Flower Bouquet Korilakkuma!

Wow, it’s getting warmer here and finally feeling like spring!

On that note, check out this cute Flower Bouquet Korilakkuma!

Flower Bouquet Korilakkuma - full

Perfect for springtime!

Flower Bouquet Korilakkuma - flower detail

What a beautiful bouquet!

Flower Bouquet Korilakkuma - tag art

Tag art! Wow, this was back when Green Camel was all over Rilakkuma goods!

Adorable! And really so fitting for the season! She was really quite perfect for Valentine’s Day this past weekend!

This elegant plushie was released by Fansclub back in 2006 – wow, what a long time ago! What’s so special about this plushies is that the inside of the tag even has a little color chart of what the flower colors represent: since this bouquet is orange, this Korilakkuma represents cheerfulness – hooray! Pretty accurate, I think – receiving this Korilakkuma certainly made me cheerful!

Endless thanks again to Trinie, who so kindly sent this cheerful springtime Korilakkuma – she’s so pretty and a perfect fit! <3

In other news, the Rilakkuma world has been abuzz with great new things too!

Check out the new Lawson x Rilakkuma collaboration: the Vegetable Series!

Vegetable Series - Rilakkuma

Carrot and Cabbage Rilakkuma!

Vegetable Series - Korilakkuma

Tomato and Eggplant Korilakkuma!

Vegetable Series - Kiiroitori

Onion and Green Pepper Kiiroitori!

I love these! When have I disliked a Rilakkuma food theme though, hahaha. The little crates are so cute, and I do like how each of them have other veggies in their crates too (though I think tomatoes are technically fruits? hahahaha).

The whole set of 6 is 9135円 (tax included) online, but I believe Lawson stores will be selling them individually at 1450円 (tax not included), too, starting March 14. I might try to get my hands on 3 of them (1 of each), maybe the carrot, eggplant, & onion, but haven’t been able to decide yet – what do you all think? I really love this set a ton!

Lawson is also releasing a bunch more goods like nap cushions, phone cases, and bags that go along with the newest Stripes Stripes Everyday Series too, but I think the veggies are really the ones I’m personally looking out for!

And hey, Kiiroitori is getting a special set all for itself this spring, too!

Kiiroitori Set - banner

So many Kii’s!

Kiiroitori Set - set

And a bunch more!

Even though I’m a Rilakkuma fan through and through, I love that Kiiroitori is getting some solo time!

The plushie and set are expected to come out sometime in mid-April, and they will also be releasing some housewares as lottery prizes at Lawson at the end of March – how special!

I do love the motif of Kiiroitori wearing the Rilakkuma ears hahaha it reminds me a lot of the Kiiroitori from the I Love Rilakkuma Series from 2011 – and it looks like they’re still continuing the 10th anniversary theme with Kiiroitori’s coins! Speaking of which…

Attentive reader Jennifer noticed a super-cute Sumikko Gurashi x Rilakkuma crossover in one of the latest San-X Fan Club books!

Sumikko Gurashi x Rilakkuma - 10th Anniversary

Shirokuma as Rilakkuma, Neko and Tonkatsu as Korilakkuma, & hahahaha Penguin as Kiiroitori!

Wow, how amazing is that! Two of my favorite series, celebrating together :D Great find, Jennifer!

Last but not least, check out this great footage of the Yamanote Line x Rilakkuma model train!

Wow, it looks so realistic, and it’s 1/150 of the actual size – incredible!

This cute model train set is made by Kato Models, and celebrates the Yamanote Line x Rilakkuma collab from back in the summer of 2013! The 11 car set is a cool 30,450円  and the 3 car set is 12,600円 (tax included), but it’s certainly worth it for a model train enthusiast with an eye for stunning detail and Rilakkuma :D

Anyway, I’m so glad to be done with exams for now! It’s so nice to be back and active in the Rilakkuma world, especially since the weather is getting sunnier and sunnier :) I thought the exam went well, but grades haven’t come out yet, so we’ll just have to see! Now onto the next module of immunology and microbiology :O

Would love to hear what you think about the many new developments in the Rilakkuma world recently! I hope everyone’s local weather is warming up, too!

ETA (2/19): The Fukuoka 4th Anniversary Plushies have been announced!

Fukuoka PARCO 4th Anniversary - announcement

I didn’t even know they went to school…

Looks like they’re graduation themed, and they’ll be available at Rilakkuma Stores everywhere on March 15 for 1,300円 each. What a cute surprise! I really love the cherry blossom petal motif on their tails as well as the border on the ad hahaha

Rilakkuma 3rd Anniversary Fansclub Plushie!

