Happy Lunar New Year!

Valentine's Day

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Hope it was full of bears, whether they were Rilakkuma bears or gummy bears hahaha.

Wow, it’s really been so long since I’ve posted! Medical school has really been a whirlwind lately: I’m almost done with my coursework for this year, and will be taking my first national board exam at the end of April!! Apologies for the spottiness in posting, but school comes first right now!

By the way…

Instagram - Rilakkuma Lifestyle

Rilakkuma for your daily life!

You can catch me on Instagram when I’m not posting here! Recently, I haven’t had long stretches of time where I could sit down for an hour or two to write these posts on WordPress, but do get a chance to snap a quick shot of some Rilakkumas from my collection for Instagram. Check it out!

In the meantime, whoa there’s been a lot going on in the Rilakkuma World! Let’s run through some highlights!

Fresh Lemon Series - cover

Hello, Lemon Rilakkuma!

Fresh Lemon Series - standard release

Super cute farmers for the standard release! 1,900円 each.

Fresh Lemon Series - Rilakkuma Store Exclusive

For the Rilakkuma Store Exclusive, Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma turn into… lemon/bee hybrids!? And Kiiroitori shapeshifts into a lemon hehehe. Love their poses! 1,780円 each.

Fresh Lemon Series - hanging charms

Another Rilakkuma Store exclusive: lovely hanging charms featuring the whole team inside of lemons! 1,380円 each.

lemon-5

For Caravan: a sitting Rilakkuma with a lemon hat and a Kiiroitori lemon! 1,800円.

Fresh Lemon Series (フレッシュレモン) – March 2015

Wow, what an incredibly detailed line to ring in the spring season! The illustrations are beautiful as always, and I love the creativity they’ve brought into their designs! I absolutely love that they actually morphed Kiiroitori into a lemon shape for the Store Exclusive Series hehehe, and then completely transformed him into an entire lemon for the Caravan plushie! Kinda reminds me of those Animorphs book covers haha.

I think I’m going to pick up at least one of the plushies from this series, just haven’t decided yet! I use lemons enough in my daily eating and tea-drinking so I should probably get a Rilakkuma tribute for that hehe.

Mochi Series - full

Plushies from all sorts of famous San-X lines! 600円 each.

Mochie Series - Rilakkuma close up

Wow!! Check out this ultra-cute photo taken by the San-X Net Shop!

Mochi Series – February 2015

Hahaha they remind me a lot of Disney Tsum Tsums! Really cute, and I love how round and squishable they look! I have a really big Winnie the Pooh Tsum Tsum so I’d really love to get a really big mochi Rilakkuma to match too – hope they come out with larger sizes soon!

Valentine's Day 2015 - full

What a lovely bouquet of hearts! Korilakkuma got all pink hearts hehehe. 1,780円 each.

Valentines Day 2015 Series – February 2015

These lovely plushies came out just in time for Valentine’s Day this year! I always love these holiday-themed sets, and I especially love the little “I love” tag attached to their fabric tag – such a romantic detail!

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 6th Anniversary - cover

Traveling in style! 1,500円 each.

Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store 6th Anniversary Series – February 2015

Whoa! Can you believe the Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store has been open for 6 years already? The Tokyo Station Rilakkuma Store was actually the first Rilakkuma I visited, back in 2013, so it holds a special place in my heart!

The whole crew looks super fashionable and ready to travel in style! What an appropriate design for Tokyo Station, since it’s such a travel hotspot! I have to admit, it was hard transitioning from the standard sized plushies they used to release for the store anniversaries, but since getting mini-plushies such as the plushies from the Vegetable Series, the JINS PC series, and the Factory Series I’ve really warmed up to this mini-style of Rilakkuma plush!

Fukuoka 5th Anniversary - cover

Yum, looks delicious! 1,580円 each.

Fukuoka Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary Series – March 2015

What a beautifully detailed anniversary series! This year’s Fukuoka anniversary series is mentaiko themed! Mentaiko (明太子) is marinated pollock and cod roe, and is the most popular souvenir from Fukuoka! It’s a popular complement to noodle dishes (like this Rilakkuma plush), with rice, or on its own (like Korilakkuma’s!). Perfect as this year’s anniversary plush!

