Nittele Service posted the above letter from the Michinoku Future Fund, which helps pay for the education of children who lost one or both parents in the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. The letter acknowledges receipt of 3.98 million yen in donations. Nittele Service revealed that this came from a portion of the profits from the 2016 Funassyi calendars. (Source)
Here’s a short video promoting the upcoming Meet Funassyi! Pear Juice Thanks Party. Funassyi seems a bit uh, unrehearsed. ^_^;
Bunshin Funassyi, the Funassyi doll made by the Minamisanriku Sewing Machine Workshop, is already sold out on their own web store until June. However, the Funassyiland online store just announced on Twitter that some will go on sale on the Funassyiland site at 10AM (Japan time) tomorrow, March 10th.
Funassyi swinging on some contraption in a park in Macau. He says he can “go to space!”, whatever that means. ^_^ (Originally posted to Twitter here; converted by Aussie Nassyi.)
Just in time for the annual cherry blossom viewing season, this 30cm-tall Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Funassyi doll clad in a pale pink smock goes on sale this weekend (at 10AM on Saturday, March 12 on the web store) at all Funassyiland stores. It holds a stick of Funassyi-dango (dumplings), which are a traditional cherry blossom viewing snack. There’s also a saying, hana yori dango, meaning you prefer something practical (and filling), like dumplings, over something purely aesthetic, like gazing at flowers. I wonder which way Funassyi blows… ^_^ Sakura Funassyi is made by Rapiit, and will retail for 4,200 yen plus tax. Although it’s not part of the Funacolle series, it is a Funassyiland exclusive item.
The Minamisanriku Sewing Machine Workshop, which was created in the wake of the March 11, 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake as a way for women who had lost their homes and families in the town of Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture to make a living (details here) has finally opened their own online store. That means that Bunshin Funassyi (Funassyi’s Alter Ego), the handmade Funassyi doll that was one of the first Funassyi-themed items available at events and so on before Funassyi became famous, is available once again.
Bunshin Funassyi retails for 2,592 yen, and the shipping fee (domestic only) is 650 yen. Note that they can only ship him out once a month; the next shipping date is March 11, and the two subsequent ones are April 14th and May 19th. Note that Funassyi has waived the licensing fee for Bunshin Funassyi, which goes right back to the Workshop.
The Minamisanriku Sewing Machine Workship webstore is a Yahoo! Japan mall store, which means you’ll either need a Japanese credit card or bank account to purchase from them (or a friend in Japan to purchase for you), or you’ll need to use a shopping service. See this post about shopping services; the one I recommend for this kind of thing at the moment based on personal experience is White Rabbit Express.
Update: They’ve already sold out of Bunshin Funassyi until June!
Update: Bunshin Funassyi will also be available on the Funassyiline web store, starting at 10AM on March 10th.
Funassyi continues to get the most interesting endorsement deals. This time The Pear has been appointed as the PR Ambassador for a line of sun protection products for active women called Sports Beauty from Club Kosé, a Kosé Cosmetics label. The only connection seems to be that the Sports Beauty products have Funassyi-yellow packaging, although there’s a somewhat forced storyline that Funassyi is a yuru chara who cares a lot about sun protection nassyi! or something.
The ladies standing with Funassyi in the top photo at a press conference are all pro golfers, whose endorsements makes a bit more sense for the brand. Nevertheless, I guess it speaks to Funassyi’s continued popularity, especially with adult women, that he gets these kinds of offers. Plus, he got to do a photo shoot on location in Okinawa.
Announcement on Club Kosé’s Facebook Page (also the source of the 1st photo)
Source for 2nd photo (the Pear)
Castella or kasutera is a type of sponge cake that’s been made in Japan, especially in Nagasaki, for hundreds of years. It is based on a similar cake brought in by the Portuguese in the 16th century, but has since evolved into something unique (more about castella/kasutera).
