Japanese character brand Rilakkuma makes play for the arts and crafts sector with Graine Creative

The popular Japanese character brand, Rilakkuma, is making its way into the arts and crafts sector, thanks to a new partnership with the French arts and crafts specialist, Graine Creative. The new deal adds to a rapidly growing consumer products portfolio for the world’s most relaxed bear cub in Europe.

In a deal secured by the independent French licensing agency, Sagoo, The Graine Creative range will initially launch with three products, including a crochet kit aimed at children aged ten and over. The set includes everything needed for tweens to create crochet versions of Rilakkuma and his friend Kiiroitori.

Meanwhile, the new eraser set is aimed at children aged eight and over and includes plasticine and modelling tools to allow children to create Rilakkuma inspired designs, before baking them in the oven to transform them into erasers. Finally, the FIMO kit for children aged 14 and upwards, allows fans to create Rilakkuma characters to make into keyrings, brooches and various other accessories.

Graine Creative now joins a portfolio of partners that already includes homewares from Blanc Cerise, and stationery, bags, accessories, and gift ranges from Blueprint Collections.

Rilakkuma is one of the top three most popular Kawaii characters in the world and since its launch by San-X in Asia in 2003, the relaxed bear has exploded in popularity and amassed over $2.5 billion in retail sales in Japan alone. Rilakkuma recently also became a star of Netflix, with 13 x 11’ stop motion animations available to watch on the SVOD channel.

Veronique Pichon, president, Sagoo, said: “Rilakkuma is growing in popularity throughout Europe and we are delighted to be partnering with some best in class licensees to bring the brand to retail. We are thrilled to be working with Graine Creative and are looking forward to further growing the consumer products programme throughout the territory.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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