I love learning about Japanese food and culture through Rilakkuma plushies! I might want to pick up the Rilakkuma from this line if I do well on my next exam – his noodle bowl looks delicious!!

So what do YOU think? Any of these bears catching your eye?

 

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Rilakkuma Plush Set!

In honor of these wintery months, I present the Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - full

Rilakkuma and friends get to relax on a giant polar bear!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - Rilakkuma detail

Rilakkuma’s arms back in a perfect relaxed pose!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - Korilakkuma detail

Korilakkuma lazes around with her favorite toy penguin!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - Kiiroitori detail

The bears get their own striped boots, while Kiiroitori gets… some shorts? Looks kind of like a diaper hehehe.

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - polar bear detail

The polar bear! Whose ear features a blue and white striped pattern, and is continuous on the back side of the plush, too!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - xiao stripes

One of my favorite Rilakkuma details from this year: little striped bear! Wow, so adorable! Wish they also sold a larger plush bear like him!

Kobe Rilakkuma Store Opening Plush Set - tag art

Tag art: just like the plush itself!

Awesome! I absolutely love plush sets like this :3

This plush was a Rilakkuma Store exclusive honoring the opening of the 9th Rilakkuma Store in Kobe back in April! This plush follows the Stripes Series theme, which debuted a month prior to the Kobe Rilakkuma Store grand opening. How great to have this little piece of Rilakkuma history!

Big thanks to my Auntie Lulu for helping me acquire this cuddly plush! She has been so wonderful in helping me get new Rilakkumas lately :3

There have been quite a few new happenings in the Rilakkuma world since I last posted, but here are a couple of recent highlights!

What do you all think about this Mobile Exclusive Space Series Set?

Space Rilakkuma - mobile site exclusive

Whoa! Check out this cosmic Rilakkuma diorama!

Hehehe, what a unique plushie design! This boxed plush set costs 7,800円 (6,800円 for those with a paid membership), and orders will be taken until January 13.

What about these fancy Rilakkuma contact lenses?

Rilakkuma Contacts - full

A Rilakkuma Hearts Series theme for your eyes!

Manufactured by Refrear, these cute contacts are 1,800円 for 10 contacts (5 single-day uses). They’re a nice, subtle look – I wonder how many people would even notice a change if I wore these though?

What about this Hatsuyume Rilakkuma plushie?

Hatsuyume - full

I dream of Rilakkuma!

Wow! I really love this concept and design! This auspicious plushie is 8,230円, and will be released on January 1 and 2 in all Rilakkuma Stores.

Hatsuyume (初夢) is the Japanese word for the first dream had in the new year. Traditionally, the contents of the dream would foretell the luck of the dreamer, and it is considered to be particularly good luck to dream of Mount Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant – how awesome to see these 3 symbols in this plushie! I’m guessing a dream with Rilakkuma would make you even luckier! ;)

Apologies for the lack of updates recently: schooling and responsibilities just get in the way of things sometimes, eh?

How has your winter been going this year? Any Rilakkumas for gifts?

My family surprised me with an XL Winnie the Pooh Tsum Tsum last night!

Rilakkuma + Tsum Tsum - Pooh Bear

Rilakkuma and Pooh Bear Tsum Tsum wish you a happy new year!

My family is so thoughtful! That Tsum Tsum game is way too addicting! Hope everyone is having a wonderful time as 2014 comes to a close!

Hot Pot (Nabe, 鍋) Rilakkuma Plush Set!

Now that it’s starting to get chilly around these parts, how about a warm hot pot stave off the cold?

Presenting… the Hot Pot (Nabe, 鍋) Rilakkuma Plush Set!

Hot Pot Set - box

Who could be inside?

Hot Pot Set - in box ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

It’s a plush Rilakkuma hot pot!

Hot Pot Set - pot full ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Out of the box!

Hot Pot Set - inside ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Every item, all snug inside!

Hot Pot Set - ingredients full ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

All of the ingredients inside, laid out!

