At long last, I’m proud to begin featuring Rilakkuma plush and products that are designed here in the US!
Aliquantum International (AQI) manages all of the Rilakkuma merchandising in North America, and with an official license from San-X in Japan, they are now producing their own Rilakkuma plush designs! Many are inspired by previous Rilakkuma designs, but the materials, patterns, and construction are unique to AQI! So consider these authentic American Rilakkumas ;)
First feature is Sea Otter Rilakkuma!
Just like any otter day.
Hello, Sea Otter Rilakkuma!
The otter hood has crisp, proportionate, and symmetric embroidery—and I love the little triangular otter ears!
Big flat otter tail to keep him balanced!
Side by side comparison of the North American AQI Sea Otter Rilakkuma (left) to the Japanese San-X Sea Otter Rilakkuma from 2016 (right)! Notable differences include the obvious size difference, texture of the suit (AQI with a smoother plush feel, and San-X with a fluffy terry cloth feel), and the presence of yellow scallop shell. Otherwise, many of the details I love the most are similar!
Wow, I’m super impressed—excellent quality and cute proportions! And I think this is a hilariously fitting cross-over design as otters are indigenous to Japan and North America. The otter series is one of my favorites, and I’m overjoyed to see a version now available here in the US!
There are versions of Rilakkuma in a grey otter suit facing forward and laying down, Korilakkuma in a pink otter suit facing forward and laying down, and Kiroitori in a white fish suit—check out my previous post from the Rilakkuma Shop pop-up store for more close-ups of those!
I LOVE these medium-sized Rilakkuma plush that tend to be the standard sizing for the AQI Rilakkumas (very big and huggable), though I will say it will make me run out of shelf space faster hahaha.
I really appreciate that us Rilakkuma fans in the US now have local options! The North American AQI Rilakkumas are crafting their own identity that pays homage to their Japanese counterparts while also bringing something new to the table. I’m really excited to see how their products evolve in the future! Can’t wait to see some USA specific ones hehehe.
So what do you think of this otter Rilakkuma? What do you want to see in the future for AQI Rilakkumas?
Delicious! And you can even see a bear-bee dressed up as a strawberry, too!
One of the products I’m looking forward to the most: a combo playset and recipe set so you can cook for a Rilakkuma strawberry party yourself!
Standard plush, holding strawberries in anticipation for the strawberry party! Unique details include a metal strawberry charm on their ribbons, and patches with decorative powder blue, pink, and yellow strawberry pattern.
Nothing fancy or overstated, just a fluffy, airy, and cute campaign with Rilakkuma and friends living their strawberry dreams. Scheduled to debut in March 2018!
I’d love to attend a strawberry party myself. Back when I lived in North Carolina, I used to go to pick-your-own strawberry and blueberry farms, and they were a blast!! Would highly recommend if you have a chance,
Which Rilakkuma series matches your aesthetic the best?
In addition to the Rilakkuma Casual series, I adore the Rilakkuma Factory color scheme! If there were a Rilakkuma wearing old hospital scrubs, that’d be me too haha.
Now let’s have a closer look at some of the new merchandise!
Illustrious otters! The otter series has arrived in the US in the form of super adorable Rilakkumas in grey otter suits. Perfect laying down or sitting up!
Inspired by the 2016 Otter Series that was originally released in Japan, these otters are super cute, with bright, vibrant colors. Korilakkuma represented here as a rare *pink* sea otter, hehehe
For shape reasons, Kiiroitori did not get their own otter suit, but instead has manifested as a fish companion!
Of course, with Rilakkuma otter plush, come Rilakkuma otter blind boxes! Pick one up, and you get one of six designs, but you don’t know which!
Another breathtaking new addition since my last visit, emergence of the Honeybee Series! Sleepy Rilakkuma here probably ate too much honey. This series was inspired by the Rilakkuma Meets Honey Series that was originally released in 2011, and this sleepy Rilakkuma looks a lot like the Rilakkuma Store Exclusive design—awesome! Not pictured to his right, Honeybee Rilakkuma plush standing upright (better look in my video, above!).
