December 2013 – Heart Theme!

Kind of a sneak attack on San-X’s part (though I really love the larger images they’re doing now), but check out the new Hearts theme!

Rilakkuma Hearts Series - header

Rilakkuma Loves Pancakes!

Rilakkuma Hearts Series - plushies

Cute knits with a heart theme on the plushies!

Rilakkuma Hearts Series - keychains

Itty bitty keychain versions, too!

Rilakkuma Hearts Series - aroma balls

And… bottles of aroma balls? Has San-X sold these before?

They’re scheduled to be released December 2013! Check out the prices and the extended product list here!

There was a Rilakkuma Hearts theme back in 2008, too! I guess San-X is bringing it back for the first Hearts Series’ 5 year anniversary :D

Rilakkuma and friends really look so snug in their knits!

And you can be snug just like them in the Rilakkuma Store exclusive knitwear line:

Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Knits - announcement

Cozy!

They look so warm!

It never really gets too cold here in Florida (in fact, it was a beautiful, sunny 80F today), but I really do love the knitwear line!! I’d totally wear the beanie and scarf regardless of weather hahaha

Happy Natural Time Caravan design announced!

Whew, I feel like I’ve been waiting for an eternity for this design to be announced, but San-X finally released the Happy Natural Time Caravan design at long last!

Happy Natural Time Series - Caravan design

Is he supposed to be holding an owl for real this time, or is that supposed to be Kiiroitori?

How cute! I really love plushie designs that have alternative positioning!

That being said, I’m probably going to pass on this one since it just looks like a position and slight design variation on the original Happy Natural Time line. I was hoping to drop my money on a more pie-related plushie, but this guy is so cute nonetheless! I’d love to hear if you plan on getting him, and I can’t wait to see everyone else’s close up photos!

Hope everyone’s October is going well! Simon and I carved pumpkins yesterday with our medical school class, and it was a blast! The weather has been cooling down a lot from its usual blistering heat, so it’s definitely beginning to feel like fall!

Simon carved a Rilakkuma pumpkin hehehe:

Rilakkuma pumpkin - 2013

Yay!

Eeee so cute when it’s lit up! Since this was taken on my phone at the school, I’ll try to take another photo on my better camera with my Rilakkuma plushie too when it gets closer to Halloween :D

The return of the indifferent snowperson!

Yay, the Sendai Rilakkuma Store 1st Anniversary designs were officially announced, and look who’s back for a cameo!

Sendai 1st Anniversary - Announcement

Snow and orange theme!

Christmas 2011 San-X Net Shop Exclusive - indifferent snow person

I see you!

The Sendai 1st anniversary Kiiroitori is holding a mini version of the indifferent snowperson from the Christmas 2011 Net Shop Exclusive playset!

Wow, I can’t believe they brought it back again this year, I’m so ecstatic!

I love the snow and oranges theme because oranges are also my home state Florida’s state fruit! Oranges are the sweetest after a frost because the cold makes the oranges produce more sugar for energy!

These cute mini-plushies will be sold at all the Rilakkuma Stores for 1300 円.

Getting more into the Christmas spirit…

Christmas 2013 - individual plushies

Going down the chimney to deliver presents!

Chrismas 2013 - Santa hat

Wow!

Christmas 2013 - Store Exclusive set

A Christmas scene that says “Heartful Happy Christmas”! Loving the bear ornaments, wrapping paper, and stockings :D

Wow! The Christmas 2013 lineup is pretty incredible!

The three individual Christmas plushies (1800円 each) will be on sale at multiple locations as well as the San-X Net Shop, while the Santa hat (1480円) and playset (10000円)will be a Rilakkuma Store exclusive – all to be released on November 2nd!

There are also keychains and special drawstring bags exclusive to the Rilakkuma Stores, too!

Whew, November 2nd seems like a pretty exciting day! I can’t believe it’s coming up so soon, I feel like the time is really flying by!

In the just past week, I’ve learned how to draw blood, perform a cardiac exam, and insert an IUD. I also talked to someone about lowering their blood pressure by drinking less coffee, which was pretty exciting. Things seem really busy but everything is so fun/interesting that I don’t really feel too exhausted right now. I’ll just keep on keeping on with Rilakkuma by my side! :D

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher Plushie!

