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!

Space Series Rilakkuma Plushie – Store Exclusive! + New! Halloween 2014, JINS PC, Lawson Cat Series, & Umeda 6th!

Hello, and 好久不見 – long time, no see!

School has really geared up in the past few weeks, so my apologies for the infrequency. But without further ado, check out the Space Rilakkuma Rilakkuma Plushie – Rilakkuma Store Exclusive!

Space Series Store Exclusive - full

Go to the future, Rilakkuma!

Space Series Store Exclusive - pancake detail

One of my favorite details: a stack of pancakes with a star-shaped butter pat on top – mmmm!

Space Series Store Exclusive - dango detail

Ooooh Rilakkuma is also holding a delicious dango with it’s own planetary ring system and star!

Space Series Store Exclusive - space suit

I think they did such a great job with his spacesuit – usually glittery fabric tends to have a coarse texture, but this one (and all the other plushies in this set) have maintained their soft and smooth texture!

Space Series Store Exclusive - space suit detail

More fantastic details: a cute scarf, embroidered Rilakkuma space insignia, and bear-shaped belt buckle!

Space Series Store Exclusive - tag art

Tag art: Rilakkuma promoting space and time travel!

Teehee I really love this bear! I love all the tiny details they put into each plushie in this series, and can’t wait to see all the cool details for what San-X has in store for us next!

This planetary plushie was released in July 2014 as a Rilakkuma Store Exclusive design for the summer Space Series. Since I loved so many of the designs from the Space Series, I limited myself to just the brown bear from this line – I think even then, Bear Nation has a pretty thriving space program!

In seasonal news, be on the lookout for the new Halloween 2014 designs!

Halloween 2014 - plushie set

Rilakkuma and friends off to the masquerade ball! 1,800円 each.

Halloween 2014 - playset

A beautiful playset! My favorite detail is the kuma ghost in the window (and the giant candy doesn’t look too bad, either). 10,000円.

Fantastic! I really love the direction they took with this year’s line – a masquerade party sounds spooky and fun (I’ve never been to one!). These Halloween bears will be released this weekend on September 6.

But wow, aren’t we just starting September? Preparing for Halloween now seems a little pre-emptive to me (though Halloween costume shops are beginning to pop up around my town), but maybe this is a sign that I should start working on a cool costume. Last year, Simon and I went as eggs & bacon! What do you hope to dress up as for Halloween this year?

Rilakkuma looks like he’s going down the mild-mannered route like Superman with the new Rilakkuma x JINS PC collaboration!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - cover

Rilakkuma falling asleep with his cell phone!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - designs

Four awesome designs to match Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori, with unique designs on the temples! 4,900円 each

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - plushies

Awesome miniplushies with their own mobile devices, and a tag with a kuma wearing glasses, too! 1,300円 each.

This is such a cool collab! These glasses are specially designed to protect your eyes from the light from your PC and mobile devices, and the color themes are meant to match Rilakkuma and pals – and don’t they just look so smart in those glasses?

Also, check out this fantastic video short by San-X to commemorate this collaboration!

Hehehe this video reminds me a lot of Simon!

Of course, this isn’t the first time Rilakkuma has donned eye protection – the Aloha Rilakkuma series from last year also featured a bespectacled Rilakkuma!

And for you Lawson fans out there, check out this Rilakkuma Cat Series Lawson Exclusive!

Lawson x Rilakkuma Cat Series - Lawson exclusive

Doesn’t kitten Korilakkuma look so sweet in her basket? Oooh a little plush taiyaki too! 2,700円

So cute! Looks like Lawson specials are starting to develop a pattern of their exclusives being in pot-like containers – last year, it was a pie for the Happy Natural Time Series, and this year, it’s a basket! It’s a cute motif, I think.

Pre-orders for this set are now open, but they aren’t scheduled to be delivered until January 19, 2015 (wah). Conveniently, Lawson specials like this are generally available online, so Tenso might be a good resource for international Rilakkuma fans looking for a good price!

For Japanese movie fans, in a pleasantly surprising twist, Rilakkuma/Lawson are also teaming up with film Clover (クローバー)!

Clover - Rilakkuma

Lookin’ stylish in green!

The movie comes out November 1, and if you purchase a ticket in advance, you can get your hands on this lovely keychain plushie! Wow, I would love for American movies to have promotions like this hehehe

Browsing around the official Clover website, looks like the story revolves around a hotel employee who falls in love with her boss, and it is based on a manga series of the same name – not super sure how the movie has to do with Rilakkuma but haha Rilakkuma does look rather cute in green :)

Last but certainly not least, check out these great designs for the Umeda Rilakkuma Store 6th Anniversary!

Umeda 6th Anniversary - plushies

WOW AND YUM! They’re takoyaki themed! I think Rilakkuma’s ear detail is my favorite part! 1,500円 each.

