The cutest product is definitely the goldfish-scooping set. Or maybe it’s the little pouches made to resemble shaved ice?

It hardly bears repeating that 2020 is a bit of a wash, and people all over the globe are feeling especially gloomy during these peak summer months. Social distancing has put a damper on beach visits, fireworks shows, and general close-quarters mingling, so it’s no surprise that many Japanese people are foregoing their trips to local festivals as well.

The thought of going a whole year without that frisson of matsuri excitement is understandably depressing, but there are ventures out there doing what they can to fill the festival-shaped hole in everyone’s hearts. Sanrio, creators of cute critters and captains of collaboration goods, are bringing out a line of charms, toys, and other delights that capture the spirit of festival fun but can be enjoyed safely in your bubble at home.

First in the Sanrio line “Temple Festival Design Series” are the mascot plushes. Each one comes with a ball chain that you can use to attach your plush to a bag, strap, or hook, and there are seven distinctly adorable designs. Sanrio flagship character Kitty is resplendent in crimson red, My Melody in a pastel pink, Pom Pom Purin in yellow. The Little Twin Stars twins are in pale pink and blue yukata, while Kuromi sports her typical gothic black, and Cinnamoroll wears a cloudy light-blue. All of them come with a tiny plush mask, to boot!

▼ Each plush costs 2,200 yen (US$20.96).

For those who would prefer to hang up a stream of Sanrio-shaped lanterns to capture the patina of a stall-lined path, Sanrio will also sell LED lantern-shaped lights of various characters for 1,100 yen apiece. Everyone except Kuromi from above is represented here, as well as terminal bad boy penguin Badtz Maru and lazy egg Gudetama.

▼ They’re stackable and glow in four different colors, what more could you want?

The real stars of the show are the various trinkets patterned after festival favorites like cups of shaved ice and tasty treats from food stalls. You can choose from five different types of the shaved-ice pouch, with Kitty, Purin, Melody, Cinnamoroll, and Pochacco designs to pick from; each one resembles a shivery summer treat with a generous dollop of colorful syrup atop. They cost 1,760 yen.

A cheaper option is the food straps, at 770 yen. Pick from eight designs starring all the usual culprits plus Pochacco, Tuxedo Sam, and Hangyodon. All your favorite Sanrio characters, but presented like sticky candy, skewered strawberries, Ramune soda, and delicious takoyaki.

▼ No, that’s not a strawberry! Don’t eat My Melody!

If you want to keep cool indoors, why not choose one of these precious, die-cut hand fans? They retain the food aesthetic from the straps, though now Purin is cuddling a chocolate-topped banana instead of okonomiyaki and Little Twin Stars are here too, riding atop a mountain of sugary pastel sorbet.

▼ Each one costs 550 yen.

But perhaps the cutest idea in the line-up is the goldfish scooping set, which replicates the classic festival game by letting you choose a variety of quaint little charms and knickknacks to “scoop” into a vinyl take-home bag. Choose an option from the bags, the “scoop”-style mirrors, mermaid mascot charms, and goldfish mascot charms, and feel a child-like glimmer of excitement when you get to take it home. You won’t even have to find a tank to keep your prize in!

▼ For 1,100 yen you can pick one from each of the four categories to take home.

Several of the items are available for online order, though not all, so do take care when visiting any Sanrio outlets. Let’s all stay safe in hopes of having a real summer congregation next year!

Source: PR Times, Sanrio
Images: PR Times

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