Superhero Designs for Toyota Hawaii

To promote the all-new 2020 Corolla, Toyota Hawaii hired me to create original superheroes inspired by features of the car.

I designed Mamoru to represent the speed and safety of the car. His name means “to protect” in Japanese. His costume bears the same grid pattern found on the car and his shield is inspired by the unique hubcaps.

Kid Kahoku represents the technology found in the Corolla. I wanted to make him a very bright and intelligent kid so I named him after a star. It’s also an homage to how ancient hawaiians would use the stars to navigate.

“Reliability” is a feature I had a challenging time representing. My solution was to model the character after the most reliable thing in Hawaii, the sun! Alaula harnesses the power of the sun and can fire sunbeams from her hands. Her stark white ponytail has a unique pattern which I modeled after the fishtail palm trees found in Hawaii.

Kuliona was modeled after the local Hawaii aunties I see. She is strong and powerful, but also playful and fun. It was important to make her look thick and strong so that local girls have someone they can identify with and cosplay as! Her name is a contraction of “Kula” which means gold and “Liona” which means lion.

The finished characters were printed on an eye-catching car wrap which can be seen at various events around the island. If you’re going to be at Honolulu Comic Con in August, you can catch the car (and me!) at the Toyota Hawaii booth. They’ll also be giving away limited edition trading cards I created!

Cheyne Gallarde