Korilakkuma here has a very lovely fluffy fur lining on her honeybee hood, and she looks like she behaved and didn’t overindulge on honey to the point of passing out unlike Rilakkuma. Not pictured: standing Korilakkuma honeybee plush.
Another new surprise, these EXTRA FLUFFY Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma plushes! They remind me a lot of the My Only Rilakkuma Series from 2013!
A fluffy Rilakkuma plush of Rilakkuma relaxing on his side! I think this one is so unique because to my knowledge, there isn’t a design exactly like this one in this size that’s been released in Japan before!
Finally, an amazing special set to grace the US, the Sumikko Gurashi 5th Anniversary overseas exclusive series! Really beautiful, and we are so lucky to have this here, as this series is only sold outside of Japan! My favorite is the Egyptian Sphinx Neko with the pyramid on the side! Make sure to add these to your collection as they aren’t sold in Japan!
Finally, the last of the Denim Rilakkumas!! These are the last ones, and this is one of my absolute favorite series—get them while you can!!
Overall, such a great experience! I love being surrounded by Rilakkuma and other Rilakkuma fans!
Did you go to the Rilakkuma Shop December event? What did you think, and what did you get? Let me know in the comments!
It’s such a blessing to have a Rilakkuma Shop so nearby! Can’t wait for the next event!
I had a great time checking out all the Rilakkuma products! There are even lots of new products today that weren’t available during soft opening!
Most surprising addition: DENIM RILAKKUMA. Can you believe it??? Of all the potential Japanese imports, I was exquisitely surprised and happy to see this line here. This is one of my favorite recent series, and I really feel that it’s a perfect fit because it’s so appropriately American haha. Grab ’em while you can!
Ever want to make your own Rilakkuma food? You can now with this Rilakkuma rice mold!
New addition! Lovely bowls and mugs perfect for any kitchen. My favorite detail is the little dango on the inner side of the bowl. Didn’t get a great shot of the mug at the end, but it features Koguma-chan, one of the few products I found with the new bear cub—awesome!
Gorgeous matching Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma bowls! Loved these, and thinking I may go back to get a set next time I go back!
Aloha Rilakkuma exploring some of the featured notebooks on the front display! I spy Koguma-chan!
Need a (soft) place to put your phone, keys, or glasses? Or maybe your Rilakkuma plush needs a place to stand? Look no further!
Just featuring the newer items here today that weren’t around during the soft opening. For the items that are still on sale from the soft opening, check out my previous post from September 30!
Meeting the American M classics! Completely different construction! My Rilakkuma (middle) is a little faded because he’s been played with a lot too haha.
Can you spot BD Bear here? These may look like very malformed banana costumes at first glance, but they are, in fact, simply form-fitting yellow sleeping bags.
Can you find him in the front display?
He’s a little easier to find in this one!
Simon and I at my favorite Rilakkuma wall display!
I had such a fun time meeting other Rilakkuma fans!
The energy is seriously so amazing here—it’s such an incredible feeling to be surrounded by so many Rilakkuma fans of all different ages and backgrounds. I encourage any Rilakkuma fan from casual to hardcore to check it out! It’ll only be here for a couple months, and it is an absolute gem!
Look forward to my next post with what I got, including the giveaway!
It’s finally here! The US Rilakkuma Shop Grand Opening is this Saturday, October 14!
Me at the soft opening 2 weeks ago, with a Korilakkuma Meets Chairoikoguma bag my sister Rachel got me from this year’s Korilakkuma Cafe!
The grand opening is full of fun events for any Rilakkuma fan! There will be fun activities and giveaways, and Rilakkuma-themed Lolita girls, as is standard for these events. Come out to celebrate the grand opening of the first Rilakkuma Shop in the United States, here in sunny Florida!
What I’m looking forward to the most is meeting the JUMBO RILAKKUMA! And of course, snapping tons of photos with Rilakkuma!! The Rilakkuma mascot will first appear from 11:00AM – 2:00PM, then take a break to relax, then from 4:00PM – 8:00PM.