Excellent! Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is a yummy breaded octopus ball served with sauce and bonito shavings that was first invented in Osaka in 1935!

My family went to Osaka last year and had lots of takoyaki – mmmm! As Umeda is the major business district of Osaka, seems fitting to celebrate the oldest Rilakkuma Store’s 6th anniversary with such a tasty part of its history!

These plushies will be released on September 13 (same day as the Bridal Series). Looks like San-X will be continuing with mini-plushies for its anniversary lines – I have yet to get one of these mini-plushies, but I do have good memories of takoyaki from Osaka, so I might just have to jump for these hehehe.

In other news, I spent my last weekend in Seattle, WA presenting my research at the 29th International Human Papillomavirus Conference! Wow, what an incredible city! I even spied a little Rilakkuma in the artwork at Blue C Sushi!

Blue C Sushi - Rilakkuma

I wish my old phone had a better camera, but here he is! He must be a Fansclub Rilakkuma since he’s getting picked up by a crane!

Hehehe, Rilakkuma follows me around even when I’m out of town! I really love Rilakkuma spotting when I travel!

Space Rilakkuma Plushies – Kiddyland Exclusive! + New! Sapporo 3rd Anniversary design!

Quite delayed posting about them on my part, but I blame school for that haha: check out the Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive Space Series Rilakkuma plushies!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - full

The Rilakkuma space exploration unit!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - yellow kumartian 1

With Rilakkuma, there is a cute yellow Kumartian you can move in and out of the spaceship – hello!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - yellow kumartian 2

… and you can stick the little yellow Kumartian into the spaceship – so cute!! Also, looks like San-X has been promoting a lot of designs with this Rilakkuma pattern (clinging onto something with his head turned to the left).

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - pink kumartian

Korilakkuma has made friends with another set of Kumartians – check out this pink Kumartian saying hello!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - blue kumartian

And a lovely aqua blue Kumartian on her other side as well!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - Kiiroitori closed

Who could be inside here?

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - Kiiroitori open

It’s Kiirotori in a hovercraft! And as a nice completion detail, Kii’s feet are still intact as well!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - Kiiroitori bottom

The bottom of Kiiroitori’s hovercraft!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - tag all full

Tag art! Three beautiful designs that match each of the plushies!

Space Rilakkuma Store/Kiddyland Exclusive - Korilakkuma tag art

Korilakkuma’s is one of my favorite designs! Look at them trying to communicate in Kumartian language of dango and triangles haha. Though minor discrepancy, in this illustration, the Kumartians have 1 and 3 antennae, but they both have 2 in the plushie!

The Space Series is really one of my favorites!! Excellent craftsmanship (as always), and I can’t believe how adorable the Kumartians are!

I keep playing with the yellow Kumartian and putting him in different places throughout the day hehehe. How fantastic that Bear Nation now boasts a successful space program :D

This cosmic set was released as a Rilakkuma Store and Kiddyland exclusive for the Space Series on July 12!

In other news, lots of new releases coming! The Cat Series leaked a few months ago, but check out the new official Rilakkuma Cat Series page!

Cat Series - cover

Meow!

Cat Series - standard plushies

I love their little paws and whiskers, and that they’re all different kinds of cats! Standard plushies for 1,680円 each

Cat Series - pouch and tissue box

And of course, lots of other assorted goodies! Multi-function pouch for 1,500円, and tissue box cover for 2,980円. Since my allergy means cats make me sneeze, the tissue box cover is rather fitting (and useful)!

So lovely to see the marketing for this series starting up – we can expect this series to come out some time in October of this year, so stay tuned! I’m still crossing my fingers for a taiyaki-themed special edition plush!

The official name for this series is のんびりネコテーマ, which roughly translates to “relaxing cat theme” – pretty straightfoward haha.

In addition, the Sapporo Rilakkuma Store is celebrating their 3rd anniversary!

Sapporo Rilakkuma Store 3rd Anniversary - full

Can anyone tell me what Kiiroitori is holding?

Looks like Rilakkuma and friends are getting in touch with their agricultural side, and donning denim overalls for harvest! Super fitting, as Hokkaido ranks first in Japan for agricultural production, and is home to the Sapporo Agricultural College!

These mini-farmers will be a cool 1,500円 each, and will be released on September 6th!

And finally, for something a little different, check out these new Rilakkuma lace bracelets!

Lace Bracelets - Nordic

How fashionable!

So interesting! Apparently, these bracelets can withstand water and rust, and are meant for people who have metal allergies – how thoughtful! I think these look light and fun for the end of summer!

These bracelets will be available in many different stores, and will be 1,000円 each. Hehehe, if I got these, I’d probably just let my kumas wear them.

