Fansclub Striped Knit Rilakkuma & Korilakkuma Plushies! + A JAXA Rilakkuma Update!

It’s kind of the opposite of sweater weather around these parts nowadays, but say hello to Striped Knit Rilakkuma & Korilakkuma!

Fansclub Striped Knit Series - full

What a lovely pair! Though it looks like Rilakkuma got a little bored with our photoshoot hehehe

Fansclub Striped Knit Series - Korilakkuma sweater detail

A beautiful pink and white sweater, for a beautiful pink and white Korilakkuma! Also, this is the first time I’ve noticed even the thread for Kobear’s red button is a pretty pink just like her paws, feet, and ears!

Fansclub Striped Knit Series - Rilakkuma sweater detail

Rilakkuma looks so cozy in his orange sweater… so cozy that he sat down and took a nap.

Fansclub Striped Knit Series - tag art

Tag art features a mysteriously sweater-less Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma.

Sleepy Rilakkuma is one of my favorite alternative faces, and I think the knit sweaters are really well done! In fact, I’d love to have one of these sweaters for myself so I can match – Rilakkuma is so stylish!

These snug bears were released as part of the Fansclub Striped Knit Series in in December 2013 – with that season’s polar vortex here in North America, looks like Rilakkuma and friends had the right idea for the peak of sweater season!

I also appreciate the stripes on these sweaters as a foreshadowing to the Stripes Stripes Everyday Series that was released just 3 months later – very clever! The standing Rilakkuma from this series even has the same color scheme!

Enormous thanks to generous reader Trinie for this snug pair of bears! During next winter, they’ll be the most prepared bears in my collection hahaha.

Also a little update on the JAXA x Rilakkuma collaboration! People were curious when this plushie appeared on the San-X Net Shop July lineup with no announcement, then mysteriously disappeared shortly after.

JAXA x Rilakkuma - back

Wow, how did they get him to stand up like that? Engineering at its finest, I suppose. One small stand for bear… one giant leap for bearkind!

Good news is that his page on the Net Shop is back up, and San-X announced a little more information about him!

As it turns out, not only is this plushie a collaboration between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Rilakkuma, but it’s also a special product for the Space Expo 2014: The Great Challenge of NASA · JAXA being held at Makuhari Messe (幕張メッセ) in Chiba – hey Ariel, is this anywhere near you?

As part of Space Expo 2014, this plushie celebrates the rich history of both American (NASA) and Japanese (JAXA) achievements in space exploration and engineering. I love this background, and now knowing more about the context, I think I’m leaning more toward getting this plushie!

In other news, interested in what a Rilakkuma Caravan event looks like? Check out Moriwaki’s video of this year’s Space Series Caravan in Kobe!

Rilakkuma looks so professional in his space suit!

I’ve always wanted to go to one of these events! It’s funny to see all those people rubbing his head when he’s leaving hehehe.

You know, it was watching Rilakkuma videos like this that actually first got me interested in Rilakkuma! Something about him waddling around like that around his adoring fans is really endearing! What’s your favorite Rilakkuma video?

Fansclub Strawberry Rilakkuma Plushies! + JAXA collab, Funny Parts Series, and more!

What better way to celebrate strawberry season than with these awesome Fansclub Strawberry Rilakkuma Plushies!

Fansclub Strawberry Series Part 2 - full

A handsome pair of strawbears

Fansclubs Strawberry Series Part 2 - strawberry crown

A beautiful crown of strawberries and strawberry blossoms for this Rilakkuma!

Fansclub Strawberry Series Part 2 - strawberry hood

And a snug strawberry hood for this bear!

Fansclub Strawberry Series Part 2 - tag art

Tag art featuring Korilakkuma picking up a huge heart-shaped strawberry!

Lovely! And what a dynamic duo! I like to think they became best friends over their mutual interest in strawberry headgear hehehe.

These blissful strawbears were released as part of the “Strawberry Series Part2” by Fansclub in March 2010.