Don’t get lost like I did during the soft opening! The Rilakkuma Store is located inside the mall, near Sears.
Westfield Brandon Center, Store #673 (by Sears, to the right of Game Stop)
459 Brandon Town Center
Brandon FL 33511
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday: 11:AM – 6:00PM
It’s easy to get lost in this big mall! Click to enlarge.
I gotta say, I’ve been looking forward to a Rilakkuma Shop opening near me for a long time, and even then I didn’t expect the first one to be in Florida where I live! Here’s to many more Rilakkuma Shops in the future!
I will be there around 10AM, and I’ll be wearing one of my favorite Rilakkuma outfits with a tank top that @rilakkuma.crossing got me from JapanLA!
Excited to meet other Rilakkuma fans!! Come say hello!
Hope to see you there! What will you be looking forward to the most?
Putting the “soft” in soft opening via tons of Rilakkuma plush, the Westfield Mall in Brandon, FL opened its doors as the first Rilakkuma Shop in America today!
This Rilakkuma Shop is the first of its kind here in the United States, and you can find it tucked away near the Sears side of the mall next to Game Stop.
Beautiful and welcoming storefront!
On the right-most window, jumbo Rilakkuma relaxing and advertising himself.
On the left-most window, a bevy of bears!
When you walk in, you are welcomed with a stunning display of Rilakkuma everywhere!
Starting from the left as you enter, shelves upon shelves of Rilakkuma plush—this side features the classics!
Then, lovely wall decor of Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori in their natural states.
Moving forward, another shelf full of plush, this time with a few of the bath series and bunny series!
And in the back, the classic bear-shaped shelf I’ve come to expect of Rilakkuma stores!
On the right side, more Rilakkuma plush, with the cat series and panda series!
One of my favorite shelves displays lots of cute Rilakkuma jewelry!
The back of the front-most display with cute bags and wallets!
I bought this shirt!
Sumikko Gurashi fans will be overjoyed too! Small display in the back with Sumikko Gurashi plushes of all sizes!
If you’re not already following me on Facebook, I posted a video and panoramic shot if you’re looking for a closer look!
Westfield Brandon Center, Store #673 (by Sears, to the right of Game Stop)
459 Brandon Town Center
Brandon FL 33511
Monday-Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday: 11:AM – 6:00PM
The Rilakkuma Shop is currently operating as a temporary pop-up shop, and will be operating for the next 3 months, so get here while you can!!
It’s not every day that Rilakkuma fans in the South are blessed like this. In addition to the grand opening in 2 weeks, they will have multiple events planned at this location, so stay tuned and keep your eyes open!
I’ll also be covering the grand opening on October 14th—hope to see you there!
For those of you who went to the soft opening, what did you think?? I’d love to hear from you!
The soft opening happening this weekend will just be the doors opening to the public. The big festivities will take place during the grand opening two weeks later, which will feature photo opportunities, prizes, and giveaways!
I can’t believe the first Rilakkuma Store is opening in my home state!!
I hope this is the beginning of many US Rilakkuma Stores to come, and can’t wait to see if there will be any store opening exclusives announced—maybe Rilakkuma eating an orange, our state fruit? Or perhaps an alligator Rilakkuma, or a Florida tourist Rilakkuma?
I am planning on attending both the soft opening AND the grand opening, and I will be covering this pop-up store on my blog — will I see you there?
Not everything is as black and white as it seems, not even these black and white Rilakkuma plush from the Monochrome Series!
Surprise! These are two Rilakkumas, not a Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma.
The black Rilakkuma has black fur, with his other features (ears, paw pads, eyes, and nose) in grey.
White Rilakkuma has white fur with light gold accents.
One of my favorite details: alternative zipper in silver toned metal, with a grey and white polka dot pattern on the inner pocket (compared to the usual blue and white).