I have a few more bears (space and otherwise) to write about, but in the meantime, what do you all think of the new releases? I would love to hear!

On the school side, my school work is really ramping up! I’m studying heart sounds and murmurs all day now, so hopefully I’ll be a pro soon!

Lawson Vegetable Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori Plushies! Cat Series LEAK + Space Rilakkuma Caravan news and more!

Have you been eating healthy lately? Well if you need a little health food inspiration, check out these Vegetable Rilakkuma plushies!

Lawson Vegetable Series - full

So cute in their own produce crates!! Dang, it’s good to see Korilakkuma in a pair of shorts – usually it’s Rilakkuma hahaha.

Lawson Vegetable Series - top view

Wheee look how adorable Rilakkuma’s little carrot shoes are!! :D

Lawson Vegetable Series - Kii detail

Along with holding the vegetable they’re dressed as, they are also accompanied by an additional veggie in the crate that’s another costume in the series: cabbage for Rilakkuma, tomato for Korilakkuma, and carrot for Kiiroitori!

Lawson Vegetable Series - tag art

Tag art that mimics produce price tags! Each tag has the portrait of the character, and the veggie! These tags are held by a standard plastic tag ring in the back corner of the crate.

I really love them! They’re so great in their little produce boxes, and they certainly make me hungry just looking at them mmmmm

This healthy set of bears is part of the Lawson x Rilakkuma Vegetable Series released March 2014 – the complete set includes another 3 plushies: Rilakkuma cabbage, Korilakkuma tomato, and Kiiroitori green pepper – yum!

Also exciting news rolling in about the next leaked series after the Space Series, it’s the Cat Series!

Cat Series - ad standard

Roar!! Rilakkuma looks a lot like the Year of the Tiger series from 2010! And Kiiroitori is a Calico cat – did you know all Calico cats are female?

Cat Series - ad special

And look at these alternative designs – bears as cats you can fit in the palm of your hand, and ones big enough to hug!

Cat Series - ad illustration

And of course, a beautiful illustration to go with the products! I love the little non-costumed kitty they’re with, too!

Cat Series - taiyaki ad

Yum!! Looks like Cat Rilakkuma loves taiyaki!

Meow what a cool concept! Looks like San-X is sticking to animal suits for their fall series as they’ve been doing for the past few years. No official dates yet, but I would estimate October based on the pattern of previous years? San-X usually gives us 3 months to recuperate after the yearly July wave haha. I’ll keep you updated when San-X starts to release official news updates!

Thanks so much to reader Jennifer for the tip!! I’m actually pretty severely allergic to cats, so it’s probably fitting that the main cat I’d be able to interact with in person is a Rilakkuma cat hahaha.

And since it looks like Cat Rilakkuma loves to eat taiyaki (鯛焼き), a Japanese sea bream-shaped pastry dessert with yummy filling, we’d probably make fast friends! From the looks of it, Rilakkuma likes the chocolate-filled ones, just like me hehehe. I’ll probably try to pick up at least one item from this series, and I’m hoping one of the caravan or store exclusive plushies features taiyaki!! :)

Well, the Rilakkuma rains don’t show signs of stopping haha, as even more waves of news follow the Space Rilakkuma announcement from last week! Check out the Space Rilakkuma Caravan design!

Space Rilakkuma Caravan - ad

Whoa, that lining is out of this world! ;)

How special! Rilakkuma’s pose reminds me a lot of the Skytree set from 2012! And super lovely touch that Rilakkuma is holding the same plush bear planet that the costume bearsuits in the caravan will be holding as well!

This cosmic caravan will be going from July 12 to August 31 in various locations all across Japan, and this caravan exclusive plushie will be 1,780円.

Out of the blue, San-X also announced a mobile site exclusive Happy Natural Time playset!

Happy Natural Time Mobile Site Exclusive Playset - ad

Wow, look at all the different pies!

Whaaaat – ! I totally would’ve gotten this set if it were released with the rest of the Happy Natural Time series last year! They do look so cute eating their pies haha.

The whole set is 6,800円 – dang, bad timing for me with all of the other releases going on now, but maybe I’ll try looking for it again when the July buzz dies down a little.

And finally, to come full circle with the food theme I began this post with, San-X also released more merchandise with the Purple Yam and Green Bean pattern!

Green Bean and Purple Yam Pattern - ad

Perfect colors for the summer!

Yum! Recall that the first iteration of this purple yam and green bean pattern was back in May, and featured fans and smartphone cleaners – glad to see they expanded it into pouches and kitchenware! A pretty fitting application for this pattern, I think!

Importantly, haha, it’s great to see that Rilakkuma eats a balanced diet with lots of vegatables! Who knew Rilakkuma could become my food inspiration hahaha

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.