In which I get some great items and have a really positive shopping experience, and hey! That’s pretty awesome.
I’ll never get over how much less of a niche hobby Japanese culture/goods have become in the USA over time. From my teenager niece-in-law recognizing a gachapon machine to the aisles of manga — even BL, even 4koma, even series I actually like! — at chain bookstores, it’s weird, and it makes me feel old, and I love it.
I frequently forget how many quality USA-licensed character goods are sold now, but something I saw on Reddit made me wonder….hadn’t I seen a plush of Tonkatsu dressed as a skater?
Yes, indeed I had, and I snapped up this handsome rapper man, apparently representing the average American as part of an officially licensed 5th anniversary plush line with a travel theme.
This stuffie didn’t disappoint me one bit. I love his fat back and the face on the back of his shirt! He’s very soft, very cute, and a great size at about six inches. Cuter in person than in the pics I’d seen — well worth the $20 I paid.
And this paragon of the Japanese spirit, Penguin?, is from the same line and ready for sumo. He’s got a cucumber snack on his right, and a tapioca pearl dressed as what I’m guessing is a sumo referee (gyouji) holding a gunbai on his left.
Touch-wise this guy didn’t impress me quite as much as the Tonkatsu version, but that seems to be typical with my personal preferences — Penguin? seems to be an easily overstuffed design, and I tend to like plush a bit mushier. But he looks great on a shelf, so at the same size/price I’m well pleased.
The next plush I got, Penguin? as a barista, cost only $12 and is around the same size as the above, and is just perfect for the price.
What was a really adorable treat, though, was this smaller plush set (they’re attached) of Tonkatsu and Ebifurai no Shippo! I don’t know what it is about these two, but they were $13 and Tonkatsu measures about 4 inches tall, and I’m just ridiculously fond of them.
Maybe it’s because this reminds me of another random favorite Sumikko Gurashi item I got quite some time ago, this “mini table” with the same design. I got it when I was going to outfit our laundry room with a “kawaii theme,” but so far that was just like an hour of halfhearted cleaning, and plus it’s too cute, I think, to relegate to the laundry room.
I found Jellybeet through a quick online search for the first plush, and didn’t know anything about them (nor are they compensating me, for the record — all of this stuff I post about represents my own poor-yet-amusing spending habits) and honestly it was a perfect shopping experience. I used free shipping and I’m pretty sure they shipped the next day, with everything exactly as described and packaged perfectly. Nice to have such cute goods, but perhaps even better to have a new online store to shop from!