It’s my pleasure to introduce Wagara Rilakkuma!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - full

Oh, hallo!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - right detail

He wears a scarf with a wonderful Rilakkuma design!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - left detail

This side says “リラックマ” (Rilakkuma) with a little dango icon at the end, just like his fabric tag!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - back

Lazy Rilakkuma in the back!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - stickers

And some absolutely wonderful Rilakkuma stickers, too!

This handsome plushie was a generous gift from reader Jennifer – thank you so so much, he is an absolutely adorable addition to my collection, and he fits right in with everyone else already! I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful readers like you!

He is a UFO Catcher plushie released by Fansclub in May 2013, and he is wagara-themed! Wagara (和柄) is a traditional Japanese pattern or design, and were traditionally patterns used for kimono or yukata.

So this Rilakkuma is wearing a wagara-inspired scarf, combining traditional Japanese pattern styles and modern & hip Rilakkuma! The other plushies from the same release have similar designs, in the forms of pillows and coin purses – I love it!

Whew, sorry for the complete radio silence on my end for the past few weeks: last week we had our first major final exam in biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics so I was a bit held up with studying.

We’ve starting anatomy/physiology this week: I’m really excited about it, but I’ve never taken anatomy or physiology before so I’m hoping it won’t be too overwhleming.

I’m still waiting on my Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary plushie because I told the seller to hold off until the Caravan design was announced, but dang, I didn’t think it’d take so long to get news on the Caravan! I kind of expected them to release the Caravan design this month, but I guess I’ll just keep waiting…

Kichijoji 3rd Anniversary designs announced!

Whew, I know I just posted yesterday, but just a quick update – I just get so excited about these anniversary plushies!

It’s the Kichijoji Rilakkuma Store’s 3rd Anniversary Plushies!

Kichijoji 3rd Anniversary - announcement

Lookin’ cozy!

Hey, they’re roasted sweet potato (焼き芋) themed, and they’re sporting some pretty suave plaid outfits! They come out on October 12, and they’re each 1,300円 and will be available at all 8 Rilakkuma Stores.

Also, looks like you can get some great Rilakkuma Halloween coasters too!

They look like a throwback to the 2006 Winter Caravan plushie… that also seems to be purged from the San-X website? Check out these Japanese bloggers’ accounts here and here (it existed, I swear!).

In other news, check out this bananas Yahoo Japan auction listing for the Rilakkuma Store 5th anniversary plushie!

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - upside-down

Hahahahahaha

So basically, the plush is supposed to look like the one on the right, but this person bought a defect that has the fishing rod upside-down and backwards! They were asking for 150,000円 for it – that’s $1,500 USD!! Pretty wild!

ETA: there’s another auction listing for an upside down one! Except this time, it’s for only 2980円 haha, much more reasonable. I guess there were a good number of upside down ones that made it to the shelves!

I’m expecting this plushie sometime soon actually (the normal one that’s right side up, and not over a thousand dollars haha), but I asked the seller to hold off until the Fall Caravan for the Happy Natural Time Series is announced so I can combine shipping if I end up wanting to order that one, too. Can’t wait to see this guy though!!

Rilakkuma Happy Natural Time Series!

Hey, though this series leaked a few months ago, the official page for the Happy Natural Time Series is up!

You can check out the official photos for all the new products in the line-up, from plushies to towels and correction tape!

Happy Natural Time Series - full

Deer ponchos!

Happy Natural Time Series - towel

“Everyday Happy with Natural motifs.”

Pretty cool! Also remember that the pre-orders for the Lawson playset for this series are going on now until the end of October or when the pre-order fills up!

I really do love the pie theme, but I think I’ll wait for the Caravan/Store Exclusives to see if I’ll pick anything up – preferably one of Rilakkuma holding a pie?

In related news, I think my Rilakkuma plushie purchasing may be slowing down a bit since I’m a med student now (and have no significant income) PLUS I just won my ultimate Rilakkuma dream piece haha, but who knows – I always say I’ll slow down but San-X keeps releasing cute plushies one after the other haha.

In other news, my first exam of medical school went pretty well! Because it was our first exam, our instructors tried to make it easier on us by only having 30 questions… but I actually think that ended up making it harder because with so few questions, there really isn’t much room for error.

