Born on “Imagination Day,” the ambiguously marsupial, beloved kids TV character Polkaroo has been a fixture of Canadian culture for generations. He taught kids about using their creativity and imagination, leading them on psychedelic journeys of the mind. But now, many of the people who grew up with Polkaroo are grownups, living in the largest country on earth with legal adult-use cannabis. And for veteran mascotter Mark Scott, who spent decades beneath the Polkaroo’s costume for Canadian broadcaster TVO, it’s high time to get with the times.
Polkaroo Is All Grown Up, and He’s All About Cannabis
With just some red thread and an exciting new prop, the Polkaroo has transformed himself into the new and improved Tokaroo, a cannabis-loving parody of the famous children’s TV character. Since October 17, when Canada’s adult-use law went into effect, Tokaroo has been wandering the streets of Toronto. Puffing on a giant stuffed joint, Tokaroo was in Toronto park celebrating with Canadians enjoying their new right to legal weed, and he has shown up in Instagram feeds every since. Tokaroo’s public appearances as a giant, very high marsupial always attract crowds of enthusiastic adolescents and adults.
Sometimes, Scott says, parents will even pose with their children beside the red-eyed, toking Tokaroo. In that case, Scott does his best to tuck Tokaroo’s joint out of the frame. (A trick many Canadian parents already know all too well.) But despite all the public adulation, TVO is trying to really kill the buzz around Tokaroo. And in a signed cease-and-desist letter, TVO is demanding Scott stop performing as his pot-loving rendition of Polkaroo.
But the veteran mascot maker, who appeared as Polkaroo at TVO promotional events between 1985 and 2007, has refused