New! Rilakkuma & SHINKANSEN collaboration + Tokyo Souvenir Series!

Hi everyone! I’m back from the Dominican Republic finally, and whew it is wild being back in the States again!

But wow, lots of cool things have happened while I was out!

First up, a Rilakkuma & SHINKANSEN collaboration!

Rilakkuma & SHINKANSEN - plushies

Rilakkuma turns into a bullet train! Keychain for 1,300円, and plushie for 1,900円.

Rilakkuma & SHINKANSEN - folders and pens

Folders for 300円, and pens for 600円 – cute!!

I picked up the Dr. Yellow version of this plushie, so I’ll probably try to get my hands on this version since I’ve traveled on this Shinkansen before!

The Shinkansen (新幹線) is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan, and it’s oldest network is the Tōkaidō Shinkansen (東海道新幹線), which celebrates its 50th birthday this year! Happy birthday Tōkaidō Shinkansen!

A first wave of these items will be sold at Tokyo Station beginning August 19, and then these products will eventually be available in Rilakkuma Stores all over Japan starting August 23.

How cool that they are continuing the success of the transportation theme, which was started by the Yamanote Line collaboration (also with a 50th anniversary theme) from last year!

Speaking of the Yamanote Line, a big congratulations to Rilakkuma for winning an award for excellence at the Transit Advertising Awards 2014!

Following the tourism theme once more, check out the new Tokyo Souvenir Rilakkuma!

Tokyo Souvenir Series - plushies

Cute souvenir plushie for 2,000円, and his keychain counterpart for 1,480円 – wow, these bears are getting pricey!

Tokyo Souvenir Series - stickers and folders

What a lovely pattern! Stickers for 300円, and folders for 350円.

In addition to the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building, this design also features Tokyo Tower (the second tallest structure in Japan behind Skytree) and the Kaminarimon (雷門, an outer entrance gate leading to the Sensō-ji in Asakusa).

I have the Marunouchi Rilakkuma that is really similar in design, but I might pick this one up too for completion’s sake – hard to say no to these camera-wielding Rilakkumas!

Interestingly, these products will be available at all Rilakkuma Stores from August 2 – August 31, but starting from September, only the Rilakkuma in the Tokyo prefecture (Tokyo Station, Tokyo Skytree, Harajuku, Kichijoji) will be stocking these items – which makes some sense since these are supposed to be Tokyo souvenirs anyway hahaha.

Wow, San-X has been really focusing on the tourism and transportation angle recently! In addition to these new designs, San-X is also expanding on their Dr. Yellow line to include socks, chopsticks, and other merchandise now as well – cool!

Rilakkuma Meets Dr. Yellow - chopsticks

Wow, Dr. Yellow-shaped chopsticks for 650円!

I’ve already made quite a few purchases on this line, but super cute nonetheless!

In other news, all of my Space Series Rilakkumas have arrived! I just got back from the Dominican Republic recently, so please be patient as I try to get my bearings back here in the United States!

New! Rilakkuma Meets Dr. Yellow!

Back from Charleston, and ready to get back into the (Rilakkuma) swing of things! I hope to post a few of my photos on this blog, once I get around to sorting through the hundreds of takes haha.

In what feels like news to welcome me home, San-X swarms us again with a dashingly cute collaboration with JR (Japan Railway) this summer: Rilakkuma Meets Dr. Yellow!

Rilakkuma Meets Dr. Yellow - cover art

“Rilakkuma’s ears and Kiiroitori’s body are yellow. The yellow color brings you happiness.”

Rilakkuma Meets Dr. Yellow - Rilakkuma Store exclusives

Wow! Cheerfully yellow Rilakkuma Store Exclusives (from top left): collectible 22 cm plushie (1,900円), keychain (1,300円), standing plushie (2,100円), and camera strap (2,200円). Standing plushie and camera strap will both be available on the Net Shop as well.

dryellow-3

And this time, Rilakkuma even gets to be a Dr. Yellow!! And Kiiroitori gets to play stationmaster. Available at Rilakkuma Stores as well as select locations: Rilakkuma as Dr. Yellow (1,900円) and Kiiroitori (1,900円).