And of course, we know this is a Rilakkuma and not a Korilakkuma because of the zipper in the back (and no button in the front)! The White Rilakkuma’s zipper is gold toned metal, with a light peach pink and white pocket inside.
Tag art design for both are identical featuring Rilakkuma on a black and white polka dot pillow, except White Rilakkuma’s tag has a gold border and Black Rilakkuma’s tag has a black border. Both have the same small fabric tag design of black and white stripes with an embroidered gold “R” in the middle.
Conceptually, I think this is a unique take on the standard brown Rilakkuma design, though I think the white Rilakkuma looks a lot like Korilakkuma hahaha. I like to think of these two as the black bear and polar bear of the Rilakkuma species hehehe.
These plushes are a little fluffier than standard Rilakkuma collectors’ plush, and they’re in a sitting pose, which is rather out of the ordinary for a standard release plush, which I appreciate!
This contrasting pair was released as part of the Monochrome Series from September 2016, a theme designed to emphasize the cuteness of Rilakkuma through a basic color scheme. Do you think they were successful?
Colossal thanks to my Aunt Lulu for facilitating the safe passage of these bears!
Fancy wigs and hats for Kiiroitori! One Kiiroitori plush with the entire set of wigs/hats: 3,000円.
For all of your Kiiroitori and applicance crossover needs, Kiiroitori has turned himself into a television (complete with remote control with bear button) and washing machine (with Rilakkuma outfit and Kiiroitori brand detergent). Could this be a Kafka-esque take on how Kiiroitori assumes the role of entertainment and domestic work in their family unit in a way that has transformed his core identity? The world may never know. 1,500円 each.
Kiiroitori and his bird friends in a swanboat! So many new birds! I like the aesthetic of the black and yellow one, reminds me a lot of the pokémon Umbreon! Playset: 4,800円.
So first of all, these designs are absolutely outrageous and hilarious, and I absolutely want to know if there is a backstory to all of Kiiroitori’s bird friends in the swan boat, because what on earth? Why is that grey bird in the back crying?
What I’ve always loved about the summer Rilakkuma releases is that they’re always a little weirder than the stuff they do the rest of the year, and I’m glad they’ve kept that tradition going this year hahaha!
With this news, we also get the official release date for the Kiiroitori Diary series: July 8! How exciting!
Are you planning on grabbing anything from this release?
This year’s San-X Character Park is mystery themed, and includes all of the San-X characters solving mysteries with Sherlock Holmes inspired outfits! Well, everyone except Korilakkuma, who’s dressed as a count? SO CUTE investigating that strawberry though.
A Rilakkuma Store exclusive design for the mystery-solving Rilakkuma team! Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori sport Sherlock Holmes’ signature deerstalker with magnifying glasses, and Korilakkuma is adorned with a top hat, cape, and monocle. 2,300円 each.
I think I’ll try to get that Rilakkuma plush—he looks so adorable in his brown tartan getup!
The San-X Character Park event itself with have four puzzles to solve, with a special prize for those who complete it! The event starts on July 15, and will last until August 16!
I absolutely adore this design and theme! It’s very simple, but the reference is clear and well-executed. I’m a sucker for Sherlock Holmes adaptations like Sherlock, Elementary, and of course my favorite one, The Great Mouse Detective.
Are you a mystery or Sherlock Holmes fan? What do you think is the mystery they are trying to solve?
Today’s post features three great bear plush associated with Chairoikoguma (チャイロイコグマ) / Koguma-chan (こぐまちゃん)! “Chairoi” means brown, “koguma” means bear cub, and “chan” is an honorific with an endearing connotation. Both names for the same cute bear! Koguma-chan was introduced to the Rilakkuma crew in March 2013, and has been highlighted in two additional series since then!
First up is Ocarina Rilakkuma, the Caravan exclusive plush from Korilakkuma’s New Friend Series!
Contemplative ocarina time in the forest!
“Hey! What are you doing in my secret spot?”
The cutest bear bee sits on top of his head! I love the bear face, fuzzy pom-pom antennae, and tiny circular wings!
