film, television and commercial shoots.

The company told The Daily Mail that Toco's order was no small feat.

The company had to pay painstaking attention to detail, like enhancing the costume's "fluffiness" to hide its shell and making its the mouth able to open and close.

Toco says he's elated Zeppet was able to accommodate his vision, and the costume is easier to wear than it may seem. As he put it, "there are restrictions, but you can move in it."

Though he was careful to stipulate that normal human movement has to be kept to a minimum, because "if you move too much, it will not look like a dog."

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Toco says he has wanted to be a dog for as long as he can remember.

Toco only wears his costume on "special occasions," despite it being a lifelong interest.

"Ever since I was a small child, I wanted to be an animal," he said, adding, "I've thought about it since I can remember."

And though he has yet to meet anyone with his same interest, he hopes his YouTube channel will show that "people like me who want to become animals can make that dream come true."

And judging from the comments on his videos, that's precisely the impact he's having.

People have thanked him for showing that their own animal dreams are possible, and have called him "an inspiration" while praising him for his courage.

If you thought Toco was an anomaly, think again.

Toco isn’t alone—another man recently realized his dream of transforming into a canine to “look like a real wolf walking on hind legs.” 

In these difficult times, may we each have these men’s fortitude to find our bliss, whether dressing up as uncannily realistic collies and wolves or just, you know, taking a pottery class or whatever.

Life is short, after all. Maybe not dog-years short, but short nonetheless.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.

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