Gigantic thank you to reader Trinie for this seasonally perfect pair of bears! What a splendid set, and they’re joining a strong and diverse community of strawberry bears!

Lots of cool Rilakkuma things to look forward to: check out the JAXA Rilakkuma plushie!

JAXA Rilakkuma - ad

Great jumpsuit!

I missed posting about this guy because I got swept up in the Dr. Yellow line, wow, isn’t he fly? Like the Dr. Yellow series, this cute JAXA worker comes out on July 19, and costs 2,484円.

As Ariel mentioned in her post, JAXA stands for “Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency” and they’re responsible for satellite launches, asteroid exploration and much more! With the Space Series coming out this month, this collaboration fits perfectly!

I actually live really close to the Kennedy Space Center – maybe I need to take my astronaut Rilakkumas for a visit hehehe.

In case you’re still craving more Rilakkuma news, San-X will also be releasing a new line of Rilakkuma merchandise for the Rilakkuma Funny Parts Series!

Funny Parts Series - 1

Wahaha I really like these phone cases, might be something I’d like to invest in (1,200円)

Funny Parts Series - 2

Now you can pretend to be Rilakkuma with the excuse that it’s just a pouch or a towel hahaha

Great concept!

Looks like this theme features our favorite parts from our favorite bears – look forward to this release in August 2014!

I think the Rilakkuma mug is really clever, though I guess you have to hold the mug up to your nose for it to really look like you have a Rilakkuma snout haha.

And for those interested, I’ve finished the first part of my collection page!

Bear Nation - June 2014

Always growing!

Just the San-X and Lawson ones are done right now, but I hope to finish the rest of the plushies over the next week or so.

One my webpage, my running collection will be recorded on the top menu bar (“Collection”), and provides information about series and release date, as well as their original posts on my blog and San-X page. Hope y’all enjoy it!

Children’s Day Rilakkuma Plushie! + Kobe Rilakkuma Store Exclusive News!

For this fine summer’s day, check out Children’s Day Rilakkuma!

Children's Day Rilakkuma - full

Happy belated Children’s Day!

Children's Day Rilakkuma - koinobori

A beautiful blue koinobori! Koinobori (鯉幟) are the carp wind socks symbolic of Children’s Day, and are flown because carps are spirited fish full of energy and power (like kids!) that by legend, will stream upstream to become dragons – how inspiring!

cday-3

Rilakkuma’s wearing a handsome Kabuto (兜), a traditional Japanese military helmet that symbolizes strength and health!

Children's Day Rilakkuma - tag art

Tag art of the Rilakkuma team all together!

Hooray! This happy Rilakkuma was released by Fansclub back in April 2005 – wow, that was when Rilakkuma was barely 2 years old! Very fitting in a way, as San-X celebrates one of its most successful “children” hehehe.

Children’s Day was back on May 5th (the fifth day of the fifth month), and it’s a Japanese national holiday meant to celebrate children! It used to be just for boys, but it’s since been expanded to include girls too (yay)!

Of course, since Children’s Day comes every year, this isn’t the only Children’s Day Rilakkuma (though it’s my first!) – just last year, Fansclub released another Children’s Day edition Rilakkuma plushie set – adorable!

What a beautiful Rilakkuma! Thank you Trinie for sharing this fabulous Rilakkuma with me, and for allowing me to share not only this plushie, but all of the history and tradition that come with him!

In other happy summer news, check out this new Kobe Rilakkuma Store exclusive plushie!

Kobe Rilakkuma - full

As an American, this color scheme and pattern seem very patriotic hahaha

Cute that they’re giving the new Kobe store their moment in the spotlight! As you may recall, the Kobe Rilakkuma Store officially opened back in April, so it’s great to see another follow-up plushie – a Rilakkuma and “Kobe Kobear” haha – that celebrates the port city history of Kobe!

I really love the sailor theme, and it’s great that they used a similar pattern as the old Marine Series from 2012! The Marine Series has a special place in my heart because not only was it the series that was out when I first started entering the Rilakkuma fray two summers ago, but it was also my brother’s first Rilakkuma set and our family’s first Kobear!