I am absolutely ECSTATIC to share this plushie with all of you!

It’s the Rilakkuma 3rd Anniversary Fansclub Plushie!

Rilakkuma 3rd Anniversary Fansclub Plushie - front

It’s my party, I can relax if I want to~

Rilakkuma 3rd Anniversary Fansclub Plushie - hat detail

A 3 on his party hat for his 3rd birthday!

Rilakkuma 3rd Anniversary Fansclub Plushie - side

Rilakkuma’s relaxing on a giant birthday present!

Rilakkuma 3rd Anniversary Fansclub Plushie - tag art

Tag art! I got extra excited because this plushie has the old authentication sticker, too! And it’s so interesting to see how differently the illustrations looked back in 2006!

Doesn’t Rilakkuma look so relaxed for his 3rd birthday? I really love his pose – it’s so unique with his arms behind his head and his legs crossed!

This incredible plushie came out in August 2006, making this the oldest plushie in my collection! Wow!

Since Rilakkuma’s 10th anniversary just passed last year in 2013, it’s amazing to see plushies like this from ~back in the day~ when Rilakkuma was only 3 years old! Here’s to many more years with Rilakkuma!

Whew, it was an adventure trying to hunt down a web source for this plushie since the Fansclub website, despite being very thorough in cataloging their more recent releases, doesn’t go all the way back to 2006. I love going through Rilakkuma history!

In other news, check out this Forest Series Rilakkuma lanyard!

Forest Series Rilakkuma Lanyard - full

Yay, mushrooms! I’m sure Mushroom Rilakkuma (Mush-kuma?) would love him :D

Like the plushie, this lanyard has great and special history, too! It was released as a lottery prize at Lawson for the Forest Series in September 2010!

We have to wear our med school ID badges all day, so I’m happy that I can jazz mine up now with some Rilakkuma! Yay – I can’t wait to show it off at school!

Also super appropriate because I actually grow my own mushrooms (Shiitake) at home :D

These next few posts here on Rilakkuma Lifestyle will be dedicated to the reader who so generously and thoughtfully sent me these plushies and Rilakkuma things: Trinie!! You’re a wonderful friend, and I’m so honored and appreciative for the opportunity to write about these plushies and share them with the Rilakkuma community! Thank you so so SO much!

So much more to come soon! Our big anatomy/physiology/histology/embryology exam is going to be weighing me down for the next week or so, but I am really so excited to share all these new Rilakkumas with you – stay tuned!

ETA (9:30 EST): Check out this penguin duo! Penguin Rilakkuma and Penguin? from Sumikko Gurashi at the 2014 Tokyo International Gift Show!

Tokyo International Gift Show 2014 - Penguins

2 adorable penguins!

Super glad to see Sumikko Gurashi get a costume suit – in the big leagues now! Can’t wait for the Rilakkuma Penguin Series!

Royal Rilakkuma Plushie! + Winter Updates

Christmas came early this year!

Hello Royal Rilakkuma!

Royal Rilakkuma - full

Lookin’ regal!

Royal Rilakkuma - crown

A fluffy Rilakkuma crown!

Royal Rilakkuma - dango detail

Dango fit for a king!

Royal Rilakkuma - keychains

Also two super adorable Rilakkuma keychains and a bookmark (for all my med school textbooks hahaha).

Wow! This set really shows a diverse representation of Rilakkuma over the years! This regal Rilakkuma is a Fanclub UFO plushie from their 10th anniversary series released in August 2013! The bookmark shows the classic Rilakkuma design, while the keychain features Rilakkuma from the 2011 Rilakkuma Meets Honey Series! The relaxing Rilakkuma plush keychain is also a Fansclub Rilakkuma plush from their Happy Picnic release from March 2013 – doesn’t he look a lot like the Happy Picnic Caravan plushie from 2012? Hehehe he’s so cute and relaxed!

This beautiful set came from the super generous Jennifer! Thanks so much again and again for all of your support, your generosity really cheers me up when times get tough, and your warm wishes always brighten my day!

What else is new in the Rilakkuma world?

Rose Series - set

Oh, how pastoral!

Rose Series - individual plushies

Like an early Valentine’s set!

Rose Series

This release really took me by surprise!

San-X will be opening a temporary Rilakkuma Store in Nagoya as a special event from December 26 to January 6 where they’ll be selling plushies and other merchandise from the new Rose Series! After the event is over, the other 8 Rilakkuma Stores will be selling these plushies on January 11.