Rilakkuma Meets Dr. Yellow - face close-up

“Ready for my close-up!”

Now this was a collaboration I really didn’t see coming!

Dr. Yellow (ドクターイエロー) is the nickname for the high-speed test trains used on the Japanese Shinkansen (bullet train) – as the name implies, these train cars are “doctors” that help diagnose problems on the track, and sport a beautiful bright yellow! A lovely complement to the lime green theme from last year’s Rilakkuma x Yamanote Line collaboration.

And just like the Yamanote collaboration too, looks like Korilakkuma got left out again :[

Specifically for this collaboration, Rilakkuma represents a Dr. Yellow Class 923, as designated on his shirt and by the blue stripe.

No time to rest for this release y’all – these items and more (such as keyrings, storage boxes, and pens) will be available July 19! There will also be a special commemorative bag, and if you make a purchase over 1,900円, a commemorative sticker, too!

As a future doctor hahaha, I’m actually super drawn to this design, so even though my wallet is already tired from July, I feel like I have to have a bear from this series! But with the three different Rilakkuma designs, I’m having a hard time deciding which to choose! What are your thoughts?

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?

Marunouchi Rilakkuma Plushie!

It’s been just about a year since I first visited  Japan, and I miss seeing Rilakkuma at every corner!

To commemorate, take a look at this Marunouchi Rilakkuma!

Marunouchi Rilakkuma  - full

What a dapper bear!

Marunouchi Rilakkuma - camera detail

Equipped with a fancy camera, and ready to shoot!

Marunouchi Rilakkuma - shirt detail

Shirt design behind the camera – see the resemblance to the Marunouchi gate at Tokyo Station?

Marunouchi Rilakkuma - back detail

And a lovely shoutout to the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store at the back of the shirt!

Marunouchi Rilakkuma - tag art

Tag art with the same design as the t-shirt!

Marunouchi Rilakkuma - with Yamanote Fan

Rilakkuma camera fans! Featuring Yamanote Fan Rilakkuma :3

Picture perfect!

This Rilakkuma was released as a part of the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store’s 5th anniversary celebration this past February! Such an adorable nod to the local sights and history of Tokyo Station – and so perfect and meaningful for this Rilakkuma Store’s 5th anniversary!

This plushie has a beautiful depiction of the Marunouchi gate of Tokyo Station, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store! Ariel from Rilakkuma Desu has a great photo of her Marunouchi Rilakkuma in front of the gate – super cute, be sure to check it out!

Tokyo’s commercial and financial district, Marunouchi (丸の内) means “inside the circle”, which refers to its location inside the outer moat of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. A very logical name, I think.

In other news, I’m gonna start working on making a comprehensive collection page for the Rilakkuma plushies I’ve had the honor of featuring on this blog! I’m gonna spend some time really thinking about how I want to organize them all, but welcome to suggestions, too! I was thinking about ordering them by release date, but it’s still up in the air.

Also!

Happy father’s day to all the fathers out there! <3

My dad has been super supportive of my Rilakkuma collection, and I’m so thankful! I am super happy to know that he wears his Rilakkuma shorts with pride :D Collecting Rilakkuma is so fun with the support of your family!

Now that it’s summer break, I’m definitely enjoying spending more time with my family (and my Rilakkuma family)!

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!

2013 Christmas Fansclub Korilakkuma & the Indifferent Snowperson strikes again!

So it’s a little past scarf season here, but this is relevant to current events, I swear!

Introducing: 2013 Christmas Fashion Korilakkuma!

2013 Christmas Fansclub Korilakkuma - full

Welcome to the family!

2013 Christmas Fansclub Korilakkuma - hat detail

A festive party hat for Korilakkuma! And not her first red hat, either.

2013 Christmas Fansclub Korilakkuma - tag art

Tag art! Seems like a huge stocking might be warmer than the scarf she’s got on haha

2013 Christmas Fansclub Korilakkuma - family

A white winter family!