Rilakkuma plays a beautiful baby blue ocarina. I absolutely love the soft color, submarine shape, and subtle bear emblem!
Tag art features Rilakkuma relaxing on a tree branch with Kiiroitori taking a peek! And of course, a little bear bee flitting around! I tried to recreate this scene in the first photo hehehe.
Though this plush does not explicitly look like it’s Koguma-chan related, he is the Caravan release for Korilakkuma’s New Friend Series, the series that introduced Koguma-chan back in March 2016! Check out the video for this series:
This plush represents my favorite scene from this series, Rilakkuma peacefully playing the ocarina by a tree while Korilakkuma plays with Koguma-chan!
Check out all of the separate parts! The acorn house, Koguma-chan, chair, scarf, bee, and of course, the handmade mittens!
A smaller scale take on the bear bee! Compared to the one attached to Ocarina Rilakkuma, this one has all the features flattened to one side, and the wings are displayed dorsally instead of laterally.
The eponymous handmade mittens! You can actually physically put these on Koguma-chan’s paws, but seemed like a little bit of a hassle.
Cute baby pink scarf to keep him warm, just in case his chest hair doesn’t! And at this angle, you can take a peek at Koguma-chan’s signature honey print!
In addition to a window, Koguma-chan’s home features a cute acorn stem on the side of the roof, and there’s an elastic loop for the doorknob to keep the door closed! And one of my favorite details, a light blue fish on the door, just like the fish he caught with Rilakkuma! And like the ones they eventually eat for dinner, if you follow their story.
No tag for this playset, but the box shows all the component parts, as well as the source illustration! If you look closely, you can see that the bear bee has his own beehive attached to Koguma-chan’s home!
I absolutely love playsets, and this one is no exception!
One thing that is silly about a lot of these house-themed playsets is that while all the component parts can fit comfortably inside for storage, they really do look super crammed in there for a living space—like all Koguma-chan can do in his own house is sit because there isn’t room for much else haha.
Also, these different Koguma-chan plushes make it hard for me to figure out what Koguma-chan’s body shape really is! This version makes him look a lot skinnier than the illustrations. Furthermore, he looks a lot different from his standard M classic counterpart, who then still looks quite different from his fishing counterpart. What is the truth?
I think Koguma-chan is such a super addition to the Rilakkuma group! I love that he shares his passion for fishing with Rilakkuma!
Speaking of which, here’s Acorn Rilakkuma Plush!
Rilakkuma keeping warm in a beautiful acorn poncho!
A beautiful knit poncho with collar, embroidered floral band pattern, delicate fringe trim, and embroidered acorn, cherry, and flower details! My favorite is the wood finish button in the middle, reminds me a lot of an earth-theme Korilakkuma hehehe.
Of course, since it was cold when this series came out, Rilakkuma is wearing some stylish ugg boots! Hahahaha doesn’t he look so warm?
At the very top, an acorn top hat with leaf detail, a lot like the roof on Koguma-chan’s home!
Tag art from the series depicting the matching handmade mittens between Korilakkuma and Koguma-chan, but it actually looks like Rilakkuma isn’t wearing the outfit he has on in the plush at all haha! Looks like he’s wearing a scarf instead, what’s the deal! Nice peek of the tiny fabric tag here too, which is a gold “R” with an acorn cap on a pink background.
Both Koguma-chan’s Acorn House and this Acorn Rilakkuma are from the Handmade Mittens Series (てぶくろをとどけに), released in October 2016. As the story goes, Korilakkuma gave handmade (paw-made?) mittens as a gift to Koguma-chan, her newest friend. Check out this animation about their story!
I’m not 100% sure what acorns have to do with all of this, but it is a really pleasant motif—it reminds me a lot of the Happy Natural Time Series that paired deer with freshly baked fruit pies.
Big thanks to my Aunt Lulu again for facilitating the immigration of the Koguma-chan Acorn House and Acorn Rilakkuma plush—what a fabulous set!