Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Plushie!

Finally here – the Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Plushie!

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - full

Just hanging out.

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - fish

Mr. Red Sea Bream says “Hello!”

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - Kiiroitori

Kiiroitori rides along in the back!

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - tags

Red fabric ribbon says “Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary!”

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - coasters

Plus some Halloween coasters! My first Halloween-themed Rilakkuma items actually haha

He kinda looks like a Christmas ornament, doesn’t he?

Oh my gosh, I pre-ordered him way back in September and just received him this weekend because I was waiting for the Happy Natural Time Series Caravan design to be announced for the longest time. Ah well, he is definitely worth the wait!

As I mentioned in a previous post, the first Rilakkuma Store (Umeda) opened five years ago – to celebrate, San-X released both an anniversary plushie specific to the Umeda branch (chestnut-themed) as well as an anniversary plushie for the Rilakkuma Stores as a whole (this guy!).

Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori are riding a big red sea bream (鯛, tai), a symbol of good fortune in Japanese culture. There’s also a Japanese proverb “腐っても鯛” (Kusattemo tai) which roughly translates to “No matter how spoiled/old, it’s still sea bream” because even when sea bream isn’t very fresh, its flavor lasts longer than most other fish so it’s still good to eat (turns out that the fish produces a substance, inosinic acid, that decomposes slower than most fish and helps it resist spoiling!). Following, this proverb reflects how even in dire circumstances or old age, a person of quality still has their worth.

Hopefully this Rilakkuma and sea bream will give me some good luck for my upcoming medical school years!

In other news, the Rilakkuma x Enherb collaboration is gearing up again!

Rilakkuma x Enherb 2013 - Winter ad

I love their ad this year!

Looks like they’ve extended their product line since last year with some honey/herb mix and bath salts, which is great to see!

The Enherb collab is close to my heart because (1) I love tea and (2) it was one of my very first posts on my blog!

Speaking of flashbacks to old loves, how CUTE is this new ad for the new Sumikko Gurashi tableware line?

Sumikko Gurashi - tableware ad

Too cute to eat?

Appropriately, Tonkatsu is positioned at the very end of the cutlet hahaha

So amazing to see San-X developing Sumikko Gurashi! My sister has the mini plush like the one in the photo, and we both have the larger/regular sized one too!

Tonkatsu has always been my favorite, and like Enherb, was also the subject of one of my blog’s earliest posts :D

Speaking of which, Rilakkuma Lifestyle’s 1 year anniversary is coming up on the 21st – wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

Rilakkuma x KFC + Wishlist: Yamanote Line Rilakkuma! (ACQUIRED!)

Whew, I made it to the Philippines!! It’s great to be here, but that also means my Rilakkuma adventures will slow down significantly from the past week – which is totally okay because I have a huge backlog of plushies/hauls to photograph anyway haha it’s good to finally get a chance to slow down a bit.

On my last morning in Japan, I finally got my hands on something from the Rilakkuma x KFC collaboration: an Aloha Rilakkuma fan!

Rilakkuma x KFC - fan and box

Most importantly, I finally got the box!!

Rilakkuma x KFC - smile set #3

Set #3!

As I mentioned briefly in a previous post, this is the third set of items from the Rilakkuma x KFC campaign!

In this campaign, you can get one of six Aloha Rilakkuma items with each smile set (like a kid’s meal). I thought the chicken was pretty good – even better than the KFC in the States! But that might have been because I was hungry hahaha

I really liked the picnic blanket design (pancakes!), but I figured I could get more use out of a fan. My sister ordered a smile set too, and chose the same design fan. I think the hot dog design is super cute and silly, especially since you can’t even buy hot dogs at KFC hahaha

The fan turned out to be a good choice because yesterday was HOT and we had to wait in line in the sun for the bus to the airport. On top of that, the Philippines was hot upon arrival (like always), so even though I’ve only had this fan for 24 hours, it’s already seen a lot of use!

Getting this box/fan was so much trouble – we stopped by a KFC in Kyoto and they had nothing in stock… then in Tokyo, we asked our hotel concierge, and they gave us directions to a KFC that recently closed… then we got directions to one in Shibuya that didn’t carry any smile sets at all… but the employees there finally gave us information to another KFC in Shibuya that did stock the Rilakkuma products that was just a short walk away. Such a tiresome journey, but rather worth it, I think! I did everything I wanted to do in Japan, Rilakkuma-wise!

Also, new in the Rilakkuma plushie world: Rilakkuma x Yamanote Line!

Rilakkuma x Yamanote Line - set

Yay, two different designs!

This collaboration celebrates Rilakkuma’s 10th anniversary AND the Yamanote Line’s 50th anniversary as the green line!

In honor of the green Yamanote line and Rilakkuma, Yamanote car #10 will feature a special Rilakkuma design!

ETA (8/28/13): Acquired!

Wow, I wish I was still in Japan to see this! My family took the Yamanote line quite often in our short stay there. Of course, everything has to happen right as I leave Japan haha

In any case, I’ll certainly be trying to get my hands on these two plushie designs – one for me and one for my sister!

