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These 8 Recent Rilakkuma Collabs Are Kawaii to the Max

Created 2/16/2022 9:23:12 AM in kawaii | rilakkuma | character |

Join us as we explore some of the cutest Rilakkuma collabs that never made it outside Japan in 2021!

Let's cut to the chase: Rilakkuma is everywhere.

All it takes is a couple of minutes of surfing the Web -- or, for those of you in Japan, just being outside -- for Rilakkuma and its cute compadres to enter your field of view.

After all, like its fellow kawaii mascot Hello Kitty, this lazy bear is a master of collaboration -- but in an equally similar fashion, a ton of them run in Japan only.

If you feel like you're missing out on all that sweet info (and limited edition merch), don't worry: in this blog post we'll walk you through some of the cutest Rilakkuma collabs from 2021 that never made it worldwide.

So grab your bear friends, kick back on the floor, and say goodbye to "Japan-only" -- and hello to more Rilakkuma!

Right then, let's go!

 

 


#1: Rilakkuma x Lawson

 

Rilakkuma x Lawson collab products

What's in the collab?

Variety of cute housewares and daily necessities 

Release date

Mid-2021 and onwards

Closer look

Honestly, this homeware collab is a match made in heaven.

First, there's no better kawaii character to endorse a happy life at home than Rilakkuma, who loves nothing more than to lounge around -- where? -- at home! And second, the merch in this collab helps make your day-to-day life easier to manage -- and that makes perfect sense, considering Lawson is itself a convenience store (and one of Japan's most prominent ones at that).

The merch lineup is pretty extensive -- so much so, in fact, that release dates are staggered across several months. Here's just a small sample of what's included in the mix:

  • Rilakkuma cooking pots and other utensils
  • An electric coffee maker from popular appliance manufacturer Bruno
  • A mask case that is spring-loaded for quick access
  • A so-called "mitten mop" you wear on your hand for portable cleaning

There's also a plushie box set (part of the Always With Rilakkuma series) featuring a diorama-like convenience store and Rilakkuma wearing a Lawson work uniform! Who says the bear is all play and no work?

Rilakkuma x Lawson collab product


#2: Rilakkuma x Tower Records

 

Rilakkuma x Tower Records collab products

What's in the collab?

Merch featuring Rilakkuma and friends with surprised looks on their faces

Release date

July 2021

Closer look

San-X puts out Rilakkuma collabs with music giant Tower Records every year, and for 2021 this is what we got: a collection of kawaii plushies, stationery, keychains, towels, and other goodies, all depicting a very shocked Rilakkuma and friends.

The characters' usually expressionless faces fit the franchise's laid-back vibes to a T, so it's an interesting (though not unwelcome) change of pace to see them so zany and animated here. Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Chairoikoguma are clearly no strangers to doin' a bamboozle (and being cute to boot) -- so good boy Doge might have some company from across the pond!

What might be even more interesting, though, is the Relaxing Yoga with Rilakkuma CD compilations that San-X and Tower Records incorporated into the collab. Given what kind of store Tower Records is, their inclusion does make sense -- but still, we can't help but smile at the thought of Rilakkuma trying to exercise. But credit where credit is due, so pop one into your stereo, break out your yoga mat, and channel your inner Yogi (Bear?) as you get swept away by some seriously soothing melodies!

 


#3: Korilakkuma x Kippis

 

Korilakkuma x Kippis collab products

What's in the collab?

Korilakkuma goodies with strawberry and wildflower motifs

Release date

August 2021

Closer look

Kippis is Finnish for "cheers," and that feeling of relief and satisfaction at the end of a long day is exactly what this collab conveys with its heartwarming plushies, slippers, and towels.

The official Kippis website states that the cold, harsh winters in Northern Europe make having a warm, cozy home environment that much more important -- and what could add more warmth than cute little Korilakkuma?

At the heart of the collab are two of the Scandinavian brand's most popular designs: mansikka (a popular strawberry pattern) and rahaya (wildflowers). Given the natural, outdoorsy motifs on display, it makes perfect sense that Korilakkuma is the star of the show here; after all, it's a little more active and adventurous than Rilakkuma could ever hope to be!

Whether it be the West, the North, or the South, it's always nice to see Rilakkuma characters share the spotlight with the history, flavor, and aesthetic of other cultures around the world. Wouldn't you agree?

 


#4: Rilakkuma x Maison de FLEUR

 

Rilakkuma x Maison de FLEUR collab products

What's in the collab?

Fashion accessories with a touch of French class

Release date

September 2021

Closer look

Ladies lifestyle brand and gift shop Maison de FLEUR delivers a wonderful mix of elegance, charm, and kawaii with this 15-piece collab. September is the perfect time of year for it, too, as hot summer excitement naturally gives way to more subdued, understated style during European autumn months.

The collection marks Rilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Chairoikoguma's first appearance with Maison de FLEUR, and comes a whole year after the merry yet mischievous Korilakkuma set the wheels in motion with a solo collab in 2020.

From tote bags to makeup pouches, smartphone cases, and handbag mascots, there's almost no stone left unturned when it comes to goodies the brand's demographic would love to see.

Our favorite has got to be the variety of plush keychains featuring the Rilakkuma characters in frilly pastel outfits. Who knew that Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Chairoikoguma could be so prim and proper?

 


#5: Rilakkuma x Leiden Egypt

 

Rilakkuma x Leiden Egypt collab products

What's in the collab?