So I definitely appreciate this Rilakkuma stylistic throwback to 2012, when I first started collecting! Which was the first Rilakkuma series to catch your eye?

Winter Donut Rilakkuma Plushie! + A July/Space Rilakkuma Announcement!

Still have a sweet tooth from Cupcake Rilakkuma? Check out this Winter Donut Rilakkuma!

Winter Donut Rilakkuma - full

“Would you like a donut?”

Winter Donut Rilakkuma - hat detail

Pretty little pearl beads on his winter cap!

Winter Donut Rilakkuma - donut detail

A glazed donut with sprinkles! (Is it “donut” or “doughnut”?)

Winter Donut Rilakkuma - tag art

Delicate pastel colors on the tag: “More Relax by Rilakkuma”

Winter Donut Rilakkuma - with Mister Donut

Building a donut community here in Bear Nation with Mister Donut Rilakkuma!

Yum! Still trying to understand the connection between the donut and wintertime, but I like to think it has something to do with donut frosting and a frosty winter hahahaha.

Though we’re in the opposite season of a snowy winter, every season is certainly donut season haha, so I think this plushie is still very appropriate for the moment, especially following Cupcake Rilakkuma. Or perhaps we can pretend we are living in the southern hemisphere for the moment.

This fluffy Rilakkuma is from the Fansclub Winter Pastel Series, which was released in November 2010! This release has such a lovely color scheme!

For sending me this donut-y Rilakkuma sweetheart, thanks so much to reader Trinie, who has a fantastic knack for sending me Rilakkumas that happen to be holding some of my favorite foods hehehe.

Since I was out of town this past weekend, imagine my surprise when I see all the new Rilakkuma releases flooding in!!

So strap in for the gigantic Rilakkuma wave of news: the Rilakkuma Space Series is here!!

Space Rilakkuma - cover

Really beautiful art with this one! Absolutely love the small details, like the dango with its own rings :)

Rilakkuma Space Series - standard release

Super fly full spacesuits for the standard release: 1,780円 each. HILARIOUS that Kiiroitori got a set of bear ears for its spacesuit hahahaha

Rilakkuma Space Series - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive

Rilakkuma and pals get their own planets for the Rilakkuma Store Exclusive release: 2,500円 each. I love the extra design motifs like the pile of donuts (perfect for this post)!

Rilakkuma Space Series - Rilakkuma Store and Kiddyland exclusive

Looks like the team met the local Kumartians for the Rilakkuma Store and Kiddyland Exclusive: 2,300円 for Rilakkuma, 2,000円 for Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori (each). I wonder what the Kumartians look like from the back – will they have zippers and tails too?

Rilakkuma Space Series - poster

Really phenomenal artwork!

WOW really this is such a beautiful series! I want them all haha I’ve pre-ordered the standard release Rilakkuma (yellow space suit solo), the whole set of “Kumartians” (great name coined by Ariel!) Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland exclusives, and the Rilakkuma Store exclusive Rilakkuma (yellow space suit on a planet).

Ariel translated the long tagline name for us as “Outer space is far away from here~no gravity, time to relax” (Uchu No Kanatade Fuwa Fuwa Goron) – what a fantastic perspective to have! The abbreviated title for this you might also find (like on the poster and goods page) is 宇宙でだららん, which roughly means “Relaxing in Space” – seems like Rilakkuma would be really talented at that!

I think this series is absolutely incredible because of its creativity and detail! I really can’t wait to see the rest of this series (Caravan, Net Shop Exclusive) – too cool!

Super perfect release in so many ways, because I want to start playing Kerbal Space Program soon; it was on sale recently on Steam!

And of course, when when it rains Rilakkuma news, it pours: Harajuku Rilakkuma Store’s 2nd Anniversary designs were announced as well!

Harajuku 2nd Anniversary - announcement

Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma having fun on their inner tubes… and Kiiroitori as a mermaid (merbird)? 2,300円 each.