I think more details about this collab will be released in mid-July so stay tuned!

Rilakkuma x Pizza Hut: Pizza Cutter & Pizza Board!

Quick post again!

I mentioned a while ago that Rilakkuma had a collaboration with Pizza Hut with special pizza boxes and soup bowls.

Well, the latest iteration as of spring 2013 is a Rilakkuma x Pizza Hut pizza cutter and pizza board!

Rilakkuma x Pizza Hut - cutter and board

Perfect size for Rilakkuma!

I was so excited to get these, I didn’t actually care what I had to buy…

But as it turns out, the pizza was also an adventure in itself!

So the paired pizzas in this campaign are like sampler pizzas – each of the 2 pizzas has a different topping combination for each quadrant:

Rilakkuma x Pizza Hut - pizza 1

From the bottom right: Tuna Mild (tuna/corn/bacon/onion), Idaho special (parsley, mayonnaise, black pepper, corn, diced potatoes, bacon, onion), bacon/asparagus, Meat Trio.

Rilakkuma x Pizza Hut - pizza 2

The “Family 4”: (from the bottom right) bulgogi/leek/shredded red pepper/mayonnaise, pepperoni/bacon/onion/pepper, Tuna Mild (again?), and pepperoni/salami/bacon/onion.

I think it’s somewhat hard to tell form the photos, but they have a lot of interesting ingredients! Awesome!

Surprisingly, my favorite so far has been the Idaho special: the topping with potatoes, corn, and mayo. The potatoes give it a texture I was shocked to find that I enjoyed hahaha

Tomorrow’s my last day in Tokyo, so I’m gonna try to stop by a KFC in the morning – there’s a new Aloha Rilakkuma promotion there starting tomorrow!

I’m back!

Whew – I feel like I’ve been gone forever! So much Rilakkuma news has happened while I’ve been away!

But I was so excited to come home to a special Rilakkuma gift from the lovely Ariel at Rilakkuma Desu: the first Rilakkumagazine!!

Rilakkumagazine - front

Aloha Rilakkuma cover!

Rilakkumagazine - inside

The magazine folds out to reveal a ton of content! One side has a brief overview of Rilakkuma history, and the other side has details about the Aloha Rilakkuma series, along with some other Rilakkuma news (like the Baseball release).

rilakkumagazine-3

The back panel is my favorite! It features a Rilakkuma plushie adventuring around Hawaii – the photos are kind of like Rilakkuma Lifestyle tumblr style!

Such a wonderful way to be welcomed home! I hope they make more Rilakkumagazines in the future!

Also, my sister has officially started her study abroad program in Japan; you can read about all her (largely food-related) adventures on her new blog!

As a thoughtful sister understanding of my Rilakkuma addiction, she was nice enough to get a magnet set from the KFC x Rilakkuma campaign going on:

KFC x Rilakkuma 2013 - magnet

You can punch out the 4 magnets to make a photo frame!

Yay! Maybe I can snag a box too when I got to Japan next month to visit her :)

In other news, have y’all seen these new mascot towels?

Rilakkuma mascot towels - all

So cute how they can be wrapped to look like towel plushies!

Aww they’re each holding 4 leaf clovers! They’re scheduled to come out on June 8 in Rilakkuma Stores.

PS Remember when I submitted a photo of my Rilakkuma for San-X’s Facebook photo contest?

Well, they announced the winners, and my photo wasn’t chosen T^T It’s a little confusing to me because most of the winners had under 10 votes, and some had no votes at all! I smell something fishy! I definitely saw a lot of other photos with a lot of votes that didn’t get chosen either – what a bummer.

Oh well… Thanks everyone who voted for me – I really appreciate everyone’s support, and I’m so incredibly happy to know there are so many great Rilakkuma lovers around :) Y’all are the best!

KFC x Rilakkuma!

Quick post – I just HAD to update about this!

Rilakkuma is teaming up with KFC Japan!

KFC x Rilakkuma 2013 - item selection

Aloha Rilakkuma themed!

In addition to the special printed boxes, this awesome collaboration features Aloha Rilakkuma themed magnet sheets, clear pouches, an oragami set, and a shoulder bag! Wow! This collaboration will be officially released on April 25th!

The items are all very cute, but I really want the boxes the most hahaha

Hopefully, this promotion will still be happening when I get to Japan! So excited!

KFC x Rilakkuma 2013 - Rilakkuma Lifestyle

Rilakkuma sure loves his KFC!

Rilakkuma Valentine’s Day 2013 products!

Did you know that Japanese chocolate companies make more than half their annual sales during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day? Whoa!

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s just under a month away, but it looks like some Rilakkuma Stores have already started selling pink Valentine’s themed Rilakkuma products – there’s even Rilakkuma/Korilakkuma holding donuts and looking suspiciously like the Misdo Rilakkuma collaboration series hahaha.

Rilakkuma Valentines Series - 2013

Seriously, Rilakkuma’s essentially holding the same type of donut.

Wow, San-X has been doing WORK recently with all these new shiny releases!