Hot Pot Set - characters ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Rilakkuma is a green onion (長ネギ), Korilakkuma is a squid (イカ), and Kiiroitori is a shiitake (しいたけ) mushroom!

Hot Pot Set - bears only ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Rilakkuma holds a green onion like a backpack!

Hot Pot Set - ingredients only ぬいぐるみ鍋ギフトセット リラックマ

Ingredients: 3 x napa cabbage (白菜) with 1 x that is bear-shaped, 1 x tofu (豆腐) with a Rilakkuma face, 3 x carrot pieces (にんじん) with 1 x that is bear-shaped, 1 x shrimp (エビ), 1 x shiratake noodle (しらたき) bunch, and 1 x shiitake (しいたけ) mushroom.

I was really excited about this purchase, and it’s probably going to my major investment this winter! Since I have a bad habit of splurging during the spring/summer, I usually cut down significantly on buying during the winter months, but this year, this hot pot set is my exception!

I definitely have too much fun with this set – assembling and reassembling them in different configurations can be quite therapeutic haha.

This wonderful plush set was released as a Rilakkuma Store Exclusive on November 1st.

Nabe (鍋) refers to a variety of Japanese hot pot dishes that are traditionally cooked and kept hot by portable stoves in the middle of the dining table – a really great way to share a meal among family and friends!

Amazingly, this plush set not only comes with an adorable collection of Rilakkuma hot pot ingredients, but since it was originally intended to serve as a gift set, it also comes with a gift certificate to order hot pot ingredients out of a choice of 11 different hot pot combinations!

Hot Pot Set - gift certificates

This one I put in the front looks the closest to the plush hot pot, I think! (Cameo appearance in the corner by hard-working paperweight, Factory Rilakkuma)

Yum! Haven’t picked which one I’d like yet – they all look really great! Just in time for winter, too!

What kind of noodle dishes is your favorite? Personally, I am quite partial to udon soups.

In other news, check out the Year of the Sheep () 2015 plush design!

Year of the Sheep 2015 - cover

Cute and fluffy sheep for the new year!

Great! Love their little daruma of each other. Would love to see a combo plush with all three of them like they did for this year’s Year of the Horse 2014 Rilakkuma Store Exclusive. The sheep is Simon’s zodiac year, so hopefully I can pick one up for him!

Miniplush Double Feature: JINS PC Rilakkuma and Rilakkuma Factory Plushie!

A special double feature showcasing my first two miniplushies – I usually collect the standard 22 cm plushies, and have been pretty hesitant about miniplushies… but I gotta say, after seeing and holding these two in person, I’m a true miniplush believer now!

First up is the Rilakkuma x JINS PC plushie!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - full

Great commitment to eye protection, Rilakkuma!

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - glasses detail

Unlike the sunglasses in the Aloha Series, his glasses do not have an elastic band in the back.

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - gadget detail

His new glasses protect him from the light from his electronics! Do you think he’s holding an iPhone or an iPad?

Rilakkuma x JINS PC - tag art

Tag art: I love how the tag art matches his face and fabric tag art, too!

He reminds me a lot of my sister because she has a Rilakkuma iPhone case like he does, and she used to wear glasses too hehehe.

This smart bear was released as part of the Rilakkuma x JINS PC collaboration, which debuted September 2014. This campaign centered around a special kind of eyeglasses that blocks harmful light from electronic devices, preventing eye strain. I honestly don’t know if they have any major benefit to your eyes, but it is a stunningly adorable collaboration regardless.

Next is the Rilakkuma Factory Series plushie! Well, he’s more of a soft and cuddly paperweight rather than a standard collectible plush, but super cute nonetheless!

Rilakkuma Factory Series - full

Ready to work!

Rilakkuma Factory Series - medal detail

His lovely red and blue bowtie also has a special metal Rilakkuma medal!

Rilakkuma Factory Series - tag art

One of my favorite designs, this tag art gives you instructions on “how to use” this plush as a paperweight! And lets you know that he weighs 230 g – wow!

Rilakkuma Factory Series - merchandise

Not only did I get the plush paperweight, but a pencil case and holder for Simon’s art projects, too!