But anyway, I brought along my Rilakkuma (he stayed in my bag though) and Simon brought My Only Rilakkuma to the exam as good luck charms! Grades haven’t been posted yet, but I think they worked!

Rilakkuma Literature!

It’s Labor Day weekend over here, a nationwide holiday during the first Monday in September dedicated to the American worker! Of course, that means we get the Monday to relax from all the hard work, so that means I have more time to blog – and sleep!

Anyway, I know my blog gets super plushie-centric, so it’s time to spice things up with some Rilakkuma literature!

Especially since it’s currently storming, so snuggling up to a good book seems like a pretty good idea right now!

Rilakkuma Fan Magazine - full

It’s the 10th Anniversary Rilakkuma Fan Magazine!

Rilakkuma Fan Magazine - illustrations

Inside, there are beautiful full-page illustrations of the Rilakkuma Wonderland Series.

Rilakkuma Fan Magazine - timeline detail

There’s also a really great broad overview of Rilakkuma plushies over the years!

Rilakkuma Fan Magazine - bag

The magazine also came with this neat looking bag. Hamburger Rilakkuma plushie not included haha

Rilakkuma Fan Magazine - interior

The bag is also reversible, and features a white marching band print on the other side!

Rilakkuma Fan Magazine - bag back

And the back features two marching band Rilakkumas holding paws!

San-X released this in late July 2013 – they called it the Rilakkuma Fan 10th Anniversary “Mook” (magazine + book) hahaha I suppose that sounds a little better than a “boogazine” (or does it?). In addition to the bag, the mook also came with a sheet of stickers featuring past Rilakkuma series!

Even though I only took photos of 2 pages, there really is a ton of content inside – from plushie history, to collaborations, and even current Rilakkuma news!

The only real bother is that the mook was attached to the box with the bag inside, and it was tough to remove. I’m not really sure if I was “supposed” to remove the mook, but I wanted to read it without having an empty box attached to it.

Speaking of magazines, check out Rilakkumagazine Vol. 2!

Rilakkumagazine Vol.2 - full

It’s Wonderland themed!

Rilakkumagazine Vol. 2 - opened

The magazine folds out and features a lot of different things like a quick run-through or Rilakkuma history as well as a feature on the Wonderland products. I personally liked the illustrations the best!

Though they’re really more like pamphlets, these Rilakkumagazines are super fun and cute to collect! And they definitely give my Rilakkuma plushie shelf a little bit of diversity.

San-X began this Rilakkumagazine business starting with the Aloha Rilakkuma series – Rilakkumagazine Vol. 1 earlier this year (February 9). They’ve only come out with 2 so far, so I’m at 100%! I wonder if they’ll release a new Rilakkumagazine with every major series? Let’s see how long I can keep this going haha.

I love collecting these books/magazines, but it’s also a little silly of me because I can’t actually read Japanese… but I really like looking at the photos and illustrations! The pages are pretty easy to follow since they’re photo-heavy, mostly series I’ve seen before, and there is a little English sprinkled in. Maybe one day I’ll be able to read the words haha

Not literature, but still Rilakkuma-related – check out these little extras that came with my order!

Rilakkuma Literature - extras

Rilakkuma+Korilakkuma pen toppers and a Rilakkuma keychain!

Eeee so adorable! With all of my 22cm plushies on my shelf, it’s so nice to get some variation to mix things up a bit :)

As before, thanks so much to Ariel (Rilakkuma Desu) for helping me out with getting all of these as a part of my super-big order last month! Definitely read her blog; she just posted a huge 3 part series on all the great new Rilakkuma x Lawson campaigns/releases!

Hope everyone has a relaxing Labor Day weekend! Simon and I will be going out for steaks to celebrate!

Update on the anniversary plushies

Hey really quick update on the anniversary plushies: turns out the fishing Rilakkuma/Kiiroitori is just to commemorate the 5th birthday of the Rilakkuma Stores in general, which is why it falls on Umeda’s anniversary (the oldest store) but can be purchased at all 8 Rilakkuma Stores across Japan on September 14.

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - announcement

Fishing Rilakkuma is for every Rilakkuma Store!

Meanwhile, Umeda gets its own store-specific 5th anniversary plush too!

