I found the site http://www.mojizu.com a few weeks ago and thought it was quite a unique idea I hadn’t seen before. The site allows users to upload their own character designs, which can then be voted on by the character design community and prizes are available for winners. Other features include the Mojizu war where two character designs are put head to head and a winner is again voted by users.
There are real mixed bag of characters from the most basic amateur attempts to slicker professional looking character designs. What Mojizu has done, which I think is a really clever idea is created a shop where the top characters can be purchased on limited edition merchandise, a percentage is given to the artist and I would imagine this could be a real money spinner for Mojizu who benefit from not only the character licensing but also the print margin. Mojizu top characters are also available as mobile phone characters
If you are interested in character design take a look at http://www.mojizu.com