Cute! He’s really dense and heavy, and truly does make a great paperweight hehehe. He’s from the Rilakkuma Factory Series, which was a special line for the professionals and office workers of the Rilakkuma fan community that was released April 2014. As you may recall, Rilakkuma Factory was also the theme of this year’s Rilakkuma x Tower Records collaboration!

I’m super thankful to my aunt for helping me get these plushies! Every time she goes (or hears of one of her friends going) to Japan, she always sees if she can pick up a Rilakkuma plushie or two for me – so thoughtful! My favorite part of collecting Rilakkuma is that everyone helps each other out!

School has been pretty wild on my end as modules are now only 6 weeks long, meaning I am studying for an exam just about every month! But Rilakkuma news keeps on rolling, so let’s do a quick run of what’s new in the Rilakkuma world:

Rilakkuma La Fraise Series (パリのいちご): this sweet, Parisian revisit of the 2010 Bonjour Series is scheduled for release on December 6!

Rilakkuma La Fraise - cover

A beautiful Parisian-themed strawberry series!

Rilakkuma La Fraise - standard

How posh! Standard series: 1,880円 each

Rilakkuma La Fraise - Store Exclusives

These plushies can fit inside their strawberries! Well, except for Kiiroitori… Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Series: 1,780円 each.

Interesting choice of fruit – I thought that since Rilakkuma has had so many strawberry themed series in the past (like in 2009), they would pick another fruit, but hey, I love strawberries and strawbears, so I can’t complain haha.

Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Knit Goods (ニットグッズ): out already this November, this cute combo knit series takes the success of the Winter Heart Series from last year and makes Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi even more bundled up!

Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Knit Goods - standard plushies

I love the color scheme they gave to Rilakkuma! Standard plushies: 1,780円 each.

Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Knit Goods - hanging plushies

They’re in mittens!! Hanging plushies: 1,200円 each.

Wow! Such a cute poncho design! I love these Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi collabs – combining my 2 favorite character series!

Rilakkuloset Winter 2014 (リラックローゼット): the Rilakkuloset Series debuted in 2013, and features furniture outfits that you can purchase for your M and S Classic Rilakkumas! This year, the outfits are more elaborate and were released this November – check it out!

Rilakkuloset 2014 - cover

Wow, look at all of those designs!

Rilakkuloset 2014 - frog raincoat

Ready for a rainy day! Frog raincoats and accessories (boots, umbrella, and teru teru bozu) for S Classics: 1,620円 each.

Rilakkuloset 2014 - pajama set

Sleepy time! Pajama top and pants set and accessories (hat and plush) for M Classics: 2,700円 each

Rilakkuloset 2014 - furniture

Don’t forget to get furniture too! Sofa: 1,500円, Bathtub: 2,500円, Bed: 2,500円.

I regrettably have not been tracking Rilakkuloset very closely, but they have some really fantastic outfits out! The above is just a sample of their Rilakkuloset line from this year, which also features a marine set, fuzzy coat set, and rabbit set!

Christmas 2014: also out now, this year’s Christmas series is super special, with a festive patterned stole for the standard series, and a cute limited edition plush Christmas tree, too!

Christmas 2014 Series - standard

Wow, they brought back the Indifferent Snowperson again! I love the bear-shaped wreath, too! Standard plushies: 1,800円 each.

Christmas 2014 Series - store exclusive tree

And Kiiroitori is the star on top of the tree this year! Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Christmas tree plush: 10,000円.

Really lovely! I always look forward to seeing what the Christmas specials are like!

Lemon Series: sneak peek for the series to be released in March 2015 – Rilakkuma and pals become lemon farmers!

Lemon Series - sneak peek

Wow, great overalls!

Wow! They look great! I love using lemons in my tea and when I cook, so I might pick up one of these! You can pre-order this series now over at Mira Plush.

That’s all for now! Any sets coming out that have piqued your interest?

Monet’s La Japonaise Rilakkuma Plushie! + New! Cat Series Store Exclusive Design!