Such beautiful beach bums! I love these a lot because they remind me of my own beachy hometown in Florida – what a perfect series for the summer! Love that Korilakkuma even had little flippers on hehehe.

And finally, last but certainly not least, is another particularly striking plushie release: Rilakkuma’s tribute to Claude Monet’s La Japonaise!

Rilakkuma x Monet - La Japonaise comparison

Very accurate Rilakkuma-fication of Monet’s La Japonaise, IMO! Beautiful attention to detail on the fans, too.

Rilakkuma x Monet - plushie

And the painting is brought to 3D, in Rilakkuma plushie form, for just 2,484円.

Stunning! This release honors Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan, an exhibition about japonisme organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Did you know Claude Monet had a collection of over 200 Japanese prints, more in both quantity and quality of any other painter of this period?

Japonisme is a really fascinating facet of art history – and as a modern Japanese interpretation of piece of art produced by a European artist inspired by Japan, I think this Rilakkuma version is quite a subversive take on the Western gaze on the East that was so characteristic of japonisme. Go Rilakkuma!

I’m really excited about this plushie too since it merges art and Rilakkuma, a combination I really cherish posting about on this blog! I’m really temped to commit and purchase this one, but whew, gotta see what my budget looks like for the rest of the year. It’s a really beautiful tribute/collaboration piece!

Wow, Rilakkuma is so adventurous this summer – from beach, to art, and all the way to space! I think he has a more lively social life than most of us do hahaha.

福 (Good Fortune & Happiness) Rilakkuma Plushie! & A Rilakkuma Pineapple Suit!

Everyone needs a little good luck in their lives, so here’s 福 (Fú) Rilakkuma!

Fu Rilakkuma - full

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

Fu Rilakkuma - fan detail

福 means good fortune and happiness!

Fu Rilakkuma - tag art

A pair of lucky bears on the tag!

This lucky bear was such a huge help during my finals week! I really needed all the good luck for my exams haha. I really love his pose and composition – so harmonious and balanced!

He was released as part of a whole line of auspicious plushies in the Fansclub 福 (fú) series in November 2012!

In my family’s tradition, we turn the 福 display upside-down throughout the year because the character for “upside-down”, “倒” (dao), is a homonym of the character for “to arrive”, “到” (dao) – so basically it means that “good fortune is arriving”!

Fu Rilakkuma - display

Fu Rilakkuma by the display in front of my parents’ house!

Can’t properly put this bear upside-down haha but he’s such a great and colorful addition to the collection!!

Huge thanks to reader Trinie for this super prosperous bear! He’s such a lovely addition, and I’m so overjoyed that he will be bringing our household good luck and prosperity for years to come!

In other news, Simon took up a different venture in Rilakkuma art, and constructed this Rilakkuma pineapple suit!

Pineapple Suit BD Bear - with Kuma-san

My sister and I’s first Rilakkumas!

As you may recall, this year marks my first Rilakkuma plushie’s 2nd birthday! To commemorate the bear nation’s 2nd year in existence, Simon decided to honor its oldest member with a pineapple costume haha.

Looks like a pretty regal pineapple – especially with the green leaves looking like a crown! As the oldest Rilakkuma plushie in the collection, this bear is kind of the de facto leader so the theme is rather fitting, I think!

Strawberry Bag Rilakkuma Plushie!

Summer means strawberries, so say hello to our new Strawberry Bag Rilakkuma!

Stawberry Bag Rilakkuma - full

Sleepy Rilakkuma in the summer sun!

Strawberry Bag Rilakkuma - flower detail

A beautiful strawberry blossom on his ear!

Strawberry Bag Rilakkuma - tag art

Rilakkuma and pals enjoying some delicious (and gigantic) strawberries on the tag!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle - Strawberry Festival

Strawberry Bag Rilakkuma joins a long tradition of strawberry-themed bears in the collection!

Wow, super cute! He looks super snug in his strawberry sleeping bag – pretty perfect theme for a summer nap! This sleepyhead is part of the Fansclub’s Strawberry Bag Series, released in January 2014.