The set with all three (top) will be 5,000円, and the individual plushies will be 1,780円 each.

How special! The temporary store set-up is pretty interesting, and I don’t recall San-X doing an event like this before. Ariel at Rilakkuma Desu suggested that maybe they’re testing the waters for opening a new Rilakkuma Store there soon? We’ll see!

Rilakkuma x Yamanote - cushion

Choo choo!

Rilakkuma x Yamanote - XL plushies

Large plushies for this release!

Rilakkuma x Yamanote - toy train

Wow, a Rilakkuma toy train!

Rilakkuma x JR Yamanote Line

YAY I’m so glad San-X has decided to expand on this line – it’s one of my favorites! The collaboration between Rilakkuma and the JR Yamanote Line began in the summer, but I guess it was successful enough to merit an additional release of merchandise!

The train car cushion (3000 円) and the large stationmaster and fan plushies (5500 円 each) will be released on December 20 – they’ll also be available for purchase at the San-X Net Shop! In addition, they are also releasing little nameplate keychains, too. I already have the small Yamanote stationmaster and fan, but I might ask for the train car cushion as an early Christmas present hahaha

In addition, they’re also releasing a (non-plush) Rilakkuma x Yamanote toy train! They’ll be available at Rilakkuma Stores and department stores all over Japan for 2400 円 starting at the end of December. How cool! I usually only get the soft Rilakkuma products, but this is such a cute toy, and it even runs on toy train rails on battery!

Rilakkuma Recipe Book - pages

Some really beautiful dishes inside! These pages feature “Seafood Bowl”, “Rilakkuma-Spa Soup”, “Sweet Cupcake”, and “Ricotta Pancake”!

Recipe Book

Recently, there have been a few interesting minor releases here and there like the new exercise line with a Rilakkuma trampoline, a few Rilakkuma-themed pickles, and a potpourri of new kitchenware items like ginger graters, sausage picks, and ladle holders – but my favorite recent one is the new Rilakkuma cookbook!

Since I can’t read Japanese, the actual recipes would probably be of no use to me, but the photography and visuals are really quite inventive well done! It’s pretty cool because it seems like a lot of the recipes were inspired by existing Rilakkuma designs/plushies, like the cover! This cookbook sells for 1155円, and will be available starting December 13.

Really cute! Maybe I’ll try to pick one up if I end up at a Kinokuniya again :)

Year of the Horse - Rilakkuma Store XL plushies and coasters

Almost 2014!

Year of the Horse 2014 XL plushies

In addition to the regular individual plushies and the special Rilakkuma Store exclusive set, San-X will also be releasing their usual XL sitting versions of the individual plushies on January 2 in 2014 for 13800円 in Rilakkuma Stores as well as the Net Shop.

While I likely won’t be getting these XL plushies, I’m really quite partial to this series because horse is my zodiac sign, but also because the illustration with all 3 of them under the horse is just so cute and unique! I think San-X went in a really bizarre direction with it, but I think it paid off and I appreciate it a lot for the creativity! I’m expecting the set sometime soon, and I can’t wait!

In other news, both fortunately and unfortunately haha school has been picking up this week since we have a huge midterm next week that covers the past 10 weeks of anatomy/physiology/histology/embryology – our exam will last the entire day! Good news though, is that once it’s over, I have winter break with finally some time to relax with my Rilakkumas haha. I really felt like I’ve learned a lot this semester, and Rilakkuma has been with me the entire way!

Hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday season!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher Plushie!

It’s my pleasure to introduce Wagara Rilakkuma!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - full

Oh, hallo!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - right detail

He wears a scarf with a wonderful Rilakkuma design!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - left detail

This side says “リラックマ” (Rilakkuma) with a little dango icon at the end, just like his fabric tag!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - back

Lazy Rilakkuma in the back!

Wagara Rilakkuma UFO Catcher - stickers

And some absolutely wonderful Rilakkuma stickers, too!

This handsome plushie was a generous gift from reader Jennifer – thank you so so much, he is an absolutely adorable addition to my collection, and he fits right in with everyone else already! I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful readers like you!

He is a UFO Catcher plushie released by Fansclub in May 2013, and he is wagara-themed! Wagara (和柄) is a traditional Japanese pattern or design, and were traditionally patterns used for kimono or yukata.

So this Rilakkuma is wearing a wagara-inspired scarf, combining traditional Japanese pattern styles and modern & hip Rilakkuma! The other plushies from the same release have similar designs, in the forms of pillows and coin purses – I love it!