I can’t wait to share this Rilakkuma with you – it’s La Japonaise Rilakkuma!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - full

Beautiful vivid colors, just like Monet was famous for! And good to finally see a Rilakkuma turning to his right side hahaha

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - Kiiroitori detail

Kiiroitori standing in as the fearsome samurai!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - fan detail

Rilakkuma holds a beautiful red, white, and blue fan – and even the white crescent matches the original art!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - dango, leaf detail

A parallel metallic leaf motif, and of course Rilakkuma would be hiding away a dango in his left paw!

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - tag art

Tag art featuring the illustrated Rilakkuma interpretation of the original piece! Looks like Kiiroitori hopped off the kimono for this one haha

La Japonaise Rilakkuma - sketch

Simon also drew this sketch of La Japonaise Rilakkuma today – I love it!

Wikimedia - La Japonaise

What do you think? Does the Rilakkuma interpretation capture the essence of the original work to you? I think the Rilakkuma version is much more adorable hehehe

This Rilakkuma design is based on Claude Monet’s La Japonaise (above). As I wrote about in a previous post, this Rilakkuma plush is especially exceptional to me because it’s such a subversive take on the Western gaze upon Japan that was so dominant during the era of Japonsime. Besides being exceedingly cute, this plushie design has so many layers to it as a Japanese take on a famous Western piece inspired by Japan.

This plushie commemorates Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan, an exhibit at the Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo this summer where Monet’s La Japonaise was displayed! The exhibit will also be moving to Nagoya in January, and I’m guessing this Rilakkuma will be following La Japonaise there as well!

Korilakkuma was summarily left out in the plushie design, but you can sneak a few peaks of her in the background fans of the illustrated version of this design.

In other news, check out the Rilakkuma Store Exclusive line for the Cat Series!

Cat Series Store Exclusive - Rilakkuma

Pull the toy mouse from Rilakkuma’s ear and watch them come back together again! 1,680円.

Cat Series Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Kiiroitori

Kiiroitori is interactive too! 1,680円.

Cat Series Rilakkuma Store Exclusive - Korilakkuma

Korilakkuma sadly doesn’t have an interactive component to her, but she does still have a little kitten to play with! 1,380円.

Wow! I love how interactive these plushies will be!

These plushies will be released October 4th. Wow, can’t believe October is so close – guess I have to start looking for a Halloween costume!

In American news, San-X was recruiting for Rilakkuma lolita girls to staff their NYC events on October 10-11! Darn, official Rilakkuma events always seem to be so far away, but one day, I hope to be able to cover an event like this in person to share with all of you!

Whew! I am so glad to be done with that cardiopulmonary exam – what a doozy! Now that I’m in the endocrine/reproductive module, I feel much more relaxed like Rilakkuma!

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!

Strawberry Series Rilakkuma Plushie – Caravan Edition! + Rilakkuma sales + New! Cat Series Sneak Peek!

中秋節快樂! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

To celebrate the beautiful harvest moon, check out this blast from the past: Strawberry Series Caravan Rilakkuma!

Strawberry Series Caravan - full

As side-facing Rilakkuma just like the recent Space Series Kiddyland Exclusive and Caravan Exclusive!

Strawberry Series Caravan - strawberry detail

Super cute strawberry blossom on the straw-bear-ry!

Strawberry Series Caravan - tag art

Tag art! Rilakkuma clinging to a suspiciously non-bear-shaped strawberry.

Yum! I feel like I can never say no to a strawbear! I love the simplicity of this design :)

This bear was the Caravan Exclusive design for the Strawberry Series that came out in February 2009 – wow!

Totally an impulse buy, and such a steal! I usually browse through the Rilakkuma auctions on Yahoo Japan for stress relief haha, and grabbed this guy for just 500円 – that’s less than $5 USD!

Speaking of buying, there are a couple of sales going on in the Rilakkuma fan community!

Sale - Ane

For sale by Ane!

For Rilakkuma fans in the United States, Ane is selling:

  • Staying Up Late (夜ふかし) Rilakkuma (with tag) and Kiiroitori (without tag), both in good condition, originally released October 2009. Discounts available if both are purchased together.
  • Fansclub Sweets & Sweets Rilakkuma (new with tag), originally released February 2012.
  • Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma keychains for $5-6.