So basically there will be two “birthday” plushies at the Umeda Rilakkuma Store on September 14: the Rilakkuma riding the fish AND the 5th anniversary set with all 3 of the Rilakkuma crew: Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori. You can also get special Rilakkuma event medals at Umeda and Tokyo Station!

Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary - announcement

Wow, Rilakkuma’s 10th anniversary AND the Rilakkuma Store’s 5th anniversary!

So continuing the new anniversary theme of Japanese culture/traditions (see previous update post), Umeda’s special set is chestnut themed!

Chestnuts are known as a symbol of autumn in Japan, and are used in seasonal dishes such as Kurigohan (栗ご飯, Chestnut Rice).

You can even find chestnuts in Japanese folktales, proverbs, and nursery rhymes such as “The Crab and the Monkey” (さるかに合戦, saru kani gassen) – a short story where a crab is killed by a monkey, and the crabs kids and friends (one is a chestnut) seek justice.

Probably more on chestnuts than you cared to know about, but it’s nice to know the cultural context of these plushies. My family had a package of roast chestnuts while we were in Japan, they sell them right on the street – pretty convenient!

I’m still not sure super what Kiiroitori’s costume is supposed to be, so if anyone could enlighten me, that would be great haha he kinda just looks like a lion to me. (UPDATE: WOW, apparently Kii is a raw chestnut!! Thanks so much, Ariel!)

So pretty cool: so far this year, Sapporo’s theme is the harvest moon, the 5th Anniversary for all stores is the red sea bream, and Umeda’s is chestnuts!

Anyway, that’s it for me today – more photos of plushies to come as I finish studying about cholesterol and HDL, LDL, and VDL haha.

Yamanote Line Rilakkuma Plushies!

Yay, they’re both finally here: the Yamanote Line Rilakkumas!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - full

Wow, a double Rilakkuma set!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - back

The backs of their shirts match!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - hats

Their hats are slightly different: the station master’s is red/gold with a bear, and the fan’s in black/gold with an “R”!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - stationmaster

The Yamanote stationmaster Rilakkuma’s ID badge says “駅長リラックマ” (Stationmaster Rilakkuma) with a little gold bear icon! His outfit also has cute bear-shaped buttons with an R lapel pin design!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - stationmaster bag detail

The stationmaster also has a super cute cross-body bag!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - fan

The Yamanote fan’s shirt looks like the front of the train with the Rilakkuma crew inside, and has a “50” (for the Yamanote green line’s 50th anniversary) as well as “山手線 Yamanote Line” printed on it!

Yamanote Line Rilakkumas - fan camera

Yamanote fan Rilakkuma also comes with this suave camera with a little Rilakkuma detail in the corner! Also, I’m so impressed that they even added a little flash lamp detail on the camera, too!

These two bears were part of this big collaboration between the JR Yamanote Green Line and Rilakkuma back in early August. It was a perfect collaboration because the Yamanote Green Line was celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and Rilakkuma’s celebrating his 10th!

In addition to this great plushie pair release, the Yamanote Line itself became Rilakkuma-themed! While I didn’t get to ride the Yamanote Line while this collaboration was happening, San-X did take some pretty great photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

The Yamanote Line holds a special place in my heart because I rode it so often with my family during my short visit to Tokyo this past summer. Our hotel was close to Tokyo Station, and we took the Yamanote Line to Kanda to get the Pizza Hut x Rilakkuma collab products as well as to Harajuku to visit their Rilakkuma Store!! So these two plushies are sort of like my very belated souvenirs hahaha

The Yamanote Line basically goes in this huge circle around Tokyo, with stops at a bunch of the major city centers! One of the stops, Tokyo Station, actually has a Rilakkuma Store in the terminal!

Getting both of these bears was such an awesome team effort: Ariel (Rilakkuma Desu) helped me get the Yamanote fan Rilakkuma from Tokyo (right on the Yamanote line!), and Liemzie (Tea Two Sugars Please) helped me get the Yamanote stationmaster from Umeda! A gigantic thank you to both of them – be sure to check out their blogs!

In other news, I still have more exciting Rilakkuma stuff to photograph and post (I seem to have a constant backlog haha), but you know, slow and steady with that because I’ve got medical biochemistry on my plate right now too haha.

Ah, what to get…

Wow, things have really gotten hectic in the Rilakkuma world in the past two days!