Whew, sorry for the complete radio silence on my end for the past few weeks: last week we had our first major final exam in biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics so I was a bit held up with studying.

We’ve starting anatomy/physiology this week: I’m really excited about it, but I’ve never taken anatomy or physiology before so I’m hoping it won’t be too overwhleming.

I’m still waiting on my Rilakkuma Store 5th Anniversary plushie because I told the seller to hold off until the Caravan design was announced, but dang, I didn’t think it’d take so long to get news on the Caravan! I kind of expected them to release the Caravan design this month, but I guess I’ll just keep waiting…

Mikan Rilakkuma UFO Catcher Plushie!

Last but not least from the big UFO catcher batch: Mikan Rilakkuma! He was released into the UFO catcher wild by Fansclub and San-X in December 2011.

Mikan (Citrus unshiu) are citrus fruits of Japanese origin, and are also known as satsuma mandarins or satsuma oranges. We actually have a tree full of these out in our yard – yum!

Mikan Rilakkuma - full body shot

Hello Mikan Rilakkuma!

Mikan Rilakkuma - hat detail

Cute citrus hat!

Mikan Rilakkuma - scarf

Lovely scarf with fuzzy citrus details on both ends!

Because of Chinese tradition and symbolism (and some clever wordplay), my family loves to display and serve oranges to ring in the new year since our word for “fortune/success” sounds similar to the word for “orange”.

This Rilakkuma will also help us welcome the lunar new year next month as well – how auspicious for this Rilakkuma to join the family at the start of 2013!

Outdoors Rilakkuma UFO Catcher Plushie!

While the last UFO plushies were gifts, I got this one for myself: it’s Rilakkuma holding a kabob! He was part of an outdoors series (アウトドアごっこ) released by Fansclub and San-X in July 2011.

Kabob Rilakkuma - full body shot

Ready to go camping!

Kabob Rilakkuma - kabob detail

Rilakkuma has cooked a yummy kabob! And he’s wearing a nice yellow bib in case he makes a mess.

Seeing this plushie on Fansclub was actually what prompted me to make my first big Rilakkuma UFO catcher plushie purchase earlier – San-X hasn’t released anything like this design in their standard 22 cm collectible size (the style I usually order), so that convinced me to make the leap!

I’m so glad I did, because he is a wonderful addition to my largely food-themed Rilakkuma collection. Yay!

Yukata Rilakkuma & Korilakkuma UFO Catcher Plushies!

My first UFO catcher plushie purchase!

It’s Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma wearing yukata! This series was released by Fansclub & San-X in June 2011.

Yukata are a kind of casual kimono worn during hot seasons – so Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma are perfectly dressed for a nice summer’s day!

Yukata Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma - full body shot

What a beautiful color scheme!

Yukata Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma - fan detail

Matching fans!

Yukata Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma - back

Obis tied into bows in the back!

As Fansclub UFO catcher plushies, they are constructed a little differently than the non-UFO catcher ones, notably in the materials, seaming, and size (they’re a few cm smaller).

I gave this cute pair to my parents for their wedding anniversary last week! So cute! They remind me of my parents hahaha.

Fansclub UFO Catchers!

Ah, the wonderful world of UFO catchers!

A UFO catcher is a kind of claw machine game popular in Japan. Compared to their Western counterparts, UFO catchers generally have 2 prongs instead of 3 or 4. From my experience, in the US, claw machines just have a random assortment of things, but Fansclub took it to another level and stocked their machines with Rilakkuma. Jealous!

These plushies are genuine San-X licensed – they’re just not sold in stores! You have to earn them by mastering the art of UFO catching. They come in different sizes, materials, and designs from the store releases.

However, sometimes, Fansclub and San-X come out with very similar Rilakkuma designs. Take the Marine Series, for example:

Marine Series - Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma

Store release (~22 cm)

Fansclub Marine Series - UFO catcher plushies

Fansclub release (~17-20 cm)

Fansclub Marine Series - UFO catcher plushies XL

Fansclub XL release (~50 cm)

Wow, super similar! But all legitimate :)

One great thing: Fansclub does a hell of a job cataloging their UFO catcher plushies and other prizes. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can stroll through their entire catalog of prizes, by series name and release date. San-X has been partnered with Fansclub for a long time, so there are hundreds of Rilakkuma UFO catcher plushies out there!

I generally gravitate towards the standard 22 cm plushies, but I love that these Rilakkuma plushies come in so many different designs!