Baby castella is a bite size version of castella that looks a bit like donut holes. This Funassyi Baby Castella has to be the cutest looking little cakes ever. Each little cake has a Funassyi face stamped on it. Each bag contains 15 baby castella, and retails for 700 yen. The castella are preservative-free, and contain no butter or other dairy products. (If you see a recipe for castella that contains butter by the way, it’s not authentic at all, since in the 16th century Japanese people did not eat dairy!) Unfortunately for most of us, they’re only available at the Funassyiland flagship store in Funabashi, and in very limited quantities at that - just 50 per day. So you need to get to the store very early.
Regular Funassyi event MC Ai Yokomachi, aka Aicchy, seen here with Funassyi at Mother Farm last Sunday, announced on a live Niconico Douga webcast today that she is expecting a baby. She will continue working as an event MC until mid-May, then take maternity leave. This continues the trend of people connected to Funassyi getting married and pregnant…
The newest addition to the Funacolle series of Funassyiland-exclusive dolls is the most elaborate of all. It features Prince Funassyi on a white horse; the blue-coat version will be available at all Funassyilands including the online store, and the red-coat version will be exclusive to Funassyiland Funabashi. It will retail for 3,600 yen plus tax, and be available in mid-March.
A fan tweeted Funassyi some pages from the January issue of Nikkei Design, a magazine about product design and business. According to a market survey conducted in June 2015, Funassyi is the most popular character of all with both men and women, leading long-time favorites like Mickey Mouse, Doraemon and Snoopy by a comfortable margin. The article notes that it remains to be seen if Funassyi’s popularity will continue, but it’s quite an impressive accomplishment nevertheless. Other gotouchi chara in the rankings are Kumamon at no. 4, and Hikonyan at no. 13. Neither Funassyi nor Kumamon even existed in 2010, when the same survey was conducted; at the time the top 3 were Mickey Mouse, Doraemon and Snoopy.
March 6th marks the 1-year anniversary of the opening of the flagship Funassyiland store in Lalaport Tokyo Bay, Funabashi (technically the pre-opening was on March 6th, 2015 and the formal opening was on the 13th, but never mind.) To commemorate this anniversary, for every 1,000 yen purchased at any of the Funassyiland stores, including the web shop, you can get one of 50 Funassyi pinup photos (called “bromides” in Japanglish).
In addition, The Pear himself will be making a live appearance at Lalaport Tokyo Bay on the 22nd. Details on that to follow.
ETA: Funassyiland Funabashi already ran out of the photos on Sunday, but the other stores still seem to have them.
I am slowly catching up on Funassyi news. ^_^; This is a video of the first session at Mother Farm on Sunday, February 28th, by Funassyi fan EMI274. Official Mother Farm character Marmo Mama shows up, as does a real alpaca a bit later.
The most interesting part of Funassyi’s talk session this time was when a young fan asked him about his pear suits. (See Funassyi’s Multiple Pear Suits for more about his various skins, or suits.) Funassyi revealed, I believe for the first time, that Suit no. 3 was commissioned from the costume and props department at Fuji TV, who had done a custom suit for him for an appearance on Mecha Ike TV, one of their variety-comedy programs. Funassyi was so impressed by the work they did that he asked them to make him a new suit. However, while Suits no. 1 and 2 were made in China for around 38,000 yen each, Suit no. 3 cost around 500,000 yen - which is the low end of the going rate for a custom made kigurumi (character costume) in Japan. Suit no. 4 was custom made for him by Bandai. Funassyi said that Suit no. 4 is the one most suited to active jobs like skiing and skating and so forth, but Suit no. 3 is the most versatile one. He hauls out Suit no. 1 when he wants to be very comfortable, and for jobs when he knows he might get dirty - since Suit no. 1 is so worn out anyway a bit more dirt on it doesn’t matter too much.
And here’s the video of the 2nd session (also from EMI274), where Funassyi plays with 150 sheep.