Though with the exception the (unaffiliated) donut Rilakkumas, this set looks pretty similar to last year’s; if you’re curious, Relax Kuma has a really great post about last year’s 2012 Valentine’s set, with a cool explanation of Japanese Valentine’s Day traditions!

Personally, my childhood Valentine’s Day memories were of chalky Sweethearts candies and punny cartoon cards – could’ve used some Rilakkuma back then!

Rilakkuma Furikake!

My sister’s friend from Japan gave our family some Rilakkuma furikake!

Furikake is a delicious dried condiment that you can sprinkle over rice. No, these flakes aren’t Rilakkuma shaped (not that I’d eat Rilakkuma anyway), but they do have some great packaging designs!

Rilakkuma furikake - packaging

Adorable packaging!

Rilakkuma furikake - packets

Flavors by row, from top to bottom: salmon, vegetable, egg, okaka (bonito flakes)

Rilakkuma furikake - Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori

One of my favorite packet designs, front and back! OMG that Kiiroitori’s is egg flavored though hahaha

Rilakkuma furikake - with Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma loves his rice with veggie furikake!

San-X began selling these as a collaboration with seasoning/instant food brand Nagatanien in July 2011. According to the product page, they are a great source of calcium!

So yummy! Getting addicted…

Rilakkuma & Pizza Hut!

This past summer, Rilakkuma went and paired up with Pizza Hut, my favorite pizza chain, for one of the tastiest collaborations of all time.

From July 2012, if you bought a kid’s size crispy pizza, you could get a cute dessert bowl that came in two different designs (Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma). Also, if you were one of the lucky first 200 at each participating restaurant to order, your pizza would come in a special Rilakkuma pizza box!

Pizza Hut - campaign ad

Cute and simple box design!

Pizza Hut - dessert bowl designs

2 dessert bowl designs – Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma!

Sadly, the official images are super tiny, but thankfully, others have posted larger pictures of their prizes here, here, and here.

Also, I was peeking at the Pizza Hut – Japan’s side menu online, and it looks like the dessert bowl campaign might still be on but now, you can also get a Rilakkuma soup bowl with your purchase of soup!

Pizza Hut - soup

Sweet Corn or Minestrone Soup!

I’ll order it all!

Sometimes I think I have the least healthy eating habits ever, but Rilakkuma makes me feel better because it looks like his diet is pretty similar (pizza, donuts, and macarons?).

Maybe I should stop writing posts while I’m hungry; this is starting to turn into a Rilakkuma + food crossover blog hahaha.

Hara Roll & Rilakkuma!

So while I was researching Hara Donuts & Rilakkuma, I ran into another cute collaboration: Hara Roll and Rilakkuma!

It’s the same company as Hara Donuts, but they’re MACARONS! I love macarons! Looks like these were announced in back in February 2012 as the second time Hara Donuts has teamed up with Rilakkuma (the products featured in the last Hara post were from the third collaboration). The campaign is impossibly cute, as always.

Hara Roll - macarons

Came in strawberry, chocolate, and soy milk flavors.

Wow, I really need these in my life; maybe because there aren’t any macaron shops where I live? These might be in the territory of “too cute to eat” though.

Machadango has a ton a beautiful pictures of this collab – check it out! The reading experience will likely be better if you can read Chinese, because sad fact: Google Translate sometimes converts “Rilakkuma” into “sloth bear” since the Chinese translation of “Rilakkuma” they use is literally 懶熊 (懶 meaning lazy, slothful, or indolent; 熊 meaning bear). Doesn’t have the same gusto, does it? I’ve seen 轻松熊 (where 轻松 means relaxed), 松弛熊 (松弛 meaning relaxation), and 拉拉熊 (“lala”) used too.

Another fun fact, “macaron” in Chinese is 馬卡龍! Literally “horse card dragon”, but it’s pronounced “mǎkǎlóng” – sounds pretty close!

Wishlist – Misdo Rilakkuma! (ACQUIRED!)

Thinking about the donuts from yesterday made me hungry! Here’s a plush I’ve recently been yearning for: the Mister Donut (Misdo) Rilakkuma! From my understanding, during the course of this campaign, you would receive a scratchcard with a Misdo donut purchase of more than 100円, and this plushie was a gold level prize.

Misdo Rilakkuma - Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma

Misdo Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma

Rilakkuma partnered with Mister Donut during Winter 2010, where they gave out a ton of other merchandise with donut purchases like tote bags, squish toys, and even a special Christmas set!

They also came out with this wacky TV commercial featuring Japanese star Hiroshi Tamaki:

History lesson: Mister Donut was established in the 1950’s in the US, but after being acquired by Allied-Lyons, most stores in North America were converted into Dunkin’ Donuts (Donutses? Donuts’?). However, the franchise kept its name in Asia (after being acquired by Duskin), and it’s now the largest donut chain in Japan! No wonder Rilakkuma likes them so much!

Anyway – I wrote and queued this post up around last week, and yesterday, Simon ordered him for me!! I’ll post pictures as soon as he arrives! YAY!

ETA (12/11/12): Acquired!