This super adorable strawbear bag was a prize from Mira Plush’s I Love Rilakkuma contest! For this contest, participants held up a sign that said “I love Rilakkuma” to be entered in a drawing – awesome idea! Check out the video of all the submissions here (Simon and I are around 0:43)!

Mira Plush "I Love Rilakkuma" Contest - submission

We do love Rilakkuma! (Simon loves Rilakkuma so much, he’s smiling as hard as he can!)

Follow Mira Plush’s WordPress blog and Facebook page to learn more about their future contests! And of course, be sure to browse through Mira Plush’s online store to get this bear and many more (on sale since it’s Mira Plush’s anniversary!). Thanks so much for your continued involvement with the Rilakkuma community and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Mira Plush!

In other news, not much happening on the Rilakkuma news front as we await the Space Rilakkuma series, though the San-X Net Shop posted these really cute photos of Rilakkuma golf ball holders as inspiration for Father’s Day (June 15):

Rilakkuma Golf Ball Holders - front

Uncovered golf ball says, “Where did the others go?”

Rilakkuma Golf Ball Holders - bottom

“We’re hiding in here!”

Teehee, they’re so cute and round! If I played golf, I’d totally invest in these! They feature standard (naked) Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma, as well as Bee Rilakkuma and Bunny Suit Korilakkuma!

I’m so happy to be done with school for the summer! Hopefully, this means more time for Rilakkuma things while I have the free time. Finally being able to relax like Rilakkuma is an incredible feeling!

Fairy Korilakkuma Fansclub Plushie!

A quick break from studying to spotlight an amazing new addition to my collection: Fairy Korilakkuma!

Fairy Korilakkuma - full

Wow, my first Halloween themed plushie!

Fairy Korilakkuma - magic wand detail

Cute bear magic wand detail!

Fairy Korilakkuma - wing detail

Whoa, what iridescent wings!

Fairy Korilakkuma - tag art

Tag art! Looks like Korilakkuma decided to dress as a witch for the tag instead haha.

So pretty! This Korilakkuma is part of the Fansclub release for the 2008 Halloween season! This plushie is particularly special because this series was released so long ago that it hadn’t been listed on the Fansclub website – wow, what a great part of Rilakkuma history!

So I know Halloween is a long time from now, but this Fairy Korilakkuma reminded me a lot of the butterflies that are out right now, so I thought it’d still be appropriate to showcase her today!

A gigantic thank you goes out to Trinie for this beautiful Korilakkuma! I’m so honored for the opportunity to showcase such an important part of Rilakkuma history! THANK YOU!

In other news, a new Rilakkuma Store exclusive line has rolled out: Rilakkuma Textile!

Rilakkuma Textile - announcement

Oh, what a beautiful color scheme!

Rilakkuma Textile - plushies

Ponchos!

Such an interesting design choice – they look pretty bundled up for the summer time!

Similar to the Comics Series that was released around the same time last year, this is a Rilakkuma Store exclusive line based on a pattern that also features plushies!

It’s great to know that San-X is appears to be sticking to a schedule for their releases so us Rilakkuma fans can brace ourselves for what types of releases to expect throughout the year!

Out of pattern, however, is the size of the plushies – last year’s Comics Series had the standard collectible size (~22 cm) plushies, but it looks like this release features the mini-plushies (~14-15 cm) like the store anniversary plushies from the past year. Like the other mini-plushies, each one goes for 1,300 円, and will go on sale June 7.

What do you all think? I have a soft spot for the standard 22 cm sizes when it comes to Rilakkumas (and I especially loved the way the hoodies looked on the standard sized plushies last year), because I’m more used to those proportions, but hey – maybe I’m just stuck in my “old” ways hahaha.

One week left in school! :O I’ve been motivating myself (or distracting myself) with these cute new 7-11 CF’s featuring Rilakkuma! Oh and Taiwanese drama stars Lego Lee and Kirsten Jen, too haha. Enjoy!