Souvenirs from a museum exhibition about Ancient Egypt

Release date

November 2021

Closer look

We mentioned above how great it is that Rilakkuma collabs can help us cross country borders. But who says you need to stop there? With this unique outing, you can finally say without exaggeration that Rilakkuma's popularity transcends space and time.

The mashup this time is with an Ancient Egypt exhibition originating from the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands. Touring Japan at a host of selected museums throughout 2021 and 2022 (it's still ongoing at the time of publication), it's a great chance to learn more about one of Earth's most prominent civilizations.

The fact that Rilakkuma and friends are able to join in on the fun (and feel right at home in their pharaoh-esque outfits) is not only a clever way to attract more museum goers, but also a testament to just how universal the characters' appeal really is!

 


#6: Rilakkuma x Mos Burger

 

Rilakkuma x Mos Burger collab products

What's in the collab?

Exclusive goods when you order a specific set meal or a burger

Release date

November 2021

Closer look

It's only natural that San-X would want to pair its beloved characters with one of Japan's most popular burger chains. After all, many of us love ourselves a good burger, so the sight of good old Rilakkuma stuffing its face with one is sure to make anybody want to follow suit and waltz right on in!

If you were to head down to your local Mos Burger during the campaign period you'd no doubt be taken aback at the sheer amount of Rilakkuma everywhere -- and that's just in the decor and advertising.

Actually order a special Rilakkuma meal set and you'll notice the colorful cast of San-X characters on your food packaging, sitting atop your trays, and of course front and center on the wide array of goodies made especially for the collab. (The mugs above are our favorite.)

 


#7: Rilakkuma x Sakuma Drops

 

Rilakkuma x Sakuma Drops collab products

What's in the collab?

Flavored candies with a sweet serving of Rilakkuma cuteness

Release date

November 2021

Closer look

Sakuma Drops have been a staple treat in Japanese households for more than 100 years, having first hit store shelves in 1908. And although their rich and storied history (including the iconic tin in which they're sold) can't be ignored, it's still nice to see them get a bit of a kawaii makeover here.

While the regular variety is known for its array of rich fruit colors, this collab replaces them with gentle pastels. Couple that with kawaii hand-drawn tin labels, and you can be sure that even your grandma or grandpa won't be able to resist fawning over them.

Aside from the updated taste and aesthetic, the collab also offers a range of limited edition Rilakkuma merch such as letter sets, purses, coin cases, towels, and keychains. There is, of course, a handful of adorable plushies as well -- including a sweet little blue Korilakkuma (seemingly based on a ramune float) holding a Sakuma Drop of its own!

 


#8: Rilakkuma x Floresta Donuts

 

Rilakkuma x Floresta Donuts collab products

What's in the collab?

Christmas donuts with mini Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori

Release date

December 2021

Closer look

In our Rilakkuma character guide we noted how the laziest of lazy bears enjoys a nice pancake or two -- but as its official Twitter often shows, it's also fairly partial to donuts.

The old saying "you are what you eat" never rings truer than with this collab, as Rilakkuma has all but become one with the donut mix itself. (It's not even the first time either; hi there, Mister Donut.)

There's several things about this collab that make it particularly special in our minds:

  • Each mini Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori is prepared by hand.
  • Floresta prides itself on being all organic, meaning no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • Floresta's first brick-and-mortar store was in Nara Prefecture (close to Osaka).

It's always nice to see relatively smaller, local businesses being able to get in on the Rilakkuma collab action!

 


 

Recap: Rilakkuma Collabs in 2021

Here's a quick look back at all the Japan-only collabs we covered in this blog post. Which one was your favorite?

  1. Rilakkuma x Lawson
  2. Rilakkuma x Tower Records
  3. Korilakkuma x Kippis
  4. Rilakkuma x Maison de FLEUR
  5. Rilakkuma x Leiden Egypt
  6. Rilakkuma x Mos Burger
  7. Rilakkuma x Sakuma Drops
  8. Rilakkuma x Floresta

Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Chairoikoguma aren't just San-X icons, they're clearly workhorses as well. This list is just another example of how they manage to successfully show up in collaborations with all sorts of brands, no matter how impossible or unexpected they seem!

 


 

Rilakkuma and Friends: Masters of the Collab

 

Rilakkuma and friends

Rilakkuma may be the poster bear for rest and relaxation, but considering the sheer amount of cute collabs both it and its friends graced us with in 2021, the character clearly knows the value of hard work.

It goes without saying that 2022 will surely be another busy year for Rilakkuma characters, and we for one can't wait to see what they've got lined up.

If you find yourself lamenting the fact that so many of the laid-back bear's collabs remain as Japan exclusives, tap or click the button below and browse the Rilakkuma collection on ZenPlus -- you may just find that rare oddity you've been searching ages for!

 

Browse Rilakkuma Merch

 

Rilakkuma merch on ZenPlus

 


Over to You!

Which collab in this post caught your attention the most?

Who is your favorite San-X character?

Let us know in the comments or drop us a line on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)! We'd love to hear from you!

ZenPlus is your one-stop shop for all things Japanese. Check out our Toys, Hobbies & Games section for Rilakkuma and other merch, direct from Japan to you!

 


 

Other articles you'll enjoy

For more kawaii character coverage, check out the articles below:

  1. Bear With Us: Quick Rilakkuma Character Guide
  2. Cute Rilakkuma Plushies: A Crash Course in Kawaii
  3. Shinada Global: Otters That Ought To Make You Smile

Thanks for reading!

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2/16/2022