Have you ever seen a Japanese airline plane? Or their elementary school buses?
Check some of their school buses, for your viewing pleasure.
As a whole, the Japanese have a great appreciation for aesthetic Cuteness that goes far beyond what we have here in the U.S.
Here, Cuteness is a quality that is linked to children and pet animals.
I am excluding the usage of the word 'cute' when applied to attractive females and males here.
According to tradition, at a certain age American boys are supposed to become 'men', symptoms of which include spurning cute stuff as childish and/or 'girly', sprouting facial and chest hair, choppin' down trees, making their own beef jerky and beatin' on their wives.
In conjunction with the increasing popularity of nerdiness/geekdom, Cuteness has gotten a massive boost in mainstream acceptance with such modern wonders as Lolcats, YouTube videos of cats and anthropomorphized pictures of other animals' faces. Seriously, it's done a lot to pave the way for guys to be able to say they find stuff cute. I attribute this to the coupling of Funny with Cute. If a guy just made a bunch of Cute stuff with kitties, I guarantee people would question his sexual orientation, but since it's a joke, it's all good.
A more recent case would be the burst of popularity for the show My Little Pony in a demographic that is most certainly not the target one: teenage to adult males. There are a lot of reasons these 'bronies' claim to like the show but since I haven't done my That looks like shit! Lemme watch it so I can talk about it routine I won't spew hate on something that I admit to knowing nothing about.
At first glance though, I suspect a healthy dose of hipsters-drinking-PBR class irony at play here.
Also, stuff like this makes it funny. Speaking of LOTR: