Airplane Rilakkuma! + New! Hankyu Stationmaster design + JAXA 2015!

The theme of today’s post is transportation!

From my own collection, it’s Airplane Rilakkuma!

Airplane Series - full

Rilakkuma relaxing on top of an airplane!

Airplane Series - plane detail

Rilakkuma rides a beautiful baby blue airplane, courtesy of Rilakkuma airlines!

Airplane Series - top view

View from the top!

Airplane Series - tag art

Tag art: Rilakkuma and friends on top of the plane, with a thematic homage to the Bonjour Series (2010)!

This plushie took flight in August 2014 in major airports across Japan, as part of the Rilakkuma Airline Series, which also featured travel items such as eye masks, neck pillows, and slippers!

Major thanks to my Aunt Lulu, who was able to arrange for me to get this plush from Haneda airport – thank you!

Following the theme of today’s post, there are two new transportation-related Rilakkuma sequels that I’m super excited about!

Do you remember the Rilakkuma x Hankyu collaboration from April that was the next in a long line of train Rilakkumas (Yamanote, Dr. Yellow)? Well, this July 18th, the Hankyu stationmaster is getting an updated uniform!

Rilakkuma x Hankyu - Summer 2015

From maroon to black! Summer stationmaster plush: 2,052円, Plush keychain: 1,404円, Multibox: 1,296円.

This updated stationmaster plush design is part of a special summer event on the Hankyu line, including new train designs for the summer on the Kobe, Takarazuka, and Kyoto lines as well as more products, prizes, and more!

I am lucky to have the April Hankyu Rilakkuma waiting for me at my parents’ house, but this new design is so tempting! I think I’ll have to go for this new design too if I keep doing well in school – I haven’t missed a train Rilakkuma yet!

Now for a different type of transportation, the popular Rilakkuma x JAXA collaboration plush from last year is getting a sequel this summer too! This year, the Rilakkuma x JAXA collaboration features the entire Rilakkuma team!

JAXA 2nd Edition - cover

Rilakkuma x JAXA was a special collaboration during last year’s Space Series! I’m glad they’re back again this summer, too!

JAXA 2nd Edition - full

Last year, there was only Rilakkuma, and now we have the whole team! 2,400円 each.

In addition to getting some uniforms fitted for Korilakkuma and Kiiroitori, you may also notice that the rocket they each hold is different from last year’s design! This year’s JAXA plushies feature the H-IIA rocket, a Japanese launch system used to launch satellites, lunar orbiting spacecraft, and interplanetary space probes – how exciting! I love it when Rilakkuma plush details have such significance to them!

Like the new Hankyu design, these new plushies will also be released on July 18, along keychains, towels, and ballpoint pens!

Also for Sumikko Gurashi fans, there’s an amazing Sumikko Gurashi Sushi Series coming soon in August!

Sumikko Sushi - cover

A delicious sushi theme!

Sumikko Sushi - full

Bowl playset: 3,000円, individual plush: 550円.

Probably one of my favorite Sumikko Gurashi series so far! Though hard to pick just one, I think my favorite from this design is Nisetsumuri (にせつむり) using sushi as a shell!

There’s so much more cool merchandise from this line that is exquisitely well designed, so be sure to check out the whole line!

Hope you enjoyed this travel-themed post (well, except for the sushi haha)! And happy Independence Day to all the Rilakkuma fans celebrating this weekend!

PS Rilakkuma US has a booth(#1911) at Anime Expo, with lots of merchandise and an event exclusive backpack! I hope they come to Florida soon so I can attend one of these amazing events!

JAXA + Space Series Rilakkuma Plushies: Double Feature! + New! Kichijoji 4th Anniversary + JINS PC promo photos + Cat Cafe!

Let’s get things rolling! Wrapping up the summer, check out my final 2 cosmic Rilakkumas!

First up: JAXA Rilakkuma!

JAXA - full

Ready for work in his JAXA jumpsuit!

JAXA - left side detail

Cute Rilakkuma ID patch, with the Japanese flag on his left sleeve!

JAXA - rocketship detail

Rocketship with a bear-shaped window!! His jumpsuit also zips down, but not removable due to this little rocketship, which is sewn to his suit.

JAXA - right side detail

His ride side features the JAXA logo and a Rilakkuma design on the right sleeve!

JAXA - back detail

And of course, a giant JAXA emblem in the back! Love that his uniform also left a little room for his tail haha

JAXA - tag art

Tag art: not so JAXA themed, but a cute space design! Also one of the only rectangular tags in the series!

Doesn’t he look like such a hard worker?

Not only was this dutiful JAXA employee a cool collab between JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Rilakkuma, but he was also a special product for the Space Expo 2014: The Great Challenge of NASA · JAXA! He was first released in July 2014 as an extension of the Space Series.

Special thank you to Trinie for the Space Series bag that is the beautiful backdrop for today’s photoshoot!! These shopping bags are so meaningful to me because as a Rilakkuma fan who depends on online ordering, I rarely get the special edition bags for every series! Especially as a fan who loves the illustrations, I am so appreciative – thanks a ton, Trinie!!

Speaking of the Space Series, next up is Space Series Rilakkuma!

Space Series - full

Greetings from outer space!

Space Series - suit detail

His space suit has a similar color scheme and belt as the Space Series Store Exclusive Rilakkuma, but with different designs: this suit features a different Rilakkuma logo as well as a dango with its planetary rings!

Space Series - back

Rilakkuma’s space suit is completely attached to his body so no signs of the back zipper typical of Rilakkuma, but there is somewhat of a replication of his back zipper on his helmet!

Space Series - back detail

Amazingly cute embroidery in the back, with a little planet as the dot in the “i”! I also love the three stars embroidered throughout the suit and helmet, which represent the 3 colors of the Rilakkuma team’s suits (yellow for Rilakkuma, pink for Korilakkuma, and blue for Kiiroitori).

Space Series - helmet switch

His helmet is removable by the back zipper, and can be transferred to any other standard collectible sized bear so they can play astronaut, too! Though the helmet is not the easiest to get on and off due to Rilakkuma’s ears haha

Space Series - tag art

Tag art: similar to the other Space Series plushies, a handsome Rilakkuma lounging on a planet.

Hahaha I think this is the only Rilakkuma I have who is truly covered from head to toe! Well except for his little paws peeking out hehehe.

Like the JAXA collab, the Space Series came out in July 2014.

Since I went a little nuts this summer on Rilakkuma, I decided to restrain myself and only get the brown bear from this set. I think Bear Nation has a pretty thriving space program between this astronaut, JAXA Rilakkuma, planet Rilakkuma, and the 3 space explorers (Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Kumartians) haha.

As a JINS PC follow-up: have you seen their super cute promotions and interviews?

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - mascot

Wow… just… devastatingly cute!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - interview photos

Adorable medically-themed photoshoot featuring Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Bonjour Kiiroitori (where’d he come from??) learning more about JINS PC through an interview with a physician!

Make sure you check out the Rilakkuma page at the JINS website for more cuteness – my favorite is definitely the interview with one of the physicians endorsing the product (lots more adorable photos at the source!).

In plushie news, check out the design for the Kichijoji 4th Anniversary!

Kichijoji 4th Anniversary - cover

Kiiroitori turned into a swan paddle boat! Like the Egg Series, Kiiroitori transforms into another bird species haha. Miniplushies 1,500円 each.

These plushies look really cute and clever hehe, I always love when the designs deviate a little from standard – sitting on things, different facial expressions, etc. The different color theme swan boats (yellow for Rilakkuma, blue for Kiiroitori, and pink for Korilakkuma) is a great touch! I really like how Korilakkuma got her own swan boat crown too haha. These plushies will be available on October 11!

As always, I do love how culturally relevant these anniversary plushies are! Swan paddle boats are a popular attraction at Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園) in Kichijoji.

One day, I hope to visit every Rilakkuma Store, but I especially want to visit Kichijoji because the Ghibli Museum is also in Inokashira Park! Do you like Studio Ghibli films? My favorite is Spirited Away! Though really, I haven’t met a Studio Ghibli film I didn’t like!

For Singaporean Rilakkuma fans: did you hear about the Rilakkuma @ the Cat Cafe event?

Rilakkuma @ Cat Cafe 2014 - cover

Oooh looks like they made a Korilakkuma meal!

Rilakkuma @ Cat Cafe 2014 - Jemolian's Store

Cats love Rilakkuma, too! This photo was taken by Jemolian’s Store, who sold Rilakkuma merchandise at the event!

According to the event page, Bon Japan holds this themed Rilakkuma cafe event every year, and this year, the event was held on August 30 at the Cat Cafe to celebrate the upcoming Cats Series! Hahaha what a clever collaboration!

The Cat Cafe is a cafe that allows you to play with cats while you dine and relax, and part of the proceeds were donated to the Cat Welfare Society!

At this year’s event, a man proposed to his girlfriend of 11 years – in a Rilakkuma suit! Check out a few videos and photos over at Stomp.

I have my first exam of my second year of medical school next Friday on cardiopulmonary diseases so things will be quiet from me until then! Until then, take care!

Redditgifts exchange! + A San-X Net Shop Server Problem! + More photos from the Rilakkuma Tower Records Cafe!

Redditgifts is an international Secret Santa gift exchange with different themes throughout the year. Recently, I participated in their “Rilakkuma and Friends” exchange, which was San-X themed!

My Secret Santa (G-Honey) sent me a shiny new Rilakkuma phone charm, and an adorably soft Tonkatsu plush coin purse!

Reddit Gifts - Rilakkuma charm

His bottom swings around when you move him!

Reddit Gifts - Tonkatsu coin purse

Look at this fluffy Tonkatsu plush coin purse with a Hokori zipper pull!

Reddit Gifts - full

What a lovely gift – I’m so grateful!

Oooh the Rilakkuma is really so cute and shiny – anyone know exactly what he’s holding in his paw? Looks a little like a jug of milk to me haha.

Also the Tonkatsu coin purse is so soft, dirty old coins don’t deserve him! Haha maybe I’ll put little Starbursts inside of him or something ;)

This is my first time participating in Redditgifts, so thank you so much, Santa! Check out the other San-X gifts people received at the Redditgifts “Rilakkuma and Friends” gallery!

In international Rilakkuma news, the San-X Net Shop server crashed during the Dr. Yellow / JAXA release – yikes!

I anticipated the server being slow because it’s a big and exciting release, but I’ve never seen the site quite like this before! I bookmarked the products I wanted ahead of time, and I refreshed my page exactly at 10:00AM JST (9:00PM EST on Friday for me)… the loading time was super slow which was expected, but what was the strangest was that I couldn’t get to the payment page.

The first time around, I was online waiting for pages to load for about an hour when I finally got to check out, logged in, and confirmed my address – when my cart would be mysteriously cleared! This happened about 5 more times over the course of several hours (I was adamant to get these bears haha) until 3AM my time, when San-X released an official statement that their site was unable to handle any orders.

The San-X Net Shop has informed the public and apologized via Facebook, email, Twitter, and their website:

San-X Net Shop Crash - screenshot

Screenshot of current San-X Net Shop webpage

Wow, the server must have been really overloaded from all the kuma fans!

I really appreciate their transparency, and I wish them luck to get their site back up and running soon – get well soon, San-X Net Shop!

Anyway, here were the three plushies I was planning on ordering:

San-X Net Shop Crash - order

JAXA Rilakkuma, Dr. Yellow Rilakkuma hugging pillow, and Dr. Yellow Rilakkuma plushie.

Hopefully I’ll get my hands on them soon! Another attempt will be made next week :)

The San-X Facebook page has been posting really cool photos of the JAXA / Dr. Yellow collaboration, which makes me extra excited! Can’t wait to finally place an order next week because they look great!

Dr. Yellow / Jaxa - 1

Wow, look at that mountain of JAXA kumas!

Dr. Yellow / JAXA - 2

I always love these Rilakkuma statues!

Also, be sure to check out Reddit Rilakkuma fan angelacarpediem’s personal photo album of the Rilakkuma Factory Tower Records Cafe in Shibuya! Wow!

According to angelacarpediem, each table there has a Rilakkuma plush – they are really lovely and high quality photos, so definitely check them out! I really want to go someday!

Rilakkuma Tower Records Cafe - angelacarpediem's photo album

Sneak peek! Lots more incredible photos from the cafe in angelacarpediem’s photo album!

I hope one day my kuma photography skills will be that good, too! Thanks so much for sharing these great photos with the Rilakkuma community, angelacarpediem!

In other news, I’m heading off to the Dominican Republic next Friday for medical service work, so might get a little quiet on this end. I might try to squeeze in another post before I go, but if not, see you in August!

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!