Year of the Snake 2013 Kiiroitori & Sabokappa?

Last Friday, Year of the Snake 2013 Series Kiiroitori was leading in sales at the San-X net shop!

Year of the Snake 2013 - Kiiroitori ranked

A pretty round snake, imo.

However! As of last night, Snake Korilakkuma has jumped two spots and is now at #1! Whoa! I always expected Rilakkuma to be the bestseller, but then again, I guess I do see the world with Rilakkuma goggles haha.

Anyway, I think this Snake Kiiroitori kind of looks like another San-X character, Sabokappa (サボカッパ) though:

Sabokappa - plushie

Similar beak, color, pose, and position!

Also known as Kappa Cactus, Sabokappa was released in September 2008. A lot of San-X characters are directly inspired by Japanese folklore; in this case, Sabokappa is a kappa, a legendary water entity, who’s just disguised as a cactus. Sabokappa lives in a flower shop with other real cacti.

Sabokappa - friends

Sabokappa and cactus pals! Also, Sabokappa doing random things on the bottom row.

True to kappa legend, Sabokappa creates a lot of mischief, and loves water and cucumbers. I’m not really sure how cucumbers became so prominent in kappa legend, but some folk legends say that offering a cucumber to a kappa will prevent it from kidnapping/eating your children – yikes! There’s even a popular sushi roll called kappamaki that just has cucumber inside haha.

I think it’s so cool that San-X references and reimagines old folklore stories into new kawaii characters!

Wishlist – 10th Anniversary Zodiac Series! (ACQUIRED!)

To celebrate Rilakkuma’s 10th anniversary next year, San-X will release the Zodiac Series in January 2013. Each of the plushies represents one of 12 astrological signs of the (Western tropical) Zodiac.

To be honest, I’m kind of lost on the official name: Horoscope? Astrology? Constellation? I’ve seen this series referred to as so many different things in so many different languages (Google translate just made me more confused). I guess the naming seems ambiguous to me because San-X also releases the annual Chinese Zodiac plushies, too.

10th Anniversary Zodiac Series - full

10th Anniversary Zodiac Series

I might want to order the Taurus, the Cancer, and the Scorpio in the future. However, I’m looking forward the entire release because they each have such great details – like the Gemini holding two Korilakkumas and Sagittarius’s quiver. Libra is even weighing dango against a star! That must be some pretty heavy dango. Also, there’s a nice (and appropriate) star motif, and each one has has their astrological sign embroidered in gold. I’d take them all if I could!

I wonder if it’s a coincidence that this series is being released during the Chinese year of the snake? In sidereal astrology, Ophiuchus/Serpentarius (the Serpent Bearer) is often considered the 13th symbol! And look: next year’s annual lunar new year’s release is a serpent-bearing Rilakkuma!

Year of the Snake Series 2013 - full

Year of the Snake Series 2013

ETA (1/28/13): Acquired!