For inquires, please contact Ane at brightcrested@gmail.com.

And furthermore, famed and former Rilakkuma blogger Mary/Moggymawee is selling her ENTIRE Rilakkuma collection!

Sale - moggymawee

All for sale by Mary!

Check out her collection on Facebook – a few of her plushies will be listed on eBay, too!

Her collection is super expansive with lots of amazing plushies from throughout the years. All of her plushies have never been played with, and all have their original tags.

If you’re interested, please message Mary at korimary5@gmail.com!

Mary was the Rilakkuma blogger who inspired me to start blogging – how exciting that her entire collection is for sale!

My wallet is weak from the summer releases still, but hopefully some of you can take part in this!

In other news: San-X is at the Tokyo International Gift Show! Is that a sneak peak of the upcoming Cat Series I see?

Tokyo Gift Show 2014 - cats

I spy a taiyaki Rilakkuma plushie!

Wow! In addition to a taiyaki Rilakkuma (YAY), I also spy some giant Korilakkuma/Kiiroitori cats, a lounging Rilakkuma with kitten, a kitten Korilakkuma in a box, and Kiiroitori in a sailor’s outfit! What other new designs can you spot?

Looks like there are a lot of great things to come in the up coming year for the Rilakkuma world!

San-X also had a lot of other cool displays at the Gift Show this year:

Tokyo Gift Show 2014 - collabs

A display about their awesome collabs from this year! JAXA, JINS PC, and Rilakkuma’s tribute to Claude Monet’s La Japonaise – beautiful! (I have 2 of these bears!)

Tokyo Gift Show 2014 - transportation

And all of their transportation-themed bears! (I have one from each of these series!)

Fantastic! I love seeing Rilakkuma displays so I can get ideas for my own home display hehehe.

Have you heard about the Hello Kitty convention coming to the US at the end of October? I hope Rilakkuma will get popular enough to have a convention in the US eventually, too!

And finally, in Sumikko Gurashi news, check out this fabulous Sumikko Gurashi Christmas 2014 Net Shop Exclusive!

Sumikko Gurashi Christmas 2014 Net Shop Exclusive - full

Whoa! I love red-nosed reindeer Tonkatsu!

Sumikko Gurashi Christmas 2014 Net Shop Exclusive - individuals

What a incredibly cute design! Love the little Santa Shirokuma sneaking around hehehe.

Sumikko Gurashi Christmas 2014 Net Shop Exclusive - story

Hehehe look at this cute little story!

Couldn’t let Rilakkuma and friends have all the fun this year!

As always, the details are incredible! From the little crane claw in the corner to the pickle in the stocking (I especially love that the home is made of soft bricks), everything is so adorably cute and detailed!

This handsome set is 7,500円. Pre-orders are open from now until September 30, with delivery expected in December.

Haha lots of holiday news recently – do I have to start getting into the holiday mood? It’s still in the 90’s here in Florida, so it still feels like summer!

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!

New! Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma marry! (sorta)

OOOOH check out the new Rilakkuma Bridal Series!

Rilakkuma Bridal - cover

I love this theme!

Rilakkuma Bridal - Rilakkuma groom, Korilakkuma bride

Rilakkuma as the groom, and Korilakkuma as the bride!

Bridal Series - Korilakkuma groom, Rilakkuma bride

Korilakkuma as the groom, and Rilakkuma as the bride!

Wow wow WOW I really love this set, especially how Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma both get to be bride and groom – how sweet! Break those gender norms!

And whoa, this is the first time I’ve seen Korilakkuma bigger than Rilakkuma in the same size class – awesome!

These lovely boxed sets will be available September 13 for 6,000 at all Rilakkuma Stores, including the Net Shop and mobile site!

I might have to pick one up for myself, probably the one with Korilakkuma as the groom and Rilakkuma as the bride (hmmm… what happened to me spending less on Rilakkumas?).

Quick post, but just couldn’t wait to share – how awesome!

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!