Here’s a quick run-down of what’s going on:

Rilakkuma's Homemade Pie with Fruits Filling - Lawson

They’re in a fruit pie!

Rilakkuma's Homemade Pie with Fruits Filling - cover art

Yum!

Rilakkuma Happy Natural Time (ハッピーナチュラルタイムテーマ) – Rilakkuma’s Homemade Pie with Fruits Filling – Deer Series: October, date TBA

I really want more details to be released about this whole series! Also a shorter official series name maybe hahaha.

Especially because it’s pie-related, and I love food Rilakkumas.

Right now, we can get ourselves ready for the Lawson x Rilakkuma collaboration for this series – details on the date to be released soon, but in the past I’ve ordered Lawson Rilakkuma goods online and of course, those in Japan can use the Loppi system at Lawson to order in person. This set will be 3990円.

The design for the standard size plushies have been leaked (they’re deer), but I’m kinda torn because I want to wait and see what the other designs will be (Caravan, Store Exclusives, Net Shop Exclusive, etc.), but this Lawson plush pre-order might end before I get a chance to decide.

Also, I don’t know how deer relate to pies but I’ll take it hahaha

Umeda 5th Anniversary Plushie - ad

Didn’t know Rilakkuma was such a good fisherman!

Umeda 5th Anniversary Plushie: September 14

Hey, Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori caught a big red sea bream!

The red sea bream has a special place in Japanese culture, and are symbols of good fortune. How auspicious to have Rilakkuma riding one for the celebration of the oldest Rilakkuma Store’s birthday!

I think I want to get this one! I kind of want to hang it on my car’s rearview mirror, but I wouldn’t want it to get sun-damaged either, hmm…

I wonder if there will be a happy birthday message printed somewhere like we saw in the past year’s store anniversary plushies (example)?

This plushie (looks like it’s on a string) will be available for 1600円 at all of the Rilakkuma Stores, but not online.

Halloween 2013 - set

Not too scary!

Halloween 2013 - playset

A playset! Also Kiiroitori’s ghost costume completely covers him up haha

Halloween 2013 Plushies and Playset: September 7

This is the first time we’ve seen a Halloween playset in a while!

Like previous Halloween releases, you can buy these at one of the 8 Rilakkuma Stores in Japan, select carrier stores, and the Net Shop. The individual plushies are 1680円, and the playset is 15,000円 (wow). If you go directly to a Rilakkuma Store, they will have special edition drawstring treat bags, too!

Sapporo 2nd Anniversary - annoucement

Bunnies?

Sapporo 2nd Anniversary Plushies: September 7

Also coming out on September 7 is Sapporo’s Anniversary plushie for 2013!

Like the Umeda anniversary plushie, this set is also deeply tied to Japanese tradition! Because Sapporo’s Anniversary is quite close to the harvest moon for this year, these plushies are Tsukimi (月見) themed! Tsukimi, literally translated to “moon viewing”, are Japanese festivals honoring the harvest moon. Traditional offerings include dango and susuki grass, which Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma are holding. Not sure what’s in Korilakkuma’s left paw (if anyone knows, please let me know), but seasonal produce are also offered during Tsukimi as well!

In my family’s tradition, we play this wild mooncake dice game for the harvest moon – super fun! My sister won the jackpot prize last year!

Though I loved the food anniversary plushies from the past year, seeing these new ones that are so linked Japanese culture and tradition is really great!

Their little pink tags/ribbons say “2nd Sapporo” on them!

Unlike the Umeda plushie, this one is only available at the Sapporo Rilakkuma Store, and the plushies are 1300円 each.

Christmas 2013 San-X Net Shop Exclusive - full

A beautiful band!

Christmas 2013 Net Shop Exclusive Pre-Orders: August 23 ~ September 23 (Delivered in late November)

I know I kinda posted about this set already, but it’s worth mentioning again just to represent how many different things have been announced in the past 48 hours!

I really love this batch’s set of instruments: keyboard, piano, drum, bass violin, trumpet, accordion, and saxophone – what a mix!

As a Net Shop exclusive, you can only buy this online at the Net Shop for 17,500円 – the priciest I’ve seen at retail yet!

Whew, that’s about it for now! I think I got used to the slow Rilakkuma news and now I feel overwhelmed haha.