This is slowly turning out to be quite a week for sightings of unlicensed use of videogame characters. Just yesterday we brought you news of a smartphone game whose lead character looked so much like Nintendo’s green dinosaur Yoshi that the company stepped in and demanded that changes be made, and now our overseas RocketNews24 representative brings us photos of a food vendor in the Philippines whose stand and wares are plastered with a name and character that bear an uncanny likeness to Japan’s beloved dot-munching arcade hero, Pac-Man!

This boxed chocolates vendor was spotted selling from a small booth in the middle of a shopping center in the Philippines’ capital city of Manila. Unless the vendor is somehow affiliated with Namco, this has got to be brand theft! Smelling a story among all of the tasty-looking sweets, our courageous reporter went forth and confronted the sales clerk.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the seller appeared unflustered by our reporter’s up-front call of copyright infringement and sidestepped the claim completely with the response, “These are my very own original chocolates! 240 pesos (US$5.80)!” Unfortunately, as much as our reporter really wanted to ascertain the legality of this person’s business practice, the repeated chants of, “Just 240 pesos,” chipped away at his resolve. In the end, he walked away with a box of questionable chocolates and no answers to speak of, though the HUNGRY PAC label stamped across the foot of the box appeared as another obvious rip-off. There’s little doubt that this shop hoped to attract attention from the classic gamer crowd.

Now, in spite of all our reporter’s misgivings about the legitimacy of the chocolate brand, he wasn’t going to let his purchase go to waste. At first glance, the confectioneries appeared reminiscent of Country Ma-am, a particular brand of Japanese soft cookies, though more round and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The outside had a bit of a crunch to it, but the inside was soft and would stuck to his teeth, as though caught between the texture of a cookie and a cake. The flavor was that of very sweet chocolate, simple and tasty. The sweets would go well with a big glass of milk.

Sadly, there was no actual settlement regarding copyright infringement, though there are a couple things that we learned from this experience. One, HUNGRY PAC chocolate is sweet and delicious. And two, this particular reporter is terribly weak willed. Who knows if we’ll ever be able to uncover the truth about this food brand’s origins? Although, there are apparently six branches of this particular chocolate shop scattered across Manila! We’d like to encourage our readers to go out and investigate the one closest to them. We’d love to hear anything you guys can uncover regarding the truth or the wonderful flavor, as both are suited to our tastes. Especially if you happen to work for Namco…

Shop information:
Location: SM Mall of Asia, Jose Diokno Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

▼Here’s the packaging for HUNGRY PAC chocolates.


▼ Outside of the box, we can see that they’re ball shaped.


▼ Here’s a cross-section of the inside.


And here’s a map to today’s store in question.

[ Read in Japanese ]