So stylish! This cute Korilakkuma was released by Fansclub for the Christmas season in October 2013!

Gigantic thank you to Trinie again for this beautiful plushie! This lovely Korilakkuma will join the ranks of my slowly growing winter/Christmas collection – I love her!!

Elsewhere, the Indifferent Snowperson (ISP) from the Christmas 2011 Net Shop Exclusive Playset makes another appearance in the Tokyo Skytree 2nd Anniversary Series!

Tokyo Skytree 2nd Anniversary - ad

Peek-a-boo! I see you, ISP!

This cute set is prepared for any type of weather! Korilakkuma’s umbrella is really quite swell, but kind of sad she’s not covered up in a raincoat like the rest of them.

I really love how ISP has made an appearance in this series, just like the Sendai 1st Anniversary series! I don’t really understand why ISP is in this series, but I’m not complaining haha (ETA: reader nicolinamarina notes that with the appearance + the combo with the umbrella and rain ponchos, that ISP might be used here as teru teru bozu! Great catch!)

Each of these plushies is a cool 1,300, and will be released on May 22 – hey, that’s the day before my final exam!

Also as a sidenote, there are a few Sweet Happy Rilakkuma events going on across the Rilakkuma Stores in Japan too, featuring special editions coasters and photo sessions at select locations!

And finally, inspired by Ariel’s post – I hope everyone is enjoying cherry blossom season, it’s so beautiful! Here are some of my favorite Rilakkuma Lifestyle tumblr photos from last year:

Rilakkuma Lifestyle - Psychadelic Rilakkuma

Happy spring!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle - Cherry Blossoms 1

I have this one in blanket form, too!

We don’t have too many cherry blossom trees down here in Florida, but with the weather being nice again, I’m inspired to do another outdoor Rilakkuma photoshoot too! :D

Aloha Rilakkuma Plushie – Rilakkuma Store Exclusive! + Simon wins the Mira Plush Art Contest!

Super exciting news!! Check out our cute new Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Aloha Rilakkuma plushie!

Aloha Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - full

Aloha, Rilakkuma!

Aloha Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - shade detail

I’d like a pair of shades like that!

Aloha Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - back detail

And his name is embroidered on the back of his shirt!

Aloha Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - tag art

Relaxed Rilakkuma on the tag art!

Aloha Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - family

The newest member of the Aloha Rilakkuma family relaxing in the sun with his pals!

I love how our Aloha Rilakkuma family has been expanding recently! This sunshine-ready bear is the Rilakkuma Store exclusive plushie from the Aloha Rilakkuma series, released in April 2013!

He is particularly special to us because Simon won him in the Spring 2014 Mira Plush Art Contest!

Simon, our resident Rilakkuma portrait artist, submitted the following piece, featuring the Rilakkuma Marine Series:

Simon Ho - Rilakkuma Crossing The Ocean

Rilakkuma Crossing The Ocean
Digital Painting
Rilakkuma Crossing The Ocean is inspired by Washington Crossing the Delaware, an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by the German-American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, painted to commemorate General George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on the night of December 25–26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War. While Marine Rilakkuma is likely too lazy to be a general in the military like Washington, Rilakkuma Crossing The Ocean represents thoughtful reflection and serenity as Rilakkuma and pals drift across the ocean in their newspaper boat on a lazy afternoon.

Thanks so much for sponsoring this contest and so generously supporting the Rilakkuma art community, Mira Plush! Make sure you check out Mira Plush’s online Rilakkuma store – I’ve purchased from them before, and they’re very fast and reliable! Mira Plush also has a great new WordPress blog full of fun photos, so be sure to support them there, too!

It’s really so fun to share Rilakkuma art with the community! CONGRATULATIONS, Simon!

Mira Plush Drawing Contest - BD bear

Hey, even Rilakkuma likes to draw, too!

For Simon’s next work, he’s considering doing an interpretation on the new Rilakkuma in Space Series to be released in July. We’re constantly thinking of new Rilakkuma scenes and inspiration for Simon